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I know I need help planning for my care and housing as life goes on, but where do I start?

It can be scary when you find yourself or a loved one struggling to manage daily life. When you realize you need more help, it may be hard for you to picture what the next stage of life looks like. Knowing what services are available and being able to communicate your or your loved one’s wishes can be life-changing. Many services will let older individuals and those with disabilities stay at home while providing the extra help they need. Read on to learn more about services to help you stay in your home, options if you can no longer live at home, and ways to move from a nursing home back to your community.

Need help sorting through your options? Consider Community Options Counseling.

I want to stay in my home, but daily tasks are becoming more difficult for me. Are there services that can help?

Do you find yourself or a loved one having more difficulty with personal or household tasks? Is it getting harder to prepare meals, clean the tub, or get dressed?  Whether you’re facing increasing symptoms, a new diagnosis, or a new stage of life, there are options available.

Services to help you live at home

Services that can help you more easily manage everyday tasks, feel safer living on your own, and help you maintain a higher level of independence are sometimes called “Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)”.  Empowerline counselors can help you explore which of these services you may quality for.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) services like:  older man sitting on couch in living room

How do I pay for these services?

If you can afford to pay for these services (called “private pay”), we can help you connect to service options.  If you can’t afford to pay, there are HCBS available at low or no cost to you. These are funded through the federal Older Americans Act as well as state and local.

Just so you are aware, some services are limited to individuals over age 60, and, as demand is high and funding is limited, there may be waiting lists for services. Empowerline counselors can help you explore what services might make sense for you when you contact us. 

Extra assistance to help you live at home


Maybe your needs are a little more complex. Or maybe a loved one is starting to require an even higher level of assistance. In Georgia, Medicaid waiver programs provide more assistance to people who are low-income and functionally impaired so that they may stay in their homes and communities rather than going to live in a nursing home. The recipient must be Medicaid-eligible to access the Medicaid waiver programs. Depending on the waiver, services can include:

  • Adult day health –day programs that are community-based and designed to meet the needs of adults with functional impairments. These programs are structured and comprehensive and provide a variety of health, social, and related support services in supervised, protective settings.
  • Emergency response systems: devices that connect you or your loved one to a 24/7 call center in case of an emergency
  • Personal support: help with bathing, housekeeping, laundry, grooming, dressing, meal preparation
  • Home delivered meals
  • Respite: services that allow caregivers to take a break

Some of the specific Medicaid waiver programs for older persons and adults with disabilities in Georgia include:

How do I pay for these services?

If you qualify for Georgia Medicaid, these waiver services may be right for you and are available at low or no cost. However, as demand is high and funding is limited, there are often waiting lists for services. Contact empowerline to learn more about what you might be eligible for.

Things are getting more difficult for me to manage. What if I can no longer stay in my home?

Are you worried that you or a loved one will no longer be able to remain safely at home? Are you experiencing more frequent falls? Or maybe a loved one is experiencing advanced dementia, making it harder for them to live independently. Georgia’s residential long-term services and supports options include personal care homes, assisted living communities, and nursing homes. Visit empowerline’s housing options page to learn more about these options.

I’m already living in a nursing home, but I want to move back into the community. Are there services that can help me?

Being in a nursing home doesn’t always mean you or your loved one needs to live there permanently. Maybe you were admitted after a stroke or an accident, and with rehabilitation complete, you feel that you can successfully move back home. Or maybe your mother has been living in a nursing home, but now that you’re retired, you feel you can take care of her in your own home.

At any time during a nursing home stay, you can ask the nursing home social worker to make a referral to empowerline to learn about your options in metro Atlanta. In fact, during your assessment, the nursing home should ask whether you would like to receive information about returning to the community. If you say “yes,” they are required to contact empowerline so that we may provide you with that information.

After empowerline receives a referral, one of our Certified Options Counselors will visit you or your loved one in the nursing home to discuss options and services that can help you move back into the community. The counselor will discuss available long-term service options and help you determine the most appropriate services to meet your needs and preferences so that they may help you successfully move back home. In addition to the long-term supports and services listed above, there are several programs that nursing home residents may be eligible for to support them during a transition out of the nursing home.

Help to transition out of a nursing home

Empowerline helps individuals transition from nursing homes to community settings through two programs:

Community Transitions

If you are a Medicaid eligible nursing home resident who has been living in a nursing home for at least three months, empowerline can help you to transition through a program called Community Transitions (formerly known as Money Follows the Person). We use Community Transitions to pay for your expenses involved in any move, such as acquiring furniture and household items, assisting with moving costs, home modifications, and utility deposits- for up to 365 days after your transition. Visit Georgia’s Department of Community Health for more information about the Money Follows the Person program.

Nursing Home Transition Program

If you have been in a nursing home for at least 30 days and are at least 55 years old, you may be eligible for the Nursing Home Transition program – whether or not you are eligible for Medicaid. Like Community Transitions, the Nursing Home Transition program will help you return to the community: either in your own apartment, a personal care home, or at home with loved ones. Empowerline can help you transition under this program and connect you to other services to help you to live in the community.

Need more help planning for your aging family member? Empowerline is here for you

If you’re still not sure where to start, empowerline is here to help. Our counselors can help you understand what long-term service options are available and how the cost of those services is covered.

Additional resources to help plan for long-term services and supports for yourself or your loved one

Planning for Long-Term Care

This guide from AARP will help you understand the needs of older adults as well as some of the myths and facts around long-term care.

Long-term care: Is where you live now aging friendly?

This short video from the Administration for Community Living will help you identify the elements we need to live and thrive in our communities.

Find your path forward

The resources at LongTermCare.gov can help you understand the basics and make decisions relating to long-term care planning.

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Eligibility, costs, and process

Once you’ve found the solutions that are right for you, we can answer all your questions about next steps and payment options.

Help three ways

Your needs come first. How can we help you? Call now, open a chat window, or leave a message for us to contact you later.

Help three ways

Your needs come first. How can we help you? Call now, open a chat window, or leave a message for us to contact you later.

Looking for the latest guidance on the Covid-19 virus?

The CDC has created this video: “Covid019: What Older Adults Need to Know.”  You can also read CDC’s full list of pandemic-related recommendations.

If you are looking to connect with resources and services for older persons and individuals and disabilities in metro Atlanta, please contact us at empowerline.org or 404-463-3333.