Aging in Place held in Highland – Alton Telegraph

HIGHLAND – Highland Health Care Center, a 128-bed skilled nursing facility, held a three-part lunch-and-learn series on “Aging in Place” to offer free information and resources to the community on financial, health and safety concerns when growing older.

The program was presented in collaboration with Cedarhurst Senior Living and Mederi Caretenders. It was held at the Highland Area Senior Center. 

“This was a wonderful opportunity to reach out to residents who are interested in remaining independent and learning about the options available to them as their healthcare needs change,” said Jennifer Cross, Director of Business Development for Highland Health Care Center who gave a Medicaid presentation. “There are a variety of community foundations and services that seniors can utilize to help them plan ahead and get the support they need.”

In a discussion about Medicaid, Cross addressed preplanning and asset protection. “Knowing when to apply for Medicaid, and understanding how your assets will be impacted by the program, are among the most crucial aspects of preparing to successfully age in place,” said Cross.

She added that some of the key needs to enter the Medicaid program include:

•    At least age 65, or blind or disabled; a U.S. citizen or qualified alien, and a resident of Illinois (if you receive service in Illinois)

•    Deemed to be clinically eligible, which is done through a screening at a hospital prior to entering a skilled nursing facility

•    The inability to perform a variety of “activities of daily living,” which are basic, routine activities that people can generally do without assistance, including eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, walking, and continence.

•    An applicant must meet the Medicaid resource and income limits and guidelines set by the state.

Maggie Gerstner, Community Education Coordinator with Hospice of Southern Illinois, in Fairview Heights, gave an overview of hospice services and resources. A Q&A session followed each program. A brown bag lunch was provided by Vintage Kitchen, in Trenton. 

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