Assisting Seniors in Maintaining Independence
In Illinois, Mercyhealth at Home’s Care Coordinators connect clients to a variety of services for seniors focused on helping them maintain their independence and stay in their homes after the age of 60. These programs include offering seniors support and care through the Community Care Program, Choices for Care, the Illinois Volunteer Money Management Program, Adult Protective Services and the Pathways to Community Living/Money Follows the Person program.
Community Care Program
Funded through the Illinois Department on Aging, the Community Care Program provides individualized attention for seniors. Although this is a statewide program, Mercyhealth at Home only works with seniors who live in Boone County or Winnebago County. Mercyhealth at Home staff Care Coordinators conduct home visits with seniors who meet asset and need requirements. The Community Care Program includes:
- In-home Services: This Community Care Program service provides assistance with household tasks such as cleaning, planning and preparing meals, doing laundry, and shopping and running errands. Homecare Aides also assist participants with personal care tasks such as dressing, bathing, grooming and following special diets.
- Adult Day Care: Adult Day Service is designed especially for older adults who want to remain in the community but who cannot be home alone during the day due to a physical, social and/or mental impairment. Adult day service also provides respite for family caregivers, especially those who are employed outside the home, and socialization for isolated adults. Services offered in adult day service centers include health monitoring, medication supervision, personal care and recreational/therapeutic activities. Nutritious lunches and snacks are served and special diets are provided.
- Emergency Home Response System: Emergency Home Response Service (EHRS) is a 24-hour emergency communication link to assistance outside the home for older adults with documented health and safety needs and mobility limitations. This service is provided by a two-way voice communication system consisting of a base unit and an activation device worn by the client that will automatically link the older adult to a professionally staffed support center.
Choices for Care
Since 1996, Illinois law (Public Act 89-21) requires that all persons age 60 and older who are seeking admission to a long term care facility be informed of all care options prior to admission, regardless of the individual’s income, assets or funding source.
Care Coordinators conduct the screenings primarily in hospitals prior to patient discharge. The screening process gives seniors and their families the opportunity to ask questions, discuss their needs for services and to understand community-based, as well as institutional options for continuing care.
In instances of short-term nursing facility placements for purposes of rehabilitation or convalescence, case managers may conduct follow-up screenings in the nursing facility to facilitate reentry into the community when possible.
Illinois Volunteer Money Management Program
The Illinois Volunteer Money Management Program is a financial services program that assists low income older persons who have difficulty managing their personal household budgets, paying bills, keeping track of banking records, intervening with creditors, and handling other issues related to personal finances. To participate in this program, a person must receive services through the Community Care Program or Adult Protective Services.
The program matches trained volunteers with older persons who need help. Volunteers also serve as Representative Payees (persons designated by the Social Security Administration to manage the monthly benefits of certain beneficiaries). The Program Coordinators also screen, train, and supervise the volunteers.
To learn how you can become a volunteer in the Illinois Volunteer Money Management Program or for more information, contact the Program Coordinator at (815) 971-4210.
Adult Protective Services
Dedicated to investigating abuse of persons age 60 and over as well as persons with disabilities who are age 18-59, the Illinois Adult Protective Services program helps stop abuse. Using specially-trained Case Workers, the program investigates situations involving financial exploitation, physical abuse, emotional abuse, willful deprivation, passive neglect, confinement and sexual abuse. Case Workers work closely with the individual to help determine what services are most appropriate to prevent further mistreatment. Anyone that believes they have witnessed a case of abuse can report the matter confidentially. Under Illinois state law, healthcare professionals and other professionals are required to report suspected cases of abuse. To report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of an older person or person with a disability, call the statewide, 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline: 1-866-800-1409, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).
Pathways to Community Living/Money Follows the Person
Pathways to Community Living in Illinois was developed under the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration, which was authorized by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and extended under Section 2403 of the Affordable Care Act. Under Money Follows the Person guidelines, the Pathways to Community Living initiative seeks to increase the use of community services and rebalance the state’s long term care systems by providing appropriate, person-centered services for individuals interested in transitioning from institutional settings to qualified home and community based settings. To make a referral: https://mfp.hfs.illinois.gov/mfpreferral.
Mercyhealth at Home is here to help you or a loved one find the Older Adult Services program you may need. To learn more about Mercyhealth at Home’s Older Adult Services, or to make a referral, call (815) 971-3502.