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Long-term care residents soon may be in the money, and they can thank President Bush for it.

In case you haven’t heard (or read the McKnight’s online story on April 8), those who receive Social Security, veteran’s benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits of at least $3,000 can receive a $300 stimulus payment. It is part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which Congress passed in February.

Well, it’s about time.

Nursing home residents, many of whom are lucky to receive a measly few bucks a month as a Personal Daily Allowance from Medicaid, are due for a little extra dough.

And just so there is no confusion, the payment is the resident’s money to spend. It will not be taken away or applied to the cost of care.

I don’t know about you, but a few extra dollars would make my day. And so it should for residents.

To make it the special occasion that it is, one organization has offered some ideas for facilities. The Health Care Council of Illinois, a new public policy organization in the Land of Lincoln, suggests that providers use the greenback giveaway as an opportunity to engage residents.

Among its suggestions: Activity departments might have residents write essays on how they plan to spend their stimulus check. Facilities might also organize shopping trips for residents. (Hmmm … what I could buy with 300 smackers ...)

HCCI also recommends that facilities inform families of residents’ extra spending money, provided the proper paperwork is filed.

Money may not be the answer to the world’s problems, but it sure can make life a little greener.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.