Do you know that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has a wealth or I can say a ton of information on their website (http://www.Medicare.gov) to help consumers know about different aspects of the post-acute and long term healthcare delivery system in the U.S.? This includes skilled home health care, skilled nursing care, nursing care (nursing home care).
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Do you know that the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) also has a ton of information on their website (http://www.hhs.gov) for consumers or potential consumers about programs and services for seniors?
ADMINISTRATION ON AGING
Do you know that the Administration on Aging (AOA) also has very useful information on Planning for Long Term Care their website (http://longtermcare.gov) about long term care? I am sure that as a consumer, you have a sense of what you want, you have a sense of what you need, and you have a sense of what questions you want answered; so how do you navigate the system(s) to get the right information to meet your specific needs at a point in time?
Situations change, and needs change at different stages of your life as you grow older gracefully. The good news is that the information is there for you, lots and lots of information. The three website highlighted above are just three of several websites you will access to find the information you are looking for. The not so good news is navigating the websites sometimes becomes a challenge because of the volume of information. Also lots of people procrastinate in accessing long term care information and data until the last minute when they have an immediate need or long term care.
We are all practicing healthy lifestyles, so we justify the habit to procrastinate in planning for our later years. It is actually so wonderful and beneficial to spend time at the gym, or go for long walks, or exercise at home, eat healthy food, and work hard to maintain our healthy lifestyle. So why else do we procrastinate? People procrastinate for a variety of reasons, some procrastinate for cultural reasons, some for religious reasons, some for financial reasons, some for superstitious reasons, some for their own personal reasons. Whatever the reason, it is advisable to start accessing the information on the long term care websites, particularly when you don’t need to make an immediate decision right now. Accessing the information helps you understand what your options are, and what paths you may want to take when you get ready to plan for your golden years and for long term care.
Out of the three websites referenced above, I will recommend that you access the 3 rd website, http://longtermcare.gov first.
The website states that “Long-term care is a big topic. Use the PathFinder to get to the information most relevant and useful to you now.” At the Home Page, you are asked two questions – question (1) wants to know your age; question (2) wants to know whether you need long-term care now. Your name is not required. Submit your answers.
Finally, taking the steps to plan does not mean that you are planning to go live in an institution or a nursing home. Planning now means that you are participating in the communication, in the information flow, and in this very important decision making process about your options as to where you prefer to live in your golden years, even if it is your home.
Nora Wellington, MBA, LNHA, Certified INTERACT Champion
CEO / Founder
N Wellington Associates LLC