How to compare medical alert systems & assistive devices
As families get set to transition to a post-COVID world, the conversation about care for aging loved ones will continue to evolve, perhaps now with greater urgency.
And yet despite the acceleration of certain changes in healthcare, we still operate in an outdated landscape where caregivers have to navigate a maze of websites for medical alert systems, assistive devices, nutritional meal delivery, and other products & services to help loved ones age independently.
On top of that, many families are concerned about how to pay for assistive technology and services, and if their insurance—Medicaid, Medicare, self-insured employer—will cover the cost of care services.
Below is a list of resources that we will update periodically to help you and your family in your care journey.
Useful Websites for Caregivers and Families: The number of websites & resources can be overwhelming. We highlight our favorites.
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Non-partisan foundation committed to impartial news and research about Medicaid, Medicare, health reform and global health.
- Caring.com: leading online destination for family caregivers seeking information, support, in-home care and senior living options for aging parents.
- Family Caregiver Alliance: helps family caregivers locate public, nonprofit, and private programs and services nearest their loved one.
- SeniorLiving.org: committed to finding the best products and services for seniors with tools & guides for Housing, Safety, Health & Care and Financial Planning.
- The SeniorList: Founded by the wonderful Amie Clark—a social worker, blogger, entrepreneur and aging advocate—this site tests and features medical alert products, medication dispensers, hearing aids, meal delivery, and cell phones for seniors & disabled persons—it consistently updates great content for seniors and caregivers across the board.
- SelectQuote: Find and compare the best life, Medicare, home, and auto insurance quotes.
- AARP: The largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in the USA dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age.
State-specific Programs & Care Navigator Websites:
- LTSS Arkansas Program: State program website of Division of Aging, Adult & Behavioral Health Services. Includes information on Home & Community Based Waiver Services (HCBS), consumer-directed community supports (CDCS) programs, Home care choices programs, and ways to connect with a care guidance counselor. You can call toll-free 1-866-801-3435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with a counselor.
- HuskyHealth Care Coordination Program: Connect with a Community Health Worker (CHW) or Nurse Care Manager for Long-term Services & Supports or other chronic or urgent health challenges. Alternatively, call 1.800.859.9889 to be connected with a CHW.
- AHCA Long-term Care Waiver Program: State program website sharing details on Home and Community-based and nursing facility services. Covers Screening, Eligibility and Enrollment into LTC Waiver Program.
- KanCare - Medicaid for Kansas
- MinnesotaHelp - Great resource to learn more about Waiver program services, assistive device partners, family and caregiving services, housing services, transitional care services and in-home and community services.
- Senior LinkAge Line - Phone: 1-800-333-2433
- NJ Family Care: Learn about managed care and other health insurance/coverage options through NJ Medicaid.
- NJ SNAP Program: Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in NJ.
- NJ Helps: Food assistance, cash assistance, health insurance resources.
- Tennessee Disability Pathfinder - Compare medical alert systems listings, assistive technologies, as well as many other support services via this useful pathfinding portal affiliated with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- VirginiaNavigator: helps older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, and their caregivers and families find the services they need to stay healthy and live well.
Consumer-Directed Community Supports (CDCS) Programs:
In a nutshell, CDCS are financial management programs, also known as fiscal agents, that partner with State Waiver, self-insured employer and managed insurance programs to allow you the consumer to decide how to spend your budget allowance based on your needs. This may include helping you hire family, friends and neighbors for services, including caregiving services.
Please note: QMedic does not endorse any particular CDCS program. You must do your due diligence, including speaking to references who have used the program, before you decide to work with a CDCS program/fiscal agent.
These are some of the top CDCS programs recommended by our partners:
Multi-State CDCS Programs:
- Acumen Fiscal Agent - 22+ states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
- Consumer Direct Care Network - 14+ states + DC: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
- GT Independence - 12+ states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin.
- Palco - 9+ states: Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas.
Minnesota-specific CDCS Programs:
- Consumer Directions
- Mains’l - also serves California
- Orion ISO
- Partners in Community Supports
Nutritional Food / Meal Delivery Providers: Depending on where you live and your insurance coverage/income level, you or your loved ones may qualify for nutritional meal delivery services. Some of the top providers are listed below.
- GA Foods: GA Foods is a specialized maker of highly nutritious meals serving the unique nutritional needs of healthcare patients, seniors, children, the military, and emergency responders to disasters. Marketed under SunMeadow® brand.
- Meals on Wheels: operates in virtually every community in America to address senior hunger and isolation.
- Mom’s Meals: Fully prepared, refrigerated meals delivered to homes nationwide.
If you have questions or want additional providers/resources added to the list above, let us know! Live chat or email us at support [ourURLdomain.com]!