long term care

Rhode Islanders who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid - the so-called "dual eligibles" - take note: you're being enrolled in a new health plan designed to coordinate your primary care and long term care needs a bit better. It's called the Integrated Care Initiative, it could affect nearly 28,000 Rhode Islanders, and it's not without controversy.

But first, what's it about?

State officials want to make it easier for people living with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them. Nearly 25,000 Rhode Islanders suffer from the disease, and an estimated 60,000 are their unpaid caregivers.

A work group spearheaded by Lt Gov Elizabeth Roberts and Division of Elderly Affairs chief Catherine Taylor has issued a set of recommendations in the state’s first comprehensive Alzheimer’s plan.

These are the average costs, over time, of some long-term care options in Rhode Island.

Note that the assisted living figure is monthly ($3528 in 2012), the nursing home rate is daily ($265 in 2012), and the home health aide figure is hourly ($24 in 2012).  That means that if you or a loved one needed 365 days of nursing home care, for example, the cost would be about $97,000 for the year. If you needed about 20 hours of help a week from a home health aide every day of the year, that would work out to about $25,000.

Are you caring for aging parents, or an aging spouse? Have you had to find a long term care option? What was helpful? What do you wish you had known before you started?

Please share your experiences and join the discussion in our comments section below.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin wants to institute a national background check for nursing home workers. Federal grant money – and some extra costs for nursing homes – are at stake.

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