Older adults have the right to decide where they receive care. Even if you are medically eligible for nursing home care, you can choose to receive care at home through services from Office of Aging or other agencies.
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The Options program provides in-home services to individuals who are living independently but having difficulty with activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing and grooming) and do not have the resources to pay privately for help at home. Older adults may be required to pay a portion of the cost, depending upon their income.
The Options Care Manager will meet with the older adult, discuss his or her unmet needs and what services might be available through Office of Aging (OOA) to help. Examples of services are:
Through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging's Caregiver Support Program (CSP), a caregiver can be reimbursed up to $300 per month for caregiving expenses, such as supplies, goods and services. Eligibility for CSP is based on the household income. A caregiver could also be eligible for up to $2,000 to make home modifications and purchase more expensive devices. This is a reimbursement program, meaning the caregiver must buy the items and submit receipts showing the cost, then be reimbursed through CSP funds.
Most Options services have a cost-share, based on the older adult and spouse’s income. But we are able to consider living expenses to limit the amount you would pay. Office of Aging funds are meant for the most socially and economically needy older adults. Staff will ask whether you have any other way to pay for services. It is expected that any benefits from Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance are used before Office of Aging funds.
The care planning process allows the Options Care Manager to match you with the most appropriate service. You may be eligible for help through other programs or agencies you weren’t aware of. The Care Manager will help you choose the best care plan for you.
The care plan will be reviewed with you before any services begin. No one else decides what services you receive – not your family, landlord or doctor. If you disagree with the care plan, speak openly with your Care Manager.
Medical equipment and/or supplies are one of the services Options can provide, based on the older adults needs and total cost of services. If you can get coverage for incontinent supplies through Medicaid, Medicare or other insurance, Options will not provide these items. In order for the Office of Aging to cover these items, you will need to provide a denial statement from your insurance carrier showing that you cannot get coverage from them.