You Get What You Pay For
Among the largest concerns of most caregivers is the quality of care and amenities their loved ones will be getting. Entrusting a member of your family to a full-time assisted living community means placing a lot of trust in the establishment, and the people working there.
Here are the aspects of assisted living that you will want to carefully research when choosing and comparing prices:
Amenities What types of perks will your loved one have access to? Many communities offer gyms, spas, and pools to help promote and maintain whole body health. Nutritious food is very important, but so is the enjoyment of that food. Is the dining atmosphere more like a cafeteria, or more like a restaurant? Of course you will also want to find a place that offers a wide range of interesting and fun activities as well.
Quality of Care Check to see which medical professionals are in attendance, and when. Ask about emergency situations, and how they are handled. You will want to make sure that the proper diet and exercise is encouraged to maintain health and strength. What kind of preventative care is offered? Ensure that health problems are being actively avoided, rather than just treated.
Paying For Assisted Living Care
With assisted living care in North Carolina costing approximately $40,000 per year, on average, it is understandable that your family member might be concerned about how to pay for it. There are several options they may want to consider when it comes to funding senior housing community in the Tar Heel State.
Other Considerations / Questions
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How Much Does Assisted Living Cost
As you search for the right senior living option, you may find yourself awash in a wide variety of contracts, services and fees. Weighing your choices carefully is worth the time and research it takes so you can make an informed decision that meets all your objectives.
Overview Of Colorado Assisted Living
Colorado is known for its strikingly vivid landscape of mesas, plains, canyons and mountains. Coloradans have a myriad of outdoor activities at their fingertips, and are proud to have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the country. The Centennial State is home to The Rocky Mountains, a very popular tourist destination for hiking, climbing, skiing, fishing and snowboarding.
Residents who choose assisted living in Colorado have over 500 facilities to choose from, and a variety of activities within their reach. If youre a sports nut, the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies will keep you entertained all season long. If tranquility and relaxation are what youre after, Colorado has six national monuments, 11 national forests, a selection of natural hot springs and one geyser to calm your spirit.
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San Antonio Senior Centers
Senior centers in San Antonio provide locals age 55 and older with a safe place to socialize with peers and access a range of services that may include congregate meals, day trips, fitness classes and activities such as bingo, card games and crafts.
4135 Thousand Oaks San Antonio, Texas 78233 207-4590
2219 Babcock Road San Antonio, Texas 78229 207-5300
Granados Adult and Senior Center500 Freilling San Antonio, Texas 78213 207-3285
Explore Tax Credits And Deductions
One surprising way to recoup assisted living costs is through senior and caregiver tax credits. Seniors who are considered chronically ill, or who need help with two or more ADLs, can qualify for up to $7,500 in senior living tax deductions. Relatives who pay for at least 50% of an elderly loved ones care may also be eligible for caregiver tax credits.
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Asking Family Members For Financial Support
If a senior is lucky, they can ask their family members to contribute some money that they will use to cover their assisted living costs. Pooling financial support from children, grandchildren and other relatives can help seniors cover high costs associated with assisted living because in most cases blood relatives only want the best for their aging family members in their post-retirement years. This is probably one of the most common ways to pay for assisted living costs, as children try to make sure that their parents are properly cared for in senior years, and if the grandchildren are old enough and are financially capable, they will want to do the same as well.
Financial Information For Seniors
North Carolina has a flat income tax since 2013 of 5.75% and doubled the standard deduction for taxpayers in North Carolina. Deductions can be taken for these three expenses: charitable contributions, mortgage interest, and property taxes. But the deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes cannot exceed $20,000. Deductions that were previously available, such as the Net Business Income deduction and the College Savings Program deduction are no longer available.
The state sales tax in North Carolina is 4.75%, but every county collects an additional sales tax ranging from 2% to 2.25%. Realistically this means that the sales tax in North Carolina is between 6.75% to 7.5% depending on where you live.
Property tax in North Carolina is quite low less than 1%, with the stage average being 0.84%. However, in larger cities the property taxes are higher. For example, in Charlotte the property tax rate is 1.13%. North Carolina also has a long-term and short-term capital gains tax that are taxed like regular income at the 5.75% rate.
North Carolina has no estate tax and no inheritance tax.
North Carolina is a moderately tax-friendly state for seniors, due to the following:
- Income from Social Security is not taxed
- Withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed
- Wages are taxed at normal rates, in North Carolina the marginal state tax rate is 5.8%
- Public pension income is fully taxed and
- Private pensions are fully taxed.
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Assisted Living In Colorado Defined
The state of Colorado defines an assisted living facility as a residential facility that provides room and board, personal services, social care and protective oversight to adults who cannot live independently but do not require 24-hour skilled nursing care.
Facilities may be home to as little as three or as many as 200 beds, and the most common reasons for admission to Colorado assisted living communities are to provide medication management, supervision, protection and bathing and dressing assistance.
There are three types of assisted living facilities in Colorado:
- Private pay
- Alternative care facilities
- Residential treatment facilities
Private pay is the general term used for an assisted living facility or residence. Alternative care facilities are residences that are Medicaid certified. Residential treatment facilities are for adults with severe and persistent mental illness.
Here’s What Won’t Pay For Assisted Living
Medicare. Many retirees and their loved ones are not entirely clear on how Medicare comes into play. Unfortunately, the answer is “not at all.” Medicare benefits cannot be used to pay for assisted living, and knowing that upfront can help you be better prepared to make appropriate financial arrangements.
Paying for assisted living is one of many questions that must be tackled by caregivers looking for the best place for their loved ones. You have a lot of research ahead of you, but the good news is that you also have a lot of choice, and many resources available to help you make the right decision. For more information, click here to download our free guide called 10 Things Family Members Want to Know About Assisted Living.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
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Saint Paul At A Glance
On its own, Saint Paul boasts a population of nearly 295,000 residents. When combined with Minneapolis and the rest of the Twin Cities suburbs, this number swells to about 3.46 million people. The city’s standing as Minnesotas state capital makes it a place for Minnesota’s political movers and shakers to move and shake, which in turn makes this city important as a stand-alone entity.
The city is home to several nationally renowned festivals throughout the year. The two biggest events are the Minnesota State Fair – arguably the most famous state fair in the country – and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, a celebration of cold highlighted by ice sculpting, winter food, an ice palace, and various wintertime activities.
What Is The Average Length Of Stay In Assisted Living
- Usually, residents live in assisted living for several years. Assisted living communities are designed for long-term living. You may find that some communities offer a trial period of 30-90 days to see if it is a good fit or if something is needed short term, but the majority of seniors make their selected assisted living community a long-term home. Some older adults may move to a nursing home or facility with a higher level of care as their needs and health change over time.
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Services Provided In Assisted Living Communities
The assisted living community that your family member chooses will include 24-hour supervision and assistance with personal needs. There will also be housekeeping services, transportation, and activities for your family to join if they choose. Medication management is also provided for residents that request assistance. Unlicensed staff who have undergone specialized training may administer medications including injectable medications such as insulin for residents with diabetes.
Meals and snacks are also provided. North Carolina law states that residents must be offered 3 meals and 3 snacks per day at minimum. If your family member requires a special diet, a registered dietitian will plan their menu so it is appropriate for nutrition and for his or her medical condition.
Living units may be private or shared, or some may have semi-private rooms. Facilities built after 2004 may have up to 2 residents per room, however, older facilities may have up to 4 residents per room. Bathrooms may also be private or shared. There must be a minimum of 1 toilet and 1 sink for every 5 residents and 1 shower or tub for every 10 residents.
Residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often need to be cared for in a special Alzheimer’s care unit with trained staff in assisted living memory care. These Alzheimer’s disease memory care units must have extra security to prevent residents from wandering away and getting lost or otherwise getting into dangerous situations.
How To Research Assisted Living Facilities
Determining if assisted living is right for you or a loved one may feel like quite an undertaking. Enlisting trusted support and accessing expert guidance can relieve some of the burden and help you navigate choosing an assisted living community.
Here are some first steps you can take to find an assisted living community in your area:
- Search our assisted living directory.
- Ask your healthcare provider which assisted living communities they recommend.
- If you have friends or family who live in a local assisted living community, ask them about their experience and recommendations.
- Visit or call your local Area Agency on Aging.
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Long Term Care Insurance
If you have a Long-Term Care insurance policy, it should cover assisted living as well. If there is a policy designated for home care, it should be able to be used for assisted living too. There are facility-only policies which covers care only in a licensed assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility.
Most insurance policies are very hard for the general public to understand, but knowing your benefits will be very helpful in making sure you get what you have paid for. It is very common for insurance companies to decline payment on the first go round. Many times you or an advocate at the assisted living facility will need to contact the insurance companies and discuss these issues in order to get approval. To qualify most companies will require that you need help in at least two areas of ADLs such as bathing, eating, dressing, transferring from bed to chair, walking, and toileting.
Long Term Care insurance benefits vary widely depending on the policy. Benefits can range from $1,500 to more than $9,000 per month.
Ask About Price Flexibility And Specials
Depending on the time of year and location, communities may be willing to offer a discount to fill vacant rooms. Many facilities offer deals at the end of the month or during seasons with lower move-in rates. Ask these questions during your tour:
- Are there any move-in incentives?
- Do you have any specials available?
- Is the community willing to negotiate its monthly price?
- Can the entrance fee be waived?
- Can you offer a month free if we sign up for an extended lease?
- Are there any discounts available with lump sum payments?
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How To Make The Most Of Senior Living On A Fixed Income
Senior living communities today often seem more like resorts with sprawling campuses, beautiful décor, luxurious amenities and the carefree lifestyle of a 5-star vacation. But do you have to have a 5-star budget to go with it? For most of us, that answer is a resounding no. In fact, you may be surprised to find that in many cases, the cost of senior living communities is actually less than staying at home. Either way, the truth is you can absolutely make the most of senior living on a fixed income. Heres how.
Assisted Living Scope Of Care
Texas ALFs can provide personal care services and/or medication assistance to residents. They can also provide skilled nursing care, but only for limited purposes, such as:
- To coordinate resident care
- To delegate or offer medication administration or personal care services
- To perform level of care assessments for residents
- To care for residents in case of illness, injury, or other emergency for up to 30 days
Type A facilities are designed for more able and active seniors, while Type B facilities are able to accommodate seniors who need more specialized care.
Type A facilities can admit residents who:
- Can demonstrate the ability to evacuate the facility unassisted in the event of an emergency
- Do not require routine attendance during sleeping hours
- Are mentally capable of following directions
Type B facilities can admit residents who:
- Suffer from dementia or Alzheimers disease
- Are not permanently bedridden, but may require assistance getting in and out of bed
- May require staff assistance to evacuate in emergency situations
- May be incapable of following directions in emergency situations
- May require assistance during sleeping hours
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Brighton Gardens Of Dunwoody
Brighton Gardens of Dunwoody is another of the area’s impressive, large and modern assisted living facilities, and part of the building is dedicated to Alzheimer’s care. It’s just 13 miles north of Atlanta in a mostly residential area that’s close to Perimeter Mall and many restaurants. Skilled nursing is available on site, with registered nurses on duty for medication, medical care and ongoing health monitoring.
- Meals customized to individual taste and dietary needs
- Electronic health records and telehealth capabilities
Financial Assistance Programs In Los Angeles
As previously mentioned, considering Medicare and Medicaid are not likely to be your best bet for covering your assisted living bills, researching home and community-based waiver programs for low-income residents may end up being a viable option to cover the lions share of your senior care expenses. Below weve compiled a list of options for the Los Angeles area, detailing how they each can best benefit you and your unique situation..
Medi-Cal for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
Anyone 65 or older, legally blind, or considered disabled by Social Security is available to be covered under this Medi-Cal program put in place to help cover senior care fully or partially for elderly in need.
Home and Community Based Services Medi-Cal Waiver
This Medi-Cal waiver provides elderly individuals with in-home and community-based services rather than seeking care via a nursing home or hospital. These services include case management, transition services, private nursing, family training, utility reimbursement, health care services, and respite care.
Assisted Living Waiver Program
In-Home Supportive Services
Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly
Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program
Supportive Services Program
Senior Care Action Network
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