Household budgets are stretched thin, inflation is constant and job security is, in our changing economy, often elusive. With savings levels stand at near-historic lows, many American families are having a difficult time balancing financial resources with their health care needs.
So what happens when an elder loved one needs more care than you can provide at home?
There are federal and state safety net programs, of course, but they aren't always free. And they don’t serve everyone.
Medicare and Social Security don’t provide long-term eldercare without some out-of-pocket cost.
Medicaid does pay for skilled nursing care for seniors of limited resources, but it does carry financial qualifications.
To qualify for Medicaid-provided nursing care, a person must "spend down" his or her assets. Older adults who posses significant real estate holdings, investments and other assets can be disqualified for care, and must liquidate their assets in order to dip below the government's resource guideline for subsidized long-term care.
But what about those lower-income seniors who aren’t looking for eldercare services? Where can they turn? Not Medicare or Medicaid subsidies. Those programs are aimed at providing eldercare for American seniors.
Fortunately, there are a number of communities that have been established to try to meet the demand for affordable senior living. These independent living apartments provide a healthy, positive environment (at an affordable price) that aims keep seniors out of the eldercare system as long as possible.
There are other options.
In Ohio, Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH) operates a number of communities designed to provide comfortable, safe and affordable senior living.
Here’s a look at what life is like at our 4 most well-established communities:
The residents of Canterbury Court in West Carrollton, 15 minutes from downtown Dayton are some of the most vivacious seniors you’ll meet. Some even lead more active lives than our staff members, according to community manager Jan Belkhoff.
And it’s no surprise that they’re living well in West Carrollton when the 150 apartment community offers residents plenty of beautiful outdoor greenspace, including an award-winning butterfly garden, and some amazing amenities. Residents receive free laundry services, can participate in regular outings and benefit from a six-dimension wellness focus which includes on-site exercise classes, spiritual services, entertainment and volunteer opportunities.
St. Pius Place is an 18-unit complex in Cincinnati's historic South Cumminsville neighborhood, providing care to seniors and adults with mobility issues. Residents enjoy regular activities and game nights, hold a monthly community council, and are provided twice-monthly transportation to the grocery (or Meals on Wheels coverage).
"It’s close-knit," said community manager Lindzey Webb. "I know all the residents by name and I know their kids, their grandkids and what’s happening in their lives. It’s a caring atmosphere, much more personable."
Teresa Bistor, community manager for Cambridge Heights, in Cambridge, brings 30 years of senior care provision experience to her role. "I have a real interest and compassion for the people we serve," she said. "There is a real commitment to providing the best housing for our residents."
Situated among the Appalachian foothills of Southeastern Ohio, Cambridge Heights residents enjoy a full fitness facility, a large aviary featuring many beautiful songbirds, a complimentary visiting beautician service and transportation to local stores and events.
St. Paul Village, in Cincinnati's north-central Madisonville neighborhood, has been providing quality, affordable senior living since 1978. Located just a few minutes' ride from suburban shopping destination Kenwood, or from downtown Cincinnati, St. Paul Village features spacious grounds with beautiful walking paths, an enclosed courtyard, an in-house hair salon and a fitness center.
Community manager Victoria Pagan knows that person-centered care is often what matters most to residents and their families. And she makes it one of her top priorities to build relationships with residents.