Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 1, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 1, 2012


(in California, Medi-Cal)

Dear Savvy Senior:

What are the eligibility requirements to get Medicaid 
coverage for nursing home care?

Looking Ahead

Dear Looking:

The rules and requirements for Medicaid eligibility 
for nursing home care are somewhat complicated 
and will vary according to the state you live 
in. With that said, here’s a general, simplified rundown of what it takes to qualify, along with some 
resources you can turn to for help.

Medicaid Rules 

Medicaid, the federal and state joint program that covers health care for the poor, is also the largest 
single payer of America’s nursing home bills for seniors who don’t have the resources to pay for their 
own care.

Most people who enter nursing homes don’t qualify for Medicaid at first, but pay for care either 
through long-term care insurance or out-of-pocket until they deplete their savings and become eligible 
for Medicaid. 

To qualify for Medicaid, your income and assets will need to be under a certain level that’s determined 
by your state. Most states require that a person have no more than about $2,000 in countable assets 
that includes cash, savings, investments or other financial resources that can be turned into cash. 

Assets that aren’t counted for eligibility include your home if it’s valued under $525,000 (this limit 
is higher – up to $786,000 – in some states), your personal possessions and household goods, one 
vehicle, prepaid funeral plans and a small amount of life insurance. 

But be aware that while your home is not considered a countable asset to determine your eligibility, 
if you can’t return to your home, Medicaid can go after the proceeds of your house to help reimburse 
your nursing home costs, unless your spouse or other dependent relative lives there. (There are some 
other exceptions to this rule.) 

After qualifying, all sources of your income such as Social Security and pension checks must be 
turned over to Medicaid to pay for your care, except for a small personal needs allowance – usually 
between $30 and $90. 

You also need to be aware that you can’t give away your assets to qualify for Medicaid faster. Medicaid 
officials will look at your financial records going back five years to root out suspicious asset transfers. 
If they find one, your Medicaid coverage will be delayed a certain length of time, according to a formula 
that divides the transfer amount by the average monthly cost of nursing home care in your state. 

So if, for example, you live in a state where the average monthly nursing home cost is $5,000 and you 
gave away cash or other assets worth $100,000, you would be ineligible for benefits for 20 months 
($100,000 divided by $5,000 = 20). 

Spousal Protection

Medicaid also has special rules for married couples when one spouse enters a nursing home and the 
other spouse remains at home. In these cases, the healthy spouse can keep one half of the couple’s 
assets up to $113,640 (this amount varies by state), the family home, all the furniture and household 
goods and one automobile. The healthy spouse is also entitled to keep a portion of the couple’s 
monthly income – between $1,838 and $2,841. Any income above that goes toward the cost of the 
nursing home recipient’s care. 

What about Medicare?

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors 65 and older and some younger people 
with disabilities, does not pay for long-term care. It only helps pay up to 100 days of “rehabilitative” 
nursing home care, which must occur after a hospital stay.

Get Help

Again, Medicaid rules are complicated and vary by state, so contact the local Medicaid office (call 
800-633-4227 for contact information) for eligibility details. 

You can also get help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides 
free counseling on all Medicare and Medicaid issues. To find a local SHIP counselor visit, 
or call 800-677-1116. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

September Birthdays

Judie Cimino, Donna Anderson, Linda Knowles, 
Gwen Robertson, Nancy Shollenberger, Meegan 
Tosh, Geri Wright, Theresa Chaure, Esther Macias, 
Sheila Pierce, Denise Reistetter, Edwina Garcia, 
Yvonne Osti


Senior Programs have returned to the Hart 
Park House enior Center, 222 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd. in Memorial Park - Come by and 
see the changes!!

Mondays: City Hall & Lunch Café 

12 noon: Intervale Lunch Café: Come enjoy 
a hot meal with others. Donation for 
seniors (60+) of $2.00; visitors $3.75. Call 
355-0256 to make your daily reservation.


 FREE blood pressure checks by Methodist 
Hospital Nurse; 11 am to 12 noon.

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm 

BINGO; NEW TIME 1-3PM cards are 
only 25 cents each so stop by & play

5:15 pm to 6:45 pm: Yoga; $6.00 - 50 
& over. Please call 355-5278 for more 


11 –11:45 am: Balance Class with Teryl. 
FREE class designed to improve balance 
& refresh the joints

12 noon: Intervale Lunch Café; daily reservations 
needed 355-0256

2nd Wednesday of the month: FREE Legal 
Consultations: 10-11:30 am. Appointments 
call 355-7394

Wii Wednesday - 1:00 pm or call the senior 
desk at 355-7394 to arrange another 
time & day to learn how to play. No previous 
experience or skills required and it is 
great exercise.


1:00 to 3:30 pm: Game Day. Join us for 
Poker and more. Wii - 1:00 pm or call the 
senior desk at 355-7394 to arrange another 
time & day to learn how to play. No 
previous experience or skills required and 
it is great exercise. Please call for more 

Fridays: Intervale Lunch Café; daily reservations 
needed 355-0256

1:00 pm to 1:45 pm: Strength Training 
with Lisa Brandley. FREE class of stretching 
with light hand weights while you sit.

Saturdays: 11:30 am: Senior Club brown 
bag lunch and BINGO at 12:30 pm. 


Meals are delivered to home-
bound seniors by volunteer drivers 
through the YWCA Intervale 
Lunch Program M-F (with frozen meals for the 

 Call the YWCA at (626) 214-9460 for more 



All seniors 60 years of age and up can take part in the 
YWCA Intervale daily lunch program held

at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are 
served Monday through Friday at 12:00pm

(participants are encouraged to arrive no later than 
11:45am). Meals are a suggested donation of

$2.00 for seniors 60 and over or $3.75 for non-senior 
guests. Daily reservations are necessary, as

space is limited. Please reserve your lunch by calling 
626-355-0256 at least 24 hours in advance.


Free Tickets for Two!

On Saturday, September 29,2012 you and a 
friend can visit participating museums for free! 

To register for your free ticket for two go to 

Participating L.A. area museums include: Autry

National Center, California Science Center, 
Skirball Cultural Center, L.A. Museum of the 
Holocaust and more! 

You can stop by the Hart Park House for assistance 
signing up for free tickets. 

Call 626-355-7394 for more info.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Departure: Charter bus leaves at 
9:30am from the Hart Park House

Lunch & Activities: 11:00am-2:00pm

Return: Bus will arrive back in Sierra 
Madre at approximately 3:30pm

Cost: $34 includes transportation, 
lunch and tip

For more information on Riley’s Farm 
please visit their website at http:// The deadline

for registration is Wednesday, 

September 5, 2012.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Departure: 9:30am from the Hart Park 

Lunch& Activities: 10:30am-2:00pm

Return: Sierra Madre approximately 

Cost: $10 (does not include lunch)

More Info: Call the Hart Park House at 

Graber Olive House tour highlights

the tradition of grading, curing and

canning of Graber Olives! For more

information on the Graber Olive 
House please visit www.graberolives.
com. After the tour lunch will be 
eaten as a group at Molly’s Souper, a

fantastic brunch restaurant in Upland. 
All participants are required to eat at 
the same restaurant. 

The registration deadline is Monday, 
October 22, 2012.


 It’s strange the things that 
people can feel passionately 
about. Of course politics 
and religion are right up 
there, but there’s a host of 
largely irrelevant topics 
that really concern some folks. I recall 
one of my friends saying that she knew her 
boyfriend was “the one” in part because he 
had numerous spools of dental floss in his 
bathroom. She probably doesn’t realize that 
the rest of us don’t consider dental hygiene to 
be as much of a “make or break” issue as she 
does. Nevertheless, I don’t mean to belittle 
her priorities.

 Many of our opinions were planted in our 
psyches during formative years 
in childhood. My mom always 
warned me of the dangers of 
“wedge” shoes. These high heels 
originated during the 70’s, and 
have experienced a vibrant rebirth 
in today’s fashion. As you might 
remember from past articles, I am 
as far from fashion consciousness 
as Kim Kardashian is from a pair 
of size 3 pants. So, my mom’s 
admonition didn’t register with 
me. That is, until one of my grad 
school professors broke both 
ankles at once by tripping on the 
two inch sidewalk incline outside 
our classroom. She was wearing 
wedge shoes at the time, and ended 
up in a wheelchair for months. If I 
had any latent interest in sporting 
wedges, that incident put me off 
them for good!

 Some other strong opinions held by people 
are borne of their own experience. These 
people rarely realize how stark raving mad 
they sound when popping off about their 
pet interest. They might eventually notice 
the people they’re talking to are eyeing them 
warily. But by then, it’s usually too late in the 
conversation to make repairs. I discovered 
this recently when I went out to lunch with 
a friend.

 Although we’re friends, we haven’t really 
known each other that long. In other words, 
we’re not the sort of chums who finish each 
others sentences. But still, we enjoy each 
other’s company.

 At this latest get together, we casually 
chatted about our day-to-day activities, as 
we usually do. Then, somehow, the topic of 
stairs came up. I can’t carry on a conversation 
about stairs unless I know whether or not 
they’re carpeted. So, of course I asked her 
if they were. Not knowing the can of worms 
she was opening, she answered “yes.” She 
wasn’t even promoting the idea of carpeted 
stairs, but just the mention of them tipped 
me over the edge into my long rant about the 
inherent evil of carpeted stairs.

 If you are neutral on this topic, humor 
my efforts to dissuade you from ever, EVER 
having carpeted stairs. Stairs, in and of 
themselves, are dangerous enough. Thank 
goodness for building codes regulating 
the ratio of rises to treads! If you’ve ever 
walked on stairs not built to code, you 
know what I’m talking about. It takes 
complete concentration to not trip down the 
whole flight. Which prompts the question 
--why aren’t there carpeted stairs in public 
buildings? Ever notice that? There must be a 
lawsuit or two behind it.

 As if stairs weren’t hazardous enough, 
carpeting just makes them all the more 
slippery. And if you’re wearing socks and 
walking on carpeted stairs, Watch out! My 
aunt knocked herself unconscious one night 
when she fell down her friends’ carpeted 
stairs. There’s still a dent in the plaster where 
her head smashed against the wall. Another 
friend of mine often recalls an incident when 
he was walking (in socks) down their flight 
of carpeted stairs carrying his infant son. He 
tripped, but gripped the child to his chest. 
His son made it out unharmed, but my friend 
bruised a vertebrae or two. 

 The take away message is: Don’t wear 
wedges or have carpeted stairs in your home. 
It’s easy for me to take my own advice, since 
I couldn’t give a hoot about fashion and don’t 
own a home. And, thankfully, my landlord 
has no carpeted stairs in my apartment! So, 
for all you wedge-wearing, carpeted stairs-
owning people --you’ve been warned!


Join the Senior Community Commission

at the HART PARK HOUSE for a FREE presentation. 
Lunch is available for a $2 donation. 
Call (626) 355-0256 by noon the day before. 

Fall Prevention Seminar • Sept. 5 @ 12:30pm 

September is Fall Prevention Month, and we are 
helping seniors “watch their steps” with a great fall 
prevention seminar by ComForcare Senior 

Services. We will look at personal risk factors for

falling and home safety issues that cause falls.

We will also discuss easy ways to correct these

problems so that our seniors can continue to live

actively and independently. This seminar will be

fun and interactive!

Kensington Q&A Session • Sept. 19 @ 12:15pm

Developer Billy Shields, a representative of the

Kensington Assisted Living Project, will be at the

Hart Park House to host a Q&A session. This is the

perfect opportunity to find out more about the

Kensington project that will be on the November

ballot which may impact Measure V. Kensington

proposes an assisted living facility at 33 N.

Hermosa Ave. and 245 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in

Sierra Madre.


The Hart Park House Senior Center is 
expanding the monthly movie program 
to two movies in September. 

One classic and one contemporary

movie will be shown on the 2nd and 4th

Wednesdays of the month. As an added 
bonus, at the end of the movie the audience 
will get to choose the movies for the 
following month! All movies begin at 
1:00pm in the Council Chambers

and are absolutely free.

CHICAGO • Sept. 12

Sept. 26