Vermont Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Vermont — home to Bernie Sanders, Ben and Jerry, and over 105,000 seniors.* And although the number of seniors receiving long-term care in an institutional setting is dropping, many elderly Vermonters find themselves utilizing one of the state’s 38 nursing homes at some point in their lives.

Vermont nursing home care costs are among the highest in the nation. Aside from Alaska and Hawaii, the top 10 most expensive states for nursing home care are on the east coast.

Vermont senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes in the chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Many times, hospitals will discharge the senior to a nursing home for rehabilitation. If the senior’s stay is longer than the Medicare-covered 100 days, those costs becomes out-of-pocket.

Nursing homes cost a lot of money — ask any family whose senior loved one is burning through their assets in order to get quality long-term care in a nursing facility. The sad truth is that the general consumer has no idea how much nursing home care costs in their area, and usually doesn’t learn of those costs until their back is up against the wall and long-term care is needed.

Long-term senior care costs are a concern among our readers and we at Caregiverlist have an ongoing mission to educate the consumer. To that end, we are constantly updating our nursing home cost database and have released the latest costs and ratings for Vermont nursing homes.

Below is a snapshot of Vermont nursing home costs and ratings:


Total Number of Nursing Homes: 38

Average Single Price: $301.95

Average Double Price: $280.65

Average Rating: 3.1 (out of 5)


Star Rating Snapshot:

5-Star        2

4-Star        19

3-Star        14

2-Star        3

1-Star        0 


Some seniors and their families will prefer to stay at home and hire an in-home professional senior caregiver.  Hourly rate for senior home care in Vermont can range from $11 to $28 per hour, depending on the location and level of care required. A quality home care agency will fully vet an in-home caregiver with a thorough background check. As opposed to hiring a caregiver directly, an agency provides all necessary liability and worker's compensation insurance protections and payroll taxes as required by law.

Vermont offers Choices for Care (1115 Long-Term Care Medicaid Waiver), a Medicaid-funded, long-term care program to pay for care and support for older Vermonters. If a senior meets the clinical and financial criteria, they can receive help with costs for professional care at home, in an enhanced residential care setting, or in a nursing facility. There is also a separate Moderate Need program in place and seniors and their families can learn about program eligibility directly from a Home Health Agency in their area.

Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

A good way to start anticipating for those future long-term care costs is consulting with a professional who can come up with a  financial action plan that includes an assessment of your family’s assets and future spending needs. Caregiverlist can also provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Vermont and help you learn about the costs for senior care.

*according to the 2014 U.S. Census

How to Pay for Senior Care

Senior care costs are not covered by Medicare, the health insurance for America's seniors. Only short-term stays in a nursing home, after a major medical event, are covered. This means everyone must plan ahead for the possibility of caregiving needs as they age. Insurance actuaries estimate all of us will need some senior caregiving services for at least 2 years.

Caregiving for someone with memory loss, called "dementia" can be one of the longest journeys and cost the most. A new conversation around how we want to age has begun, with the book "Being Mortal" igniting many conversations on the topic. Aging is part of living and so is dying. Understanding the benefits Medicare does and does not provide is part of creating a healthy aging plan.

Retirement planning must include planning for how to pay for the costs of senior care. Perhaps a senior will only need caregiving services for a short period of time while recovering from surgery such as hip replacement or a stroke. However, it is healthy to accept that part of aging includes our bodies, and sometimes our minds, will no longer regenerate cells and perform as when we were younger. This is natural. Or as the song says "that's life"!

Learn about the costs of senior care and how to structure a caregiving financial plan with a complimentary telephone consultation provided by Transamerica and download their free caregiving guide. Start talking with your family members about how you would like to both pay for and receive care as the gift of a long life presents itself.

Serenity in Switzerland: Caregiver Stress Relief Photo

Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and the care you provide for our seniors. More caregivers are always needed as seniors in America are living longer. You can learn more about becoming a senior caregiver and apply for a job near you. We invite you to take a moment to relax and enjoy this week's stress relief photo and inspirational quote and share them with loved ones. This week's photo of a beautiful winter scene was taken near Zurich, Switzerland. Have a great week.


"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, 

for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home."

-Edith Sitwell

Sailing at Sunset: Caregiver Stress Relief

As we are deep in winter's chill, this week's photo should bring warm thoughts to mind. Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. Senior care training assists caregivers to better manage a senior's care needs and manage caregiver stress. This week's stress relief photo was taken from a ship, sailing away from Miami, Florida. Please enjoy and feel free to share the photo and inspirational quote with loved ones. We hope you have a great week.


"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."  -African Proverb

Alzheimer's Disease Treatment has had Little Progress since Dr. Alzheimer Identified Brain Plaques in 1906

Congress recently passed a budget bill in December, giving a few hundred million towards the research of Alzheimer's disease. 

While we are able to identify the existence of the same brain plaques Dr. Alzheimer found back in the early 1900's, we still are not sure why some people develop these plaques while others do not. 

Researcher Sam Cohen shares some of the facts around Alzheimer's disease research.  One reason Congress included research for finding a cure for Alzheimer's is because of the huge costs associated with full-time senior care for those with memory loss. Medicare does not currently pay for ongoing senior care needs but Medicaid, for low-income seniors, does.




RAISE Family Caregivers Act Passed by U.S. Senate -

The U.S. Senate passed the RAISE Family Caregivers Act this week (and this bill is actually supported by both Democrats and Republicans), which will require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The bill goes to the House next for consideration. The Department of Health and Human Services would be required to develop, maintain and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy. Federal departments would also be required to share any data that can assist with creating a national caregiving strategy.

Advocates are hoping this will help make senior care a national agenda item in the upcoming presidential election. Currently, only candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who cared for her own mother at home, has called for more support for family caregivers. 

This summer, New Mexico Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham reintroduced a bill to create a national Care Corps program, modeled after the Peace Corps, in which volunteers would help family caregivers. New York state's Representative Nita M. Lowey also introduced legislation that would give caregivers a Social Security earnings credit when they take unpaid time off from their jobs to provide care.

Advocates behind RAISE hope that increasing awareness will eventually spark political action.

Why?

Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care and nursing home costs can easily be from $150 to $350 per day. About 40 million Americans care for family members, which works out to an unpaid workforce worth around $470 billion per year. They typical caregivers is the oldest adult daughter or another relative. 

A congressional caucus was formed to focus on the needs of family caregivers earlier this year, with the backing of AARP. RAISE would specifically require the development, maintenance and updating of an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. More caregivers and more programs to support caregivers will be needed to support our nation's growing senior population.

Senior caregivers are already in demand, as seniors rarely plan ahead for care and will be quickly discharged from a hospital to a nursing home or to their home while still needing assistance with activities of daily living. Anyone with a caring personality may become a senior caregiver by taking a basic caregiver training course and applying to a part-time or full-time caregiving job in their area.

AARP Offers this hotline to call your U.S. Congress Representative to urge them to support the bipartisan RAISE bill in the House at 844-453-9952 (Toll Free).  Remember, this legislation simply begins the process for a strategy to be developed around family caregiving.

Personal Care Aide Senior Home Care Training

Personal Care Aides are the name given to caregivers in some states, such as New Hampshire and Minnesota.  Personal Care Aides assist seniors with activities of daily living and are employed by senior care providers.

By learning the basic caregiving skills, personal care aides can deliver caregiving services more safely, while having the knowledge needed to complete each tasks.

PCA Skills include:

  • Care Plan Implementation and Notes
  • Communication Skills
  • Safe Transfers
  • Abuse and Neglect Identification and Reporting
  • Memory Loss (and Alzheimer's) Care
  • HIPAA (Privacy and Confidentiality Policies)
  • Infection Control
  • Personal Care

Review Personal Care Aide training and take an online PCA training course to become certified as a PCA and apply for a professional caregiving job in your area (senior care companies are constantly hiring).



French Alpine Splendor: Caregiver Stress Relief

Caregivers provide companionship to seniors, as well as caregiving and caregivers must remember to "care for the caregiver." Thank you caregivers and certified nursing aides for your hard work and caring for our seniors. This week's stress relief photo was taken in Chamonix, France near Mont Blanc, Europe's highest peak. The Alps give us breathtaking scenery at every turn. Please enjoy the photo and the quote and feel free to share them with loved ones. Have a great week.


"Hope is the dream of a man awake."  -French Proverb

Giving a Loved One the Tools to Stay

Home With In-Home Care

Aging impacts an individual's life in unexpected ways. An aging parent or family member might not have the physical ability to continue cooking meals, paying bills or keeping a home clean, but that does not mean he or she feels ready to move from home. By using in home care in Scottsdale,

Arizona and working with professionals, a family can help a loved one stay home longer and still enjoy a healthy lifestyle.





Determining What Aging Loved Ones Need

A loved one's needs will depend on the situation and his or her health. In some cases, a loved one only needs assistance with basic cleaning and cooking due to the physical aspects of the tasks. In other cases, a loved one needs more comprehensive in home health care due to a physical or emotional ailment that impacts his or her health and wellbeing.

Find out if a loved one has a physical diagnosis of any health concerns. In home care works around a loved one's needs by providing services based on any medical conditions and health concerns. A professional helps with the basic necessities and makes recommendations for meals and nutrition that focuses on a loved one's current situation. 

Stay up-to-date with any changes so that a professional can address the situation. A loved one's needs will change as he or she ages and shows signs of potential challenges.




Providing Personal Assistance

Personal assistance from a family member or friend allows a loved one to feel comfortable while gaining the tools he or she needs to stay at home. A loved one's quality of life depends on his or her situation and environment while he or she ages. Personal assistance takes many forms, including simple companionship and enjoying meals as a family.

Give a loved one the assistance he or she needs after hiring professionals to handle the medical aspects of his or her lifestyle. For example, help a loved one keep bills paid by organizing the mail and paperwork on a desk. Remind a loved one about the bills and help with the cleaning to reduce to the risk of slip and fall accidents.


Make Use of Technological Advances

Technology changes constantly and some technology helps an aging loved one stay at home longer, particularly when compared with in home health care and professional services. Make use of devices that specifically assist a loved one with mobility, cleaning or even just monitoring his or her health and wellbeing. 

Advances in technology allow individuals to help a loved one connect with emergency personnel when problems arise, even if they cannot reach a phone or other tools. It also helps improve comfort in the home when a loved one might feel more aches, pains and general discomforts due to aging and old injuries. For example, putting in a tub or shower that has a low risk of slip and fall accidents will allow a loved one to stay home longer without taking unnecessary risks with his or her health.

Combine technology with in-home care in so that a loved one has companionship and appropriate tools to handle any emergencies or challenges. The technology provides peace of mind when an aging loved one stays home, even when he or she does not require significant health services due to a healthy and active lifestyle. The in home care allows a loved one to stay consistent and identify potential problems early while the technology handles unexpected emergencies or challenges.

Helping a loved one maintain a healthy body and mind requires the right tools and services. By working with in home care professionals, a family feels confident that an aging parent or loved one has the assistance and companionship he or she needs to stay at home and enjoy a high quality of life. The combination of appropriate tools, professional services and personal assistance gives a loved one the freedom and flexibility to stay home longer.



Compassion & Choices Capitol Hill Briefing Thursday October 29th

Senior care involves assisting seniors with terminal illnesses.  While hospice care allows families to prepare better for the end, sometimes there is a need for a way to die with dignity when suffering from certain illnesses.  Anyone who has witnessed someone dying this way understands the movement that has gained momentum to help authorize medical aid in dying. Caregivers who have heard death rattles from a dying patient are changed forever by the experience and many are filled with compassion for how to better assist.

Compassion & Choices is the organization championing access to medical aid in dying. Oregon and West Virginia have passed legislation and bills are pending in another 25 states and the District of Columbia. California's governor recently signed a bill to also make this available in California. 

Caregivers who advocate for this right may call their U.S. Senator and Representative and ask them to attend Compassion & Choices' Capitol Hill Briefing:

Compassion & Choices Capitol Hill Briefing in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, October 29th at 2 p.m.

2226 Rayburn House Office Building

This briefing will include remarks from Dan Diaz, husband of Brittany Maynard, who recently spoke here in Chicago at Chicago Idea's Week.  He and his wife had to relocate to Oregon as her brain terminal progressed, in order to allow her the option of dying with dignity.  A move right before death is not something that most of us would welcome. Many medical doctors and registered nurses are champions for this legislation as they understand how both your body and personality can change with certain diseases as your organs are shutting down. The states that are passing these compassion laws do require individuals to be approved before receiving the medications.

Dr. David Grube, Compassion & Choices' national medical director and a few board members will also speak.

Seniors and caregivers who want to support this right to be available nationwide may contact their state Senator and their local Congressman to let them know they should attend too.

RSVP to Attend


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