In 2014, the average cost of living in a nursing facility is $220 per day. That comes out to around $6,600 per month. Staggering, isn’t it? At that price, if you live for three years after going into a facility, you’d pay almost $20,000. How many of us have that much in savings? So much for your nest egg, but don’t think the cost stops there.
If Medicaid is paying for your care, you’ll be able to keep $60 of your income per month to pay for extras: treats, hair care, shoes and clothing, etc. Everything else goes to pay for your care. That $60 per month doesn’t go far. Residents whose care is paid for by Medicaid have to use all of their income except the $60 to pay for their care, but since most residents can’t pay the entire $6,600 per month, the government makes up the difference. That’s one place our taxes go.
This is why the Nursing Facility Transition (NFT) Program is so important! With NFT, those residents who are capable of living in the community can get the assistance they need to remove the barriers that keep them from going home.
Those barriers usually involve things like having a ramp so they can get into and out of the house, or assistance paying security deposits and utility connection fees.
During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2014, DNL staff transitioned 17 residents out of nursing homes in Allegan or Ottawa County. Had these people remained in the nursing home, it would have cost $569,580 to pay for their care. That’s a pretty good cost savings, wouldn’t you say? Now, add to it each of the individuals we moved out in previous years who are still living (most of them are). You can see that the NFT program is a popular one with Government officials.
The value of the program can’t be counted by monetary standards only though. So far, every resident we’ve transitioned has said that their life satisfaction rate is much higher now that they are out of the nursing facility.
It will be interesting to see what the rest of the year holds for us. Even if we were unable to assist any other residents in transitioning, the 16 individuals we’ve already moved out into the community will mean close to another half million in savings; and that’s just one of the programs managed here!
For more information, contact Ronda at 616-396-5326.