By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions
As will be the case with so many others this year, our celebration of Thanksgiving will be taking on a much different flavor. A virtual gathering together as family will replace the customary large, in-person get-together to give thanks and share turkey and all the fixings.
One of the things, however, that will not change is I will be expressing thanks once again this year for the Medicaid-waiver programs for assisted living in Illinois and Indiana.
Of the nearly 60 senior living, assisted living and memory care communities that Gardant manages, 52 are approved as Medicaid-waiver providers for assisted living.
The communities provide individuals who need some help to maintain their independence with a wonderful alternative to a nursing home. Most are designed to serve older adults of all incomes. Some exclusively serve low-income older adults. Two serve adults 22 to 64 years of age with physical disabilities.
Residents live in private apartments, which they can furnish and decorate to their taste. The apartments feature kitchenettes; spacious bathrooms with grab bars and showers; and an emergency alert system.
Certified staff is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Service plans are individualized based on a resident’s specific needs.
Heating and air conditioning as well as support services such as three meals a day, personal and flat linen laundry, and housekeeping are included.
A variety of community areas are available, including main and private dining rooms, activity rooms, beauty/barber salon, convenience store, exercise room, library/computer area and TV lounge.
Residents also benefit from all of the opportunities that are available to socialize and participate in social, recreational, educational, wellness programs and events.
The communities also are a Win-Win for families and the federal and state governments.
Families benefit from knowing that their loved one is getting the help and assistance they need. The federal and state governments benefit as the cost of an individual on a Medicaid-waiver in an assisted living (in Illinois referred to as Supportive Living) community is significantly less than the cost of nursing home care.
Our focus with the assisted living communities Gardant manages is to provide residents with the Love, Compassion and Dignity they deserve in addition to the help, assistance, and services they need. Our goal is to help each resident achieve and maintain as much independence as possible for as long as possible.
In light of the coronavirus, we have been at the forefront and will continue to be highly proactive in taking measures designed to protect the safety of residents and staff and minimize the risk of contracting the virus. The measures include monitoring and following federal, state and local guidelines and directives; specialized policies and procedures, including enhanced procedures for cleaning and disinfecting; enhanced staff training; use of Personal Protection Equipment; restrictions on visitation and communal dining and activities; and testing of residents and staff.
We also have taken steps to enhance the ability of residents to connect with health care providers and with family through use of technology and social media.
We certainly welcome the news that residents and staff of assisted living communities have been designated to have a Top Priority for a COVID-19 vaccination, which we pray comes soon.
On behalf of all us at Gardant, we thank the more than 4,700 residents of Gardant-managed senior living, assisted living and memory care communities in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia for placing their trust in us. And we extend our thanks to the nearly 2,900 staff members who are so dedicated to our mission of serving individuals of all incomes. They are truly HEROES!
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
To find a Gardant-managed community near you, click on Locate a Community on the Gardant website.