My Parent Isn’t Safe to be Alone Anymore. Now What?

Assisted Living Options That Offer Safety and Assistance

By Eldonna Rayburn, The Lexington Assisted Living

An AARP study found 90% of individuals over 65 want to stay in their homes as long as possible, while reports that roughly 70% of people age 65 and older will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. Long-term care can be assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing (nursing home).

The majority of people do not want to leave their home, their friends, their possessions, and, who can blame them? A move at this point in their life is a big, no, a really big change. It’s not just the physical impact but more important, it is the emotional impact. It’s about loss, not the excitement of a new moving to a new space, learning a new routine, meeting new people, new, new, new. With that said, the majority of people who move in to AL adjusts to their new lifestyle, they LOVE it! But until then what do you do? How do we keep our loved one safe? What’s the answer?

I have been in the aging adult healthcare world for over 25 years and have met hundreds of people in crisis looking for these very answers. With that much experience, you would hope for an easy answer. If it were easy, you wouldn’t be reading this right now, right? Buuuut, hold on, I’m writing this to tell you that healthcare is complex but it is also doable, with the right resources.

The internet provides lots of information quickly, but that’s just scratching the surface. You still need a person, a guide if you will, to light the path ahead. And, if you think of this process as a journey, not a destination, you will be a happier person. Take control! Be proactive. Spend a little time now so you can hopefully avoid the hot mess of facing the crisis of needing to move in days versus weeks or months. By taking charge, you have more time, more choice and more financial options. There are several variables to consider: the type of healthcare community such as independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing; type of services and amenities within each community; location and payment options. This article focuses on assisted living services. Now that you have determined your loved one needs 24/7 safety and security in an assisted living (AL), what’s next? Probably, the most significant question is how are you going to pay for AL services?

PAYMENT OPTIONS. Different ALs have different payment requirements. The options are paying out-of-pocket at the private pay rate, paying a portion of Social Security income while the Medicaid Waiver reimburses the AL up to a certain amount, long-term care insurance, and Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefits. Some facilities only accept private pay and others accept the Medicaid Waiver program after two years of private pay. Long-term care insurance and Aid & Attendance may pay a portion of AL services. If you are like most Americans, you will most likely be paying a few months of private pay to “spend down” and quality for the Medicaid Assisted Living Waiver program. This article will not go into detail what the Medicaid Waiver process entails, but that there are options for those on limited incomes and can’t live alone safely anymore. The Lexington Assisted Living does accept all of these forms of payment. For a free, no-obligation conversation, please contact Eldonna at 402.486.4400 or email