Most seniors want to remain living in their homes, and that is understandable. Maintaining a sense of independence is essential for them, but there are concerns and drawbacks associated with aging in place.
Health challenges in older seniors can reduce their ability to move around, keep track of medication schedules, as well as diminish their sight and hearing.
According to the Center for Decease Control around 9% of seniors ages, 75 to 84 need help with their personal care. That number grows to 21% starting at 85 yrs old.
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF’s) offer assistance to older adults who don’t need regular medical care while supporting an independent lifestyle.
In some states, assisted living is called residential care or personal care. Our Loving Assisted Living experts will help you find the best community for yourself or a loved one.
What Does Assisted Living Provide?
Assisted Living Facilities provides residents round-the-clock support with personal care, daily living activities (ADLs), and tasks in a home-like community. As a result, residents lead a healthier lifestyle with a built-in social life.
Basic assisted living homes services include aid with everyday hygiene, dressing, grooming, housekeeping, dining, laundry, transportation, and coordination. As well as medication management and a community event calendar.
When all household tasks are covered, time can be enjoyed in a safe and engaging environment that is designed to promote independence and social connections.
Some assisted living homes have Memory Care Units, providing specialized care for residents facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other types of memory impairment.
Benefits of Assisted Living
According to research, seniors who move to a retirement community live 7-10 years longer. Improvement in the quality of life will help slow down cognitive decline while keeping residents healthier and happier. You can have peace of mind when there is 24-hour staff available for the safety, care, and support of your loved one.
When do you know if assisted living is the right choice? It is best to think back over the past year if your loved one is having issues with the following:
- They’ve experienced at least one fall, with or without injury.
- Meal preparation is becoming more difficult.
- You’ve noticed signs of hunger or that nutritional needs aren’t being met.
- It’s getting harder for them to safely move around the house.
- More help is needed getting dressed, bathing, managing medication, or with other daily activities.
- You have worries about isolation and/or their safety.
Is Assisted Living Right For You?
Prospective residents are required to undergo a resident evaluation to assess mental capacity, physical capabilities to perform daily living tasks, as well as their social/emotional circumstances. Therefore, allowing the administration to determine the level of care required for their everyday activities, physical health, and senior wellness.
The candidate must submit a current medical evaluation from their primary physician, including health status, prescriptions, medical conditions, and dietary needs. These will be updated continuously to ensure needs are appropriately being met.
What’s An Assisted Living Facility Community Like?
ALF’s are home-like communities for seniors who don’t have a serious illness, therefore need low to moderate levels of assistance. Unlike a nursing home that provides 24-hour skilled medical care in a clinical setting.
While each community is different, you can find individual rooms, apartments, or shared quarters for your housing options. There can also be gathering spaces, restaurants, a library, a fitness room, and general outdoor space among other amenities.
Assisted living communities or independent living both have the same type of lifestyle benefits and social activities. The staff at assisted living communities treat all of their residents with respect and dignity, support their independence, and improve their quality of life.
Assisted living is regulated in all 50 states. Be sure to check your state’s regulations.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
How much does assisted living cost? That will depend on the type of senior living that you want and the amount of care that you need.
Assisted living costs can vary from state to state, for example, senior living is more expensive in California than in Tennessee.
When you consider senior care choices, the cost is an important factor. On average assisted living can be far more economical than long-term in-home care or nursing home care.
The cost of assisted living facilities will also vary from home to home, so the price will come down to what you are looking for and what your loved one needs.
Assisted Living Cost
At first glance, the cost of assisted living may seem daunting. Nonetheless, compared to the average cost of a nursing home ($5,000 to $10,000 a month) or in-house care (about $4,000 a month for 40 hours of care a week).
Assisted living is often one of the more accessible choices if your loved one does not require immediate medical care.
According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in the U.S. is about $4,300 a month, or around $51,600 a year. This can vary widely depending on the venue, facilities available, level of care provided, and other factors.
For example, the average cost of assisted living in California in 2020, is $4,917/ month. However, based on the geographical region of the state it can range from $3,442 in Bakersfield to approx. $6,113 in Santa Rosa.
The cost of assisted living will also vary from community to community, and also depending on the lifestyle that you want.
How Levels of Care Affect Pricing
Assisted living fits between an independent living community and a skilled nursing facility. Most ALF’s base their pricing structure on the level of care provided for each resident.
A person who does not need any specialized care will expect to pay less than someone who requires constant support, medication management, or assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, toileting, or dressing.
When a person needs hands-on treatment, such as help getting around, feeding themselves, or taking large quantities of medicine (the threshold is often six or seven prescriptions), the cost eventually increases. And if their needs shift, the monthly cost might be expected to fluctuate.
Moreover, most facilities provide a comprehensive price list of care rates, before moving in and periodically, or if requested during a careful evaluation.
How Are Care Levels Assessed?
Though the components of each care standard differ from facility to facility, some common standards exist. There are two types of services beyond room and board: basic services and care & supervision.
Basic services are community activities, personal assistance, and coordinating medical and dental visits. Care and supervision consist of help with hygiene, dressing, and grooming, supervising self-administered medications, and dietary needs.
Most assisted living institutions use a point system to determine the level of care needed for a patient.
No cost-of-care bill applies if the patient is considered safe and needs no assistance. This may also extend to residents who need only verbal instructions to complete their daily living activities (ADLs).
The components usually defining the level of care needed by a resident are described below.
Two considerations must be weighed about the bathing needs of a resident:
- Does the person need to shower or bathe in help?
- How often do they need help?
An assisted living facility will want to know if a person can dress without help. There are two considerations related to clothing:
- The desire to clothe yourself (e.g. zipping, buttoning, and moving your body)
- The ability to make good choices, including choosing suitable clothes for the weather or event
Grooming requires understanding and having the autonomous ability to:
- Brush hair
- Clean teeth
Assisted living facilities need to assess how much support a new resident needs to get around.
- Rising from a seated position
- Climbing stairs
Residents who can manage their incontinence without help (e.g., a resident who can change his or her own liner or diaper) should not be factoring this service into the care amount.
Providing help with their supplies will incur additional costs.
Higher care levels include residents who present challenges regarding their incontinence; for example, a resident who refuses to allow aids to change his or her diapers.
As a separate service, it is normal for facilities to price incontinence care according to the needs of an individual patient.
At a higher level of care, a patient who needs treatment from multiple caregivers at the same time is likely to be evaluated.
Several conditions that would require multiple caregivers include:
- The resident who needs a high degree of pain management
- A resident who presents further challenges while obtaining bathing assistance or changing his diaper
- Senior who tends to escape or leave the facility
- A resident who is a very high risk of falling
- Senior who requires physical therapy exercise assistance
Residents who need help with feeding can fall into all care rates. The lowest level involves people who can feed themselves but need assistance in cutting food into bits of bite-size.
Higher care rates may allow a caregiver to be present at all mealtimes, either because the resident is physically unable to eat independently or because he or she is at risk of choking.
Some residents may be put at a higher level of care if they have issues with foods that pose nutritional, health, or medical danger while eating.
Lower levels of care help hold prescriptions filled and monitor or prescribe oral or inhaled drugs.
Lower treatment rates are for patients who need assistance with injectable medications and need nursing supervision.
Many institutions often position residents on a higher level of care who require advanced medication management. It typically occurs when a facility has a defined number of threshold-determining drugs.
Residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia generally require specialized Memory Care. As dementia appears to be progressive, such residents will need to be periodically reassessed.
Most facilities assess the needs of a patient, taking into account the following criteria:
- Diagnosis: was the resident diagnosed with dementia? If so, determining skills and needs.
- Compliance: Is the person exhibiting combative or challenging behaviors?
- Monitoring: Does the resident need to be monitored very regularly? Are there ample routine tests, such as in the morning, at night, and a few times during the day?
- Facilities with memory care units have tools for monitoring dementia patients, which can help reduce the workload on caregivers and potentially the cost for residents.
Laundry service is sometimes included in the monthly rate, but sometimes it’s charged separately. Every facility has a different policy, so make sure to ask.
What is the Difference Between Assisted Living And Nursing Homes?
The main difference between assisted living and nursing homes is that assisted living provides personal care for a residence that needs help with daily activities but does not need a skilled nursing home.
A nursing home is good for a senior when they need a feeding tube, and they need around the clock care, while assisted living does not provide that.
Assisted living communities offer a range of social activities, and have a communal feel to them, where are nursing homes do not.
What Is The Difference Between Assisted Living And Memory Care?
The main difference between assisted living and memory care is that memory care facilities are designed for seniors with dementia and Alzheimers.
Many assisted living communities do offer memory care, they are usually separated from the assisted living residents, as they have different needs.
Memory care is more expensive and it cost about 20 to 30%more per month than assisted living, as the residents need more specialized care.
What Is The Difference Between Assisted Living And Independent Living?
The main difference between the two is that independent living is best for seniors who do not need any assistance with their daily activities.
The seniors are still able to function independently with their day-to-day activities. With independent living, they do provide meals, housekeeping, and laundry service.
How Can I Pay For Assisted Living?
You might be surprised to hear that Medicare does not pay or cover any cost for assisted living, but there are potentially other options for you to consider to help you to pay for assisted living.
- Medicaid in some states does offer some financial help with assisted living for seniors who qualify.
- Life Insurance can help you pay for assisted living if you cash out of the policy early. Some companies will buy back the policy for the cash value.
- Long Term Care Insurance will cover some of the costs of long-term care. These policies may not pay for all of your long-term care needs.
- VA Aid And Benefit can help you pay for assisted living for an elderly veteran.
- Reverse Mortgages can be a good option for you to pay for your assisted living, getting a reverse mortgage while you wait for the home to be sold.
When is the Right Time For Assisted Living?
When is the right time to move a loved one into an assisted living facility and out of their home? This is a difficult and emotional decision to make.
The most important thing to consider is the safety of the loved one. The signs can be there when the loved one has difficulty with the following:
- Having difficulty with daily activities
- Falling in the home
- Increased weight loss
- Changes in appearance, being unkempt.
- Signs of dangerous driving
- Old food in the house
- Dirty home, unmade beds, and laundry
When is the right time for a senior to transition into an assisted living home, this will become clear when you start to notice some items from the above list.
What Should I Look For With Assisted Living?
The hardest part is choosing a community is to find one that your loved one will feel at home in, so it is important to visit the facility before you commit to it.
When you visit communities, you will get a sense of how things are, and you can chat with residents to find out their experiences.
Visiting a community is better than seeing photos or doing a virtual tour, even though most communities do provide virtual tours, nothing is better than visiting the actual home.
Also, you should look out for the following:
- Regular health assessments: Does the home do regular follow up health assessments
- Staff to resident ratio is important, you should know what it is
- What amenities does the home offer, it is important to know what they are
Where Can I Find Senior Living Communities Near Me?
If you are searching for senior living communities near me, we are here for you, as we will be able to help you find the best local senior living community.
We have a network of first-class senior living homes for you to choose from. We will give you the options that you want for senior assisted living.
If you want to find an active adult community, we have plenty for you to choose from, when you talk with us, please let us know what you are looking for in the senior assisted living residence.
Are There Senior Citizen Home Near Me?
Are you searching for a senior citizen home near me? we are here to help you with that search, we will help you to find a senior citizen assisted living community that will be the best fit for you.
When you require a retirement home for your loved one, it is difficult to know where to go, or who to talk to. we are here for you with your retirement home search.
We know that you want the best assisted senior care for your loved one, and we will help you to find it and a home that will work within your budget.
Where Can I Find 55+ Communities?
When you are looking for 55+ communities we can help you, no matter where you are living we will be able to help you to find the 55 and up community.
We will get you options and find out what you are looking for in your senior community. We can help you when you are searching for assisted living homes near me, contact us today, and let us help you.
Getting the assistance living you need, will all depend on the type of senior care home that you choose, it is important to choose the home that will provide you or your loved one with the assistance living that you need.
Assisted Living Options
There are many different types of assisted living options for you, and it will all depend on the type of care that you are looking for, and the style of living that you need.
If you find yourself searching for assisted living centers near me, we will provide you with multiple different options for the assisted living care that you want to have.
We can offer you so many different senior living options, it will come down to your taste and the requirements that you need to have.
Conclusion For Assisted Living
Having broken down what you can expect when you are looking into retirement living, we hope you now know what you can expect from an assisted living home.
We are a referral service, and we have a large network of senior living partners, all over the nation, so if you need to find the perfect assisted living services for your loved one, we are here to help you.
Here is some more information about assisted living.