Archive for January, 2011

Medicaid Ordered to Provide Temporary Home Care Services

A woman applied to the Human Resources Administration (HRA) in New York City for Medicaid home care services under the community Medicaid program. Her application was approved subject to determination of her personal care needs. The woman advised HRA that she was in immediate need of 24 hour home care in two shifts. Medicaid denied her request. The denial was upheld at a fair hearing. The applicant then appealed to the New York Supreme Court.

The Court ordered HRA and the New York Department of Health (DOH) to issue regulations setting out the step by step procedure for Medicaid applicants to follow in order to receive temporary personal care services. HRA and DOH were also ordered to implement plans to facilitate the procedures and to notify Medicaid applicants of the availability of temporary services.

Ninety Is Not The New Sixty

We all like to think that we will live a really long time. Although many of us harbor fantasies of being able to retain our youthful hearts and bodies, ninety is not the new sixty.  Young-old is different from old-old and we need to be sure that we are prepared for it. Susan Jacoby authored a thoughtful essay in the December 31, 2010  edition of the New York Times entitled Real Life Among the Old Old.   In her essay Ms. Jacoby reflects on her Mom who appeared active and ageless at 75 but who at ninety, has no more “adventures” in her future, because pain from age related illnesses made the smallest errand an “excruciating effort.”

Modern medicine has many living longer and longer.  According to Ms. Jacoby the over 85 set is the largest growing segment of the over 65 population and at least fifty percent of this population  will spend some time in a nursing home before they die because of a mental or physical disability. Ms. Jacoby’s musings point out  that we all need to have a plan for health care decision-making, surrogate financial decision-making and a plan for protecting assets in the event long term care is required at home or in in a nursing home.  Ninety is not the new sixty, do you have a plan?