Summertime, and the assisted living is easy

Mohawk Homestead achieves license for assisted living beds

By Barbara Pierce

The Mohawk Homestead, an adult care residence in Mohawk, has recently been licensed by the state of New York for assisted living beds.

Mohawk Valley In Good Health newspaper senior staff correspondent Barbara Pierce spoke with administrator Joe Franco about the recent development.

Q.: What is the significance of being licensed for assisted living beds?

A: Twenty of our 41 adult care beds have been licensed as assisted living beds. I’ve been working toward this goal for some time and pleased that we finally achieved it.

The New York State Assisted Living Program was instituted to provide long-term residential care for low-income New Yorkers. It’s intended for those who need assistance above and beyond what’s typically provided in an adult care facility.

This also means we can now be reimbursed by Medicaid, which will add a significant increase in revenue for the Homestead. This will also help us to consistently sustain a census at or above the break-even threshold.

Q.: What is the significance of this for your residents?

A.: As this program is designed for persons who are medically eligible for nursing home care, we are able to care for residents in a less medically intensive setting than they would find in a nursing home. Our small, personalized setting is far more desirable to many than a nursing home.

We provide a range of services, including personal care, room, board, housekeeping, supervision, home health aides, personal emergency response services, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical supplies and equipment, adult day health care, a range of home health services and a registered nurse.

We have a variety of activities going on every day, from sing-a-longs and musical entertainment, to crafts, bingo, cards, Bible study, sports discussions and educational seminars — something to interest everyone.

And we are able to provide assisted living program services at a lower cost than a nursing home. For low-income residents, basic services can be provided and subsidized through the Supplemental Security Income program at the level III rate and Medicaid subsidizes the ALP services.

Q.: You are a nonprofit facility. Does that have any significance for residents?

A.: In my experience, I think you get a higher quality of care with a nonprofit versus a privately owned facility with the goal of making a profit.

Q.: What else can you share about the Mohawk Homestead?

A.: Our motto says it all: “Where your family becomes a member of ours.” In my over 20 years of experience working with the elderly, I believe our personal care aides to be the best I’ve ever worked with. And we have excellent staff retention, so residents are able to deal with the same staff over time. Our food is great; meals are all made from scratch with very little frozen food.

Also, our building is one of the historical gems of the Mohawk Valley — a small Victorian-style adult home nestled in the quaint village of Mohawk.

We provide both respite (temporary) and long-term care.

I look forward to leading this facility into becoming the premier adult care home of the Mohawk Valley. I’m confident that the experienced, caring, and dedicated staff we have will allow us to provide services to residents that far exceed family and community expectations.

I welcome everyone to visit our unique and historical Mohawk Homestead.

(The Mohawk Homestead is located at 62 E. Main St., Mohawk. For more information, call 315-866-1841 or visit www.mohawkhomestead.org.)

Photo: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to recognize the opening of new assisted living space at the Mohawk Homestead.

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