Nevada's Community Options Program for the Elderly (COPE)

Program Description

The Community Options Program for the Elderly (COPE) program is intended to assist Nevada seniors that are functionally eligible for nursing home placement by providing them with services and supports that enable them to remain living at home. This program is targeted towards low-income state residents that are not eligible to receive Medicaid, due to having income and assets greater than Medicaid will allow. The services provided under COPE are non-medical in nature and include personal care, adult day care, and chore assistance, among others. 

 Under COPE, certain family members can be hired to provide care for their loved ones.

COPE offers several of its services on a consumer directed model, which means the participant is permitted to self-direct or choose their care service providers instead of requiring them to use care providers chosen by a state agency. Friends and even some family members may be hired to provide care and support services. Care providers must be approved, legal and the hourly rate that they are paid regulated.

This program is administered by Nevada's Aging and Disability Services Division and is funded by the state. It is worth noting that Nevada offers a very similar program for Medicaid eligible seniors called the Home and Community Based Waiver (previously known as the CHIP Program).

 Did You Know?  Nevada seniors are eligible to receive free estimates for bathroom safety modifications such as the addition of a walk-in tub.  More info.

 

Eligibility Guidelines

The COPE Program's eligibility requirements are somewhat complicated. The more straightforward rules are related to age and residency. Applicants must be at least 65 years of age and a legal Nevada resident.

Functionally, applicants must be assessed by a medical professional and found to be in need of the level of care typically provided in a nursing home. More directly this means, they may be unable to bathe, use a toilet, feed themselves, or perform other activities of daily living without assistance.

Financially, there are rules with regards to the applicant's income and resources, and these are less straight-forward.  COPE is a program intended for persons who ARE NOT eligible for Medicaid assistance.  Therefore, applicants must have income or assets GREATER than Medicaid allows.  If one’s monthly income is less than $2,205 in 2017 and their countable resources have less than $10,000 in value, then they will be eligible for NV Medicaid and therefore, ineligible for COPE.  However, COPE also has high income limits which are approximately $3,200 / month.  A ballpark income estimate then, is persons must have an annual incomes of between $26,000 - $38,000.

 

Benefits and Services

The COPE Program is categorized as a "nursing home diversion program".  That is to say it is intended to divert individuals from being placed in nursing homes. This is achieved by providing services to individuals in their homes with the intention of helping them to remain living there. Support services can be provided to help their caregivers as well. Each applicant is approved for a specific suite of services which can include any or all of the following.

  • Adult Day Care - daytime supervision and personal care
  • Caregiver Respite - temporary relief (up to 24-hours) of caregiving responsibilities
  • Case Management - assistance with the coordination of services and programs
  • Chore Services
  • Companion Care - non-medical care with the objective of socialization and supervision
  • Homemaker - in home, non-medical support
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Meal Preparation
  • Personal Care – assistance with activities of daily living, such as mobility, toiletry, eating, etc. 
  • Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) - electronic safety monitors such as LifeAlert
  • Shopping Assistance - personal help shopping for essential items

 

How to Apply / Learn More

COPE is open to Nevada residents statewide.   To learn more or apply for COPE, interested parties should contact their Nevada Aging and Disability Services Regional Office

 The COPE program limits enrollment and therefore a wait list may exist.  Fortunately, in recent years, the waiting period has been relatively short; less than 90 days for most individuals.  Wait listed individuals are prioritized based on the severity of need, not on a first come, first serve basis.