Colorado residents who are facing the challenges related to an elderly loved one who needs a certain level of care that goes beyond their capacity may be unsure of what to do. At some point, this is a concern for many individuals and families. A nursing home is an alternative, but the elderly person may state a preference to stay in his or her home. Financial, personal and emotional considerations come to the forefront in these situations. Seeking out programs that can be used to facilitate the person getting the care can be complicated. Understanding what the state can do and the factors that dictate the level of assistance is key. Having advice from those experienced in elder law can be helpful.

Medicaid is a program that can be beneficial. In Colorado, there is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. The state’s version of Medicaid (Health First Colorado) and Medicare combine to administer it. Shortened to the acronym PACE, this gives various services to people age 55 and older who need it. It lets them remain their home and stay in a familiar community. The care is coordinated and gives the person everything he or she would likely receive if they moved to a nursing home.

There are certain requirements to qualify. They include the previously mentioned age parameters. Also, the person must be assessed by a Single Entry Point agency to determine how much care is needed. The residence must be in the PACE service area, and it must be possible for the person to live in the community and not be a risk for his or her health and safety. When the person meets these requirements, there are many benefits including medical care, day care, meals, hospitalization, prescription medications, occupational therapy, nursing home care, transportation and more.

The elderly person can designate someone to coordinate with PACE to determine the course of action and what is needed so it is possible to remain in the home safely. The person’s financial situation will be fundamental to how much PACE will cost. Some are not obligated to pay. Others might pay monthly. Income is key. However, Medicaid and Medicare may cover it. PACE does not have co-payments and the person does not need to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

Facing the issues related to an elderly loved one who needs care has the potential to be emotionally wrenching and financially problematic. However, it is important to remember there are available programs that can make the process easier and help the elderly person maintain a quality of life he or she is accustomed to. When thinking about the PACE program or considering available alternatives, legal advice can be vital. Consulting with professionals in elder law is a wise step to achieving a successful outcome.