The state of Florida has attracted large numbers of retirees due to tax advantages, like no state income tax, no inheritance tax, and no estate taxes. As seniors flocked to Florida’s warm climate to live out their senior years, programs to serve and protect seniors developed to meet the needs of the aging Florida population. The end result is a measure of high-quality nursing home and elder care programs and facilities with strong backing from the state of Florida.
In addition to excellent state-funded services, the federal government also offers assistance to families in need of nursing home care. Nursing Home Care is a website that allows family members to search online for nursing homes in Orlando that accept Medicaid as payment. Find 48 nursing homes in the metropolitan Orlando area that accept Medicaid on the Nursing Home Care website.
For non-Medicaid eligible seniors or families who are looking for private facilities, SeniorAdvisor.com is an excellent website that is dedicated to helping families navigate the life changes that accompany aging. Find 27 nursing home facilities to compare on SeniorAdvisor.com.
The mission statement of the Florida Department of Elders (DOEA) sums up the state’s dedication to quality eldercare. The mission states, “To serve elders as they live, contribute, and build legacies in Florida.” DOEA provides an expansive array of in-home and community-based services for caregivers. Other programs and specialized services offered by DOEA have been developed to assist chronically ill seniors and their caregivers. Those services include:
Adult Protective Services Communities for a Lifetime Comprehensive Assessment & Review for Long-term Care Services (CARES) Disaster Preparedness Elder Abuse Prevention Program Elder Helpline Hospice and End-of-Life Care Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid Intergenerational Connections Housing Long-term Care Ombudsman Program Nursing Home Services Public Guardianship Senior Community Service Employment Program Senior Legal Services & Senior Legal Helpline Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) Silver Alert and ListServ Transportation
Families who are interested in any of those services may call the Elder Helpline at (800) 96-ELDER.
In addition to the Nursing Home Compare website, the state of Florida offers two Medicaid long-term care programs for Orlando residents called the Program of All-Inclusive Care (PACE) and the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program (SMMC LTC).
Program of All-Inclusive Care (PACE)
The state of Florida has worked very hard to help seniors remain in their homes as long as possible. Family members who are on the fence may benefit from the PACE program, which is a voluntary service that is designed to target individuals who are eligible for a Medicare or Medicaid-funded nursing home placement. By offering those individuals an array of home and community-based long-term care services in an adult day health care setting, many seniors may be able to delay or avoid nursing home level of care.
Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-term Care Program (SMMC LTC)
SMMC LTC is another state-funded program that provides home and community-based services to Medicaid recipients age 65 and older who are determined to require a nursing level of care. This program uses a managed care approach to ensure that participants have access to the health care providers that can help them.
Family members who care for seniors living in Orlando may find that the state eldercare agencies can be helpful in educating them about helpful nursing home care services. Proactive family members find that getting support for themselves goes a long way towards navigating this leg of the journey with confidence.
One of the most important things that family members can do is to learn as much as they can about their loved one’s illnesses and disabilities. Having knowledge in these areas lessens the anxiety about the aging process.
Many families find strength in sharing the journey with other members of the community who are going through the same life stage. Family caregiver support groups provide a helpful forum for family members who need support for their role in giving care.
Supportive family members need to find the balance between visiting and monitoring their senior’s care in a nursing home and managing their own lives outside of that arena. Family caregivers need to set realistic limits and communicate those limits to the rest of the senior care team.
Family caregivers are often the first people to know that something doesn’t seem right because they know their senior the best. It’s important to listen to what doctors and other senior care staff tell you, but it’s equally important to trust your own instincts. If you suspect that something isn’t quite right, it probably isn’t.
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