Too many choices

Too many choices

I frequently encounter elders and their family members who have been misinformed about services and programs available to the elderly.  Example: An elder or family member inquires about services that will help the elder remain independent and in their residence. I frequently find that the elder is likely eligible for Community Care Attendant (CCA) services, formerly known as Provider Services, and a referral to the Department of Aging and Disabled Services (DADS) is made.  Later, I find out that the elder did not pursue this because of fear that the State of Texas could take their home.  While estate recovery provisions do apply to CCA services there are exemptions and legal ways to protect the homestead.

I get most frustrated when a spouse informs me that they have depleted their savings paying for the patient’s skilled nursing facility care.  Here information has been withheld, likely unintentionally, and the spouse was unaware of rules regarding help through Medicaid with costs for Skilled Nursing Facility care while the patient rehabilitates from a medical condition.

How can we better inform people before they find themselves in a situation that requires care they cannot afford where there might be programs to help?


Our Guest Blogger this week is Adele Herzfeld, who is a Senior Social Worker in the UTMB Geriatric Clinics.

Join us for a real-time discussion about questions raised by this essay on Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room:

Image by Jack Atley of Bloomberg News illustrating a New York Times article by Alina Tugend, Too Many Choices: A Problem That Can Paralyze. Posted 2-26-2010 at