- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 05 January 2015
Many programs and services support older adults' choice to live at home for as long as possible—so many, in fact, that the maze of guidelines and applications can become overwhelming. Our Options Counseling program is available to help you access these programs and funds—making getting what you need that much easier.
Options Counseling is a free service that provides information and support to consumers, family members or caregivers who make decisions about service options. A Community Options Resource Specialist from LifePath can come to you at home (house or apartment); assisted living, congregate housing, homeless shelters, or rest home; area hospital or skilled nursing facility. The Community Options Resource Specialist can guide you through questions about living in the community or other long-term care options. Options Counseling is available to persons of any age with a disability, people age 60 and older, and those in the community or in a hospital, rehab or nursing facility.
"It's all about trying to plan ahead," says Laurie Deskavich, Information & Caregiver Resource Center Program Director, who oversees the Options Counseling program. "The program is an opportunity for someone to find out what is available to them or their loved ones prior to an event. It offers up services someone might be eligible for so that they can make an informed decision." If you are not prepared for the event with prior research, Deskavich adds, you might stumble. By planning for your future, you can return home after your medical procedure to services that are already in place and allow you to continue living your life by your terms.
The Options Counseling Program has been running for four years. Referrals come from individuals themselves, family members, caregivers, physician's offices, area hospitals, nursing facilities or other area professionals.
"If doctors are aware of the Options Counseling Program, they can send us their patients before surgery, so options are discussed and appropriate plans are made so that services are in place when a person gets home. A successful discharge home happens before the person is even in the hospital," says Deskavich.