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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
July 12, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160


 
Commissioner Urges Residents to Plan for Long-Term Care Needs, Order Copy of New Jersey Guide to Community-Based Care


 

TRENTON New Jersey’s older adults can begin planning for a secure future today by ordering a free copy of the Department of Health and Senior Services booklet, A Guide to Community-Based Long Term Care in New Jersey.

“The issue of long-term care is one that every senior and every family will face,” Acting Governor Richard J. Codey said. “As we get older, we are often confronted with difficult decisions about where we will live, who will take care of us and how we will afford it. This booklet will help residents sort out the answers to those important questions.” 

The Acting Governor along with Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., today encouraged all state residents ages 50 to 70 to learn more about long-term care options so they can better prepare to meet financial, health and housing needs as they age.

 “We have long recognized that New Jersey families want a range of long-term care choices from which to select,” Jacob said. “That is why we are working hard to develop a variety of options that promote dignity and independence as people age.

“To take full advantage of these choices, it is best to plan ahead rather than wait until a health crisis forces a quick decision,” the Commissioner added.  “This guide clearly explains the issues and options, and helps people think through their choices.”

A Guide to Community-Based Long Term Care in New Jersey is available on the department’s web site at www.state.nj.us/health/senior/ltcguide.shtml. To order copies, consumers may call the department’s Division of Aging and Community Service’s Senior Helpline at 1-800-792-8820 or write to the division at P.O. Box 807, Trenton, NJ 08625-0807, attn: LTC Guide.

The guide is funded by a grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and supported by the National Governors Association, the U.S. Administration on Aging, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Included in the guide are 10 pullout sections detailing programs that provide medical, financial, legal and social service assistance.  The guide also includes consumer checklists and helpful resources for those seeking help for themselves, a family member or friend.

According to CMS, about 60 percent of people over 65 will need some type of long-term care assistance during their lives.  Long-term care is a variety of services that help people with health or personal needs and activities of daily living over a period of time.  Such care can also be expensive, ranging from about $18,000 a year for in-home services to $60,000 for nursing home care. The guide discusses options for financing such care.

In addition to developing its state-specific guide, New Jersey has also offered enhanced training on long-term care planning to its State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselors, a cadre of volunteers in all 21 counties who are trained by the department on Medicare issues.  SHIP provides free, confidential and unbiased help to Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about their health insurance.  SHIP is a statewide program sponsored by DHSS with major funding from federal CMS.  Consumers wishing to talk to a SHIP counselor in their area should call 1-800-792-8820.

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