Long-term elderly care options: What you need to know

Rooks said one of the biggest burdens families have is the Medicaid application process. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

Preparedness is the biggest advice Elder Attorney Jessica Rooks has for caregivers.

"A lot of people will go into a crisis scenario where their loved one needs nursing home care and have no clue what that's going to mean," Rooks said.

Rooks presented a long-term care planning session discussing various options care takers have at Twin Pines Adult Care in Kirksville.

"Being able to provide them the chance to learn about those [options] and give them kind of a glance of … what does the next steps look like is pretty important," Rooks said.

Rooks said one of the biggest burdens families have is the Medicaid application process.

"It may be the application, itself five or six pages long, but by the time you include everything that needs to go with it you could be looking at 75 pages to 100 pages," Rooks said.

Enlisting the help of an attorney can help, but Rooks said it's important to ask this one question before they handle your case.

"You might want to ask them, what is a Medicaid compliant continuity, and why is it Medicaid compliant," Rooks said.

"I’ve never heard of Medicaid complaint annuities. It's just one of the things I’ve never heard of," said attendee David Sidwell.

Sidwell came to the event because he works with elderly veterans with the American Legion.

"I didn't realize how little I knew until I came to this meeting. It's very worthwhile," Sidwell said.

"The biggest thing is that there are options and most people think that to get assistance for the nursing home care, to get assistance in the home, I have to get rid of all my money, and that's not the truth," Rooks said.

Attendee Ula Barnes said this goes back to being prepared.

"Get your ducks in a row and don't wait around. You have to have it all done before you put them in a nursing home,” Barnes said.

Rooks will host a second event at Twin Pines Thursday, Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m.

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