In today’s America, about 15% of the population is age 65 or older, a figure that only will continue to increase over the next few decades as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age. As our population ages, the demand for senior health care will continue to drastically increase, in the form of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care services. One characteristic of the individuals from the baby boomer generation, however, is the desire for senior care on their own terms. Rather than having no choice but to enter a nursing home, baby boomers want to be able to stay in their communities and homes as they grow older. This means a higher demand for community based residential facilities, assisted living facility, and home health care.
The burden of funding long-term care choices such as home health care is largely left to the states. In most cases, Medicaid is the source of most funds for home-based and community-based care; however, states can opt not to provide this coverage through their Medicaid programs if they choose. While all states and the District of Columbia have some form of home or community-based care program, there typically is a waiting list for these services. Nursing homes, on the other hand, receive about 59% of the Medicaid funding. Several states are currently at odds trying to figure out where the money will come from to fund home health services and community-based care.
There are possible solutions to the problem of funding home-health care and similar programs, but few states have taken advantage of them. For example, aside from simply appropriating more money in a state’s budget to pay for these programs, a state may be able to get a federal waiver to offer respite care and training for unpaid caregivers, who are usually family members, or enact legislation that allows nurses to delegate certain types of tasks to aides.
At Boller & Vaughan, we are here to stand up for the rights of senior citizens and their families who have suffered substantial injuries, whether physical, emotional, or financial, while under the care of those are supposed to prevent such injuries from occurring. Contact us today at (608) 268-0268, set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin home health care abuse attorneys, and discover how we can help.