Let us help you get informed
You’re having to make some serious decisions regarding the care and living arrangements of a loved one. This time can be a challenging process to collect all the information you need while making the right decisions for your family.
We’ve compiled several questions and answers we commonly hear from people just like you. Click on the question below to reveal the answer. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us to ask us directly.
For senior adults who need assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, bathing or (in some states) medication management, assisted living delivers a helping hand. While needs vary from minimal to much, the services are designed to preserve each individual’s sense of independence and a fulfilling lifestyle. That’s why you’ll often find many of the retirement services and amenities of independent living in an assisted living community – such as dining options, fitness centers, hobby and recreation options, and a full schedule of educational and social activities.
Memory care communities are specially designed to serve residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Services and amenities related to this type of care may also be offered in assisted living or skilled nursing care settings. Those services and amenities designed specifically for memory care may include self-contained neighborhoods, secured units or buildings, comprehensive supervision and security, medication assistance, rehabilitation programs and daily activities designed to keep minds active.
A Skilled Nursing Facility provides skilled nursing and rehabilitative care such as physical, occupational and speech therapies for the rehabilitation of recovering persons. Residents who are best suited for Skilled Nursing require 24-hour oversight by a licensed nurse.
Assisted Living is designed for senior adults who value their independent lifestyle, but may need some additional assistance in daily activities such as dressing, bathing or medication management.
Assisted Living communities differ from Skilled Nursing in that they don’t offer complex medical services. Assisted Living communities differ from Home Health as they provide health care coordination by licensed nursing staff, social opportunities such as outings, art class and fitness programs. Home Health is provided only in the patient’s home. Seniors who prefer being independent, but need to be relieved from the burden of maintaining their home, which includes preparing meals, laundry, and housekeeping are good candidates for Independent Living.
Each person is unique, and a good indicator that Assisted Living might be the right choice is a slight decline in health or in performing one or more tasks of activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, or remembering to take medications.
Assisted Living is regulated by each individual state. As a result, every state has their own policies that define what care and services are required for an Assisted Living community to meet their specific standards.
Supplemental services offered typically include: three meals per day, housekeeping, laundry service, personal care assistance (bathing, toileting, and dressing), as well as access to health care and medical services, on-site social and spiritual activities, recreation and exercise facilities, wellness programs, transportation arrangements, and 24-hour security.
Community amenities can vary but common amenities include wellness/fitness room, salon, spa room, mail center, and transportation. Social programming is a vital piece to the Assisted Living experience. Activities may include outings to baseball games and concerts, in-house art classes, bingo, and happy hour.
Assisted Living apartments can vary in size, design, and accommodations. Architecturally, Assisted Living communities can vary from a high rise apartment building, to a ranch style home, or even be a part of a larger campus including Independent Living and Skilled Nursing. Choices in floor plans can typically range from a studio apartment to a two-bedroom apartment. Typically, most apartments also contain a private bath, kitchenette, closet space and living areas.
The national average for a private one-bedroom apartment in an Assisted Living community is a little over $3,000 per month ($36,000 annually). Rental rates vary depending on the room size and location within a given community. At times, costs can be offset by programs such as VA Aid and Attendance and home-based and community services. Typically private insurance policies do not cover Assisted Living, however we encourage you to check with your specific carrier for details.
The philosophy of care plays a vital role in the daily quality of life for the resident. A resident’s independence and freedom of choice should be the cornerstone to any Assisted Living philosophy. Feel free to interview the staff regarding policies specific to the community in order to obtain a better understanding of their philosophy of care.
Medicare is a federally funded government program that covers a specific duration of skilled services including physical, occupational and speech therapies, typically for short-term stays. Medicaid is a state program to help offset the cost of nursing home care for individuals who meet eligibility, and is considered a long-term option for individuals who may need financial assistance.
A skilled care stay is often needed after a surgery or hospitalization due to illness or injury. Medicare provides coverage for skilled care on a short-term basis when the following criteria are met:
- A senior is currently receiving Medicare Part A (Hospital insurance) benefits and is therefore 65 years or older or has been formally diagnosed with renal failure.
- A hospital stay of three or more consecutive days (three midnights) within the past 30 days.
- A physician has determined that skilled care and/or rehabilitation is medically necessary due to a current health condition.
- The skilled services required are provided in a facility that has been certified by Medicare.
If all of these conditions are met, Medicare will contribute to the nursing home cost required on a short-term basis (up to 100 days). Specifically, Medicare will provide 100% coverage for Skilled Nursing costs for the first 20 days of a nursing home stay. From day 21 through day 100 of the benefit period, the individual is responsible for paying 20% of the total cost while they continue to meet Medicare requirements.
Most Medicare supplement insurance will cover the co-pay up to day 100 of skilled services, providing the individual continues to meet Medicare requirements. Prior to admission, all insurance is verified by our facility financial advisor to give the family peace of mind that services will be covered.
At the time of admission, we spend time to get to know your family member and complete an interest survey. We will suggest wellness programming such as healthy eating cooking classes to compliment the short-term therapy. Residents at our facilities are offered a large variety of individual and group activities including games, outings, art and craft classes, spiritual activities, among others.
Visitation with family and friends is always encouraged. Should the resident be short-term care, the visitor should check with the nurse to avoid conflict with the resident’s therapy schedule.