The state of Indiana is attractive to seniors due to a relatively low cost of living. The state’s cost of living index is 87, which is much lower than the national average of 100. Indiana is also known to be tax-friendly to retirees since social security retirement benefits are excluded from the state income tax.
Paying For Assisted Living in Indiana
The Cost of Assisted Living in Indiana
The monthly median cost of an assisted living facility is $4,385, which is a bit higher than the national average of $4,000. The monthly cost of assisted living in Indiana is higher than all of its bordering states.
The average monthly cost of assisted living varies across the state of Indiana, ranging from $3,400 to $5,200. The highest cost is in the Lafayette and Indianapolis areas, while the lowest is in Fort Wayne.
The state median cost of assisted living is less expensive than most other types of long-term care except independent living, which doesn’t provide all the services that assisted living does. It’s considerably cheaper than nursing home care, in particular, and marginally less expensive than in-home care.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Indiana
Indiana Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver
While Medicaid doesn’t directly pay for assisted living in Indiana, there is a waiver program which does. The Indiana Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver is designed to help the elderly and disabled who require care services similar to that of nursing homes. The program supports individuals in certain Medicaid-approved assisted living facilities and adult family care homes or foster homes. The waiver also provides the Consumer-Directed Attended Care Program (CDAC) that allows individuals to choose their own care providers, which can include friends and family members.
This waiver program has a cap of 13,000 people who can use the program at one time, and a waiting list of five years is available.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants who are eligible for Indiana Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver should:
- Be residents of Indiana
- Be aged, blind, or otherwise disabled
- Agree to live in approved care residences instead of nursing homes
- Qualify for institutional care that is provided at a nursing home
- Have a monthly income limited to $2,250 or/and countable assets limited to $2,000 as single applicants
How to Apply
The first step is to apply for Medicaid. The local Area Agencies on Aging will assess the level of care the applicant requires and initiates the Medicaid application process (Indiana Application for Health Coverage). On approval, the applicant can apply for the Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver.
More Ways to Finance Assisted Living
Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:
- Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on benefits.va.gov.
- Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at longtermcare.acl.gov
- Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit longtermcare.acl.gov.
- Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Indiana
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Indiana has a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program which advocates for residents of state-run nursing homes and other licensed assisted living residences. The duty of an ombudsman is to investigate any complaints by the aged or disabled residents of state agencies, offers alternatives to nursing home care, and promote community involvement.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office can be reached at:
Phone: 1-800-622-4484 or 317-232-7134
Email: [email protected]
Area Agencies on Aging
The Area Agencies on Aging in Indiana (AAA) offer guidance, referrals, and information to the aged and disabled about the various services the state offers to help them. AAAs provide services such as legal help, case management, counseling, wellness activities, transportation, and more.
|Area Agency on Aging||Address||Phone Number|
(Lake, Porter, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, and Starke Counties)
5240, Fountain Drive, Crown Point, Indiana, 46307
(Elkhart, LaPorte, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties)
1151, S. Michigan Street, South Bend, Indiana, 46601-3427
(Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley Counties)
2927, Lake Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46805-5414
(Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Montgomery, Warren and White Counties)
660 N. 36th Street, Lafayette, Indiana, 47903-4727
(Fulton, Cass, Miami, Wabash, Howard and Tipton Counties)
1801, Smith Street, Suite 300, Logansport, Indiana, 46947-1577
(Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison and Randolph Counties)
1701, Pilgrim Boulevard, Yorktown, Indiana, 47396-0308
(Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillon, and Vigo Counties)
1718, Wabash Avenue, Terre Haute, Indiana, 47807
(Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan and Hendricks Counties)
4755, Kingsway Drive, Suite 200, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46205-1560
(Fayette, Rush, Franklin, Union and Wayne Counties)
1701, Pilgrim Boulevard, Yorktown, Indiana, 47396-0308
(Monroe and Owen Counties)
631, West Edgewood Drive, Ellettsville, Indiana, 47429
(Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson and Jennings Counties)
1531, 13th Street, Suite G900, Columbus, Indiana, 47201
(Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland Counties)
13091, Benedict Drive, Dillsboro, Indiana, 47018
(Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Greene, Martin and Pike Counties)
1019 N. 4th Street, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
(Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott Counties)
33 State Street, Third Floor, New Albany, Indiana, 47151-0995
(Crawford, Lawrence, Orange and Washington Counties)
521 West Main Street, Mitchell, Indiana 47446
(Gibson, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties)
16 W. Virginia Street, Evansville, Indiana 47737-3938
Indiana has several VA centers to help veterans and their families access resources and benefit programs specifically designed for them. The programs offered include healthcare, education, housing, disability, employment, life insurance, and pensions. VA centers were created to help veterans understand eligibility and application for every program.
|VA Center||Address||Phone Number|
8330, Naab Road, Suite 103, Indianapolis, IN 46260
5800, Fairfield Avenue, Suite 265, Fort Wayne, IN 46807
4727, Miami Street, South Bend, IN 46614
1100 North Burkhardt Road, Evansville, IN 47715
107, East 93 Avenue, Crown Point, IN 46307
Social Security Offices
Social security offices help senior citizens understand their social security retirement benefits. They also administer other federal plans like supplemental security income, Medicare, and other disability benefits.
|Social Security Office||Address||Phone Number|
117 S Scatterfield Rd., Anderson, Indiana, 46012
1240 South Grandstaff, Auburn, Indiana, 46706
515 W Patterson Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403
2535 Arnold Street, Columbus, Indiana, 47203
1515 S Grant Avenue, Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
231 Waterfall Drive, Elkhart, Indiana 46516
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Indiana
Assisted Living Service Plans
Every applicant for assisted living is individually examined before being admitted. Based on the evaluation, the facility should draw up a service plan specific to the needs and interests of the resident. The resident’s preferences for service provisions are also considered. The evaluation should be updated semi-annually to ensure the service plan is appropriate for the resident.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Individuals who can be admitted to an assisted living facility must be:
- Residents of Indiana
- Mentally stable
- Functional and able to do at least 3 daily living activities like eating, toileting, and moving without total assistance
Additionally, those seeking to reside in an assisted living facility should not:
- Be a danger to themselves or others
- Require 24-hour-a-day comprehensive, trained nursing care
- Require any rehabilitative therapies
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Assisted living facilities (or residential care facilities in Indiana) don’t require a license unless they administer medication or residential nursing care. The scope of care of an assisted living facility includes:
- Social or leisure activities
- Minimal assistance in daily living activities
A resident does not have to be discharged if he or she is receiving hospice services from a licensed practitioner of the resident’s choice. The resident has the right to choose his or her own physicians and providers.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
While Indiana’s Medicaid program doesn’t directly cover the cost of assisted living for all low-income seniors, there is a waiver program that can help cover the cost of assisted living called “Indiana’s Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver.” If a facility participates in the Medicaid Waiver program, it must provide its applicants and residents with written information about the programs benefits, services, and application process.
The waiver provides eligible elderly and disabled adults an alternative to a nursing facility and allows them to remain in an assisted living facility, an adult foster care, or their own home. This waiver program has a cap of 13,000 people who can use the program at one time, and a waiting list of five years is available.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
An Indiana assisted living facility must file a disclosure form with the Family and Social Services Agency Division of Aging. Facilities that are enrolled in the Medicaid waiver program must offer units with a bedroom, a private bath, a substantial living area, and a kitchen. Kitchens must have a refrigerator, stove top or oven, microwave, and an area to prepare food.
The Indiana State Department of Health has specified living arrangements. All facilities must have:
- Provisions for the disabled as per Indiana’s rules and regulations
- Air conditioning, ventilation, heating, and plumbing systems that comply with the state’s safety commission.
- Access to and provide safe and potable water approved by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
- Proper sewage management as per the laws and rules by the state’s water pollution control board.
- Outside windows that provide light and ventilation in each room equal to one-tenth of the total floor area.
- An automatic control valve to control water temperatures, which should be between 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Every resident should be provided with:
- A bed with a clean, comfortable mattress as per the resident’s requirements
- A bedside cabinet
- A bedside lamp
- A cushioned comfortable chair
- Curtains or screens as per the resident’s preferences
- A unit that opens directly into the corridor
- Equipment to summon a staff member
- Individual closet space
For a facility plan approved before April 1997, the state has drawn a certain ratio between toilet facilities and the number of residents. For facilities approved after April 1997, the state has made it mandatory for each unit to have a private toilet and a bathtub or shower.
Medication Management Regulations
The Indiana State Department of Health has spelled out rules and laws for assisted living facilities to manage medication, including the following stipulations.
- Administration of medications shall be ordered by the resident’s physician and supervised and administered by a licensed nurse, a qualified medical aid, or medical practitioner on the premises of the facility or on call.
- Each resident must have a primary care physician according to his or her preference.
- Effects of medications must be documented and reported to the physician.
- Each time a medication is administered, details like time, the name of the medication, dosage, and the name and initials of the individual administering the drug must be recorded in the resident’s treatment record.
The facility must hire sufficient staff with qualifications and training that comply with the state’s laws. A minimum of 1 awake staff member with a CPR and first aid certificate per 50 residents shall be on the site at all times.
Staff Training Requirements
Each employee should be given an orientation which includes:
- Instructions on the needs of specialized individuals including aged, mentally and physically disabled, children, and people with dementia
- A review of the facility’s policy and procedure manual
- Instructions in first aid, emergency procedures, disaster management, and the evacuation process
- A review of ethical considerations and confidentiality
- Information on the particular needs of each resident.
An in-house education program should be designed to include residents’ rights, prevention and control of infection, and fire and accident prevention. An in-service program record must be maintained to indicate if each employee has met the required number of in-service hours annually.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Complaints or infractions in any healthcare facility must be reported to the Indiana State Department of Health. The ISDH Incident Reporting System is the state’s online system to process reports of any untoward incidents taking place at a healthcare facility. On receiving the complaint, the ISDH conducts an inspection in a day or two to ensure quality health care.
The Incident Reporting Form available on the ISDH website should be filled and e-mailed at [email protected] before reporting the incident online. A complaint can also be reported at the toll-free Complaint Report number at 1-800-246-8909.
Elder abuse should be reported to the Adult Protective Services by calling at 1-800-992-6978. There are 15 APS Units across Indiana to help elderly who are victims of neglect, exploitation, or battery.