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Housing Options& Available Benefits

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Housing Options and Available Benefits

When considering care and placement, there are many options from which to choose. At Zacharia Brown we are devoted to helping you and your loved one find the care and placement that fits your needs, budget, and desires. Equally as important is that our firm has long-established relationships with care facilities, providers, and senior vendors. We utilize our influence on behalf of our clients to enhance their quality of care.

Here are some housing and life care options to consider:


A fundamental component of Life Care Planning is Aging In Place. Most of us want to stay in our home in familiar and comfortable surroundings. In fact, aging at home is the optimal and most cost-effective choice. Our firm promotes and encourages independence for as long as possible. We are glad to connect you to resources that enable you or your loved one to remain at home in a safe and secure environment. In order for you to secure a safe living environment for your loved one, please review our Home Safety Checklist and Tips for Hiring a Contractor.

Home with Assistance

Remaining at home may be easier and more attainable with care assistance. Assistance can be provided for daily living tasks like cooking, cleaning, laundry, dressing, grooming, bathing, shopping, or maybe just companionship etc. Most home care agencies offer assistance from a minimum of 2 hours up to a maximum of 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Zacharia Brown has a dependable list of established relationships with home care agencies to help secure competent and quality at-home care for you or your loved one.

Home with Adult Day Care

Adult day care centers offer tremendous benefits. They provide meals, social and educational activities, and often transportation. An adult day care allows one to be engaged and supervised during the day but able to return home to his or her familiar surroundings in the evenings. Sometime, insurance will provide coverage for this type of care.

Life with Family

Your best option may be to live with a family member. In many cases, families have entered into care contracts and/or life estates to receive reimbursement for the care of their loved ones. This type of living arrangement allows for optimal planning opportunities to attain financial eligibility for benefits from the Veterans Administration, as well as incorporating financial planning and seeking eligibility for PDA Waiver (See Benefits Section).

Independent Living Housing

Independent living communities offer maintenance-free lifestyles and social activities within a safe, secure environment. Amenities vary widely, but many offer fitness studios, pools, tennis courts, recreation rooms, movie theaters, transportation, meals, and entertainment.

Continuing Retirement Care Communities

A continuing care retirement community (""CCRC") offers residents a comprehensive, lifetime range of care from independent living to nursing care at the same venue. Most CCRCs require a one-time entrance fee in addition to a monthly rental fee. They also offer amenities like those listed above. For many, this living arrangement is an attractive option because it allows for an individual to stay on the same campus as they move along the continuum of care and does not require securing a new location due to changes in care needs. This housing option is particularly attractive for married couples whose care needs may change at different rates.

Assisted Living

An assisted living community may be an option if assistance is needed with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, incontinence care, and meal preparation. Assisted living communities range in size from large to small group home settings. Some assisted living communities offer specialized, secure programs for seniors with memory impairments. Assisted living facilities vary in the level of care they are able to provide.

Memory Care Communities

Memory care is a long-term residential care arrangement specially designed for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive impairments. Also known as Alzheimer’s care or dementia care, memory care is often provided within a separate section of an assisted living community or skilled nursing facility. This type of residential care may be the best option for an older adult with severe memory loss or cognitive decline who is no longer able to live independently. Memory care communities are licensed facilities staffed by professionals who are specifically trained to provide care to those with cognitive impairment.

Nursing Care and Rehab

A nursing home is the first stop for those to receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies due to a serious medical event or after surgery. For many, the therapy and rehabilitation is not enough and permanent placement in the nursing home is required. Nursing care is a permanent placement for those who require continual nursing care and have significant difficulty coping with the required activities of daily living. Nursing aides and skilled nurses are usually available 24 hours a day. Nursing care is the only level care paid for by Medicaid.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists who work together with a patient’s doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.


Hospice is an in-home resource that provides medical, emotional, and spiritual support for patients with a terminal diagnosis and their families.


Respite care is temporary relief care, designed for when a regular caregiver is unavailable or out-of-town. Respite care is short-term care that ranges from a few hours to overnight stays in assisted living or nursing facilities.

Here are benefits that are available to help pay for housing options:

Pennsylvania's OPTIONS Program

The goal of the OPTIONS Program is to give choices to consumers in need of Long Term Care services. The program provides an intensive assessment administered by staff from the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). If appropriate additional information is obtained from the consumer's primary care physician, this new assessment information is then reviewed and appropriate care alternatives are identified and discussed with the consumer to determine their preference. The consumer's preference is considered, along with service availability, and whenever possible, services are provided to the consumer per their desires.

Services range from those outside the home, such as a nursing facility or personal care residential home, to a wide array of services performed within the consumer's home, such as home health care, personal care, etc.

Consumers who receive these services are normally 60 years of age or older and experience some degree of frailty in their physical or mental health status. They range in functional need from being clinically eligible for services in a nursing facility to needing basic personal care services such as help with getting dressed. There is no financial eligibility requirement for OPTIONS based services. However, consumers may be required to make a co-payment for services based on income.

The components of the OPTIONS Program are as follows:

For many consumers, assessment is the critical step taken by the AAA in partnership with the consumer to determine or re-determine needs and how best the AAA can meet these needs. The assessments include:
  • Assessment of need for and provision of services and care management to persons over age 60 with complex, ill-defined problems, problems remaining at home or requiring personal advocacy.
  • Assessment of need for and provision of services and care management to persons over age 60 requesting the following Area Agency on Aging (AAA) services: day care, counseling, personal assistance services, home health, personal care, protective services, home-delivered meals, transportation services, respite care, home support services and any other AAA community or in-home service.
  • Assessment of persons ages 18 to 59 to determine nursing facility clinical eligibility for those persons looking to access Department of Public Welfare's Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Programs (DPW HCBS).
  • Mandatory assessment for persons applying for medical assistance (Medicaid) for nursing facility care or for placement in a domiciliary or personal care home who are eligible for the State Supplement to SSI; an assessment is also available for any individual who is thinking about nursing facility care.
  • The nursing facility assessment also includes screening for mental illness, mental retardation and other related conditions, and the assessment of need for specialized services.
If the consumer (60 and older) is Medicaid eligible and the Area Agency on Aging has a service opening in the waiver, these services will be provided through the Medicaid 60+ Waiver.

Home with Pennsylvania "Aging Waiver Program" Assistance

The Aging Waiver Program provides home and community based long-term care services to individuals as an alternative to nursing home placement. Services are funded through a special federal waiver, which allows Medicaid payments typically used for nursing home care to be used for home care services. This is a very popular home care option, and those interested in aging in place should contact Zacharia Brown to develop a financial asset protection plan to become eligible for the program.

LIFE Programs

LIFE programs are focused around an adult day health center where the majority of services are provided. At the adult day health center, the interdisciplinary team of health professionals manages and arranges for all care and services. It should be noted that LIFE programs are lifetime programs, and individuals will not be dis-enrolled due to a deterioration in health. An interdisciplinary team will ensure that all needed services will be provided for life. Services are funded through a special federal waiver, which allows Medicaid payments typically used for nursing home care to be used for home care services. This is another popular home care option, and those interested in aging in place should contact Zacharia Brown to develop a financial asset protection plan to become eligible for the program.

Veteran's Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs “Aid and Attendance” and “Housebound Pension” benefits may be available to wartime Veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. As opposed to many other Veterans’ benefits, this pension benefit is available not only to the Veteran, but also can be used by the surviving spouse. Additionally, a Veteran can use pension benefits in the event his or her spouse is the one that needs the care. Veterans’ pension can be used to pay a caregiver in the home, including family caregivers, to pay for adult day care services, to pay for services in a facility, or can pay for prescriptions or medical services.

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