Assisted Living Options For Low
Assisted living facilities are an excellent option for elderly adults who are no longer able to live alone in their home, but dont require the around-the-clock care provided in a nursing home. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly challenging for elders and their families to find affordable assisted living. The high cost associated with many assisted living communities can cause a huge financial strain for many people, but especially for those individuals with lower incomes.
Fortunately, various forms of financial assistance to help cover the cost of assisted living are available for those who qualify. But for many individuals, the process of determining which forms of assistance theyre eligible for and exactly what it covers can be a long and confusing process.
While the costs of assisted living and the financial assistance available for low-income elders vary from state to state, there are resources available for seniors across the country. Read on to learn about some options that can help you or your loved pay for assisted living.
Can You Leave Assisted Living
- Policies and procedures vary among assisted living communities when it comes to residents leaving the building. In most cases, assisted living communities allow residents to come and go as they please, as long as they sign out. In an emergency situation, such as a fire, the assisted living community needs to know who is in the building and who is not. Signing out helps the assisted living communities keep residents safe and accounted for.
What Assisted Living Doesnt Provide
Assisted living is not the same as skilled nursing or nursing home care. In a skilled nursing facility, residents receive full-time care by a specially trained medical staff. People who require a higher level of medical care, either short-term or long-term, need whats known as skilled nursing care, extended care or long-term care. These facilities are licensed by Medicare and/or Medicaid and are focused on short-term rehabilitation and long-term medical care.
You may also come across the term supportive services, which can have different definitions in different states. Sometimes, its a level of care similar to assisted living. Other times, it means care specifically designed for developmentally challenged adults.
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What Is Independent Living
Independent living is the first and lowest level of care available. At an independent living facility, or ILF, a resident experiences a care setting that combines housing and limited support services for those with greater independence. ILFs provide basic housekeeping and linen services, meals, transportation to appointments and errands, social programs and activities and access to facility amenities such as exercise rooms.
Is There A Cost For Assisted Living Services
If you receive publicly subsidized assisted living services, you will pay a monthly rate based on your income , subject to a minimum and maximum monthly rate. Your monthly rate is calculated by multiplying your after tax income by 70 per cent. For more information, please see:
For 2021, the minimum monthly rate for a single client receiving assisted living services is $1,060.30 per month.
If you and your spouse are living together in an assisted living unit, your monthly client rate will be calculated based on the income of both you and your spouse, subject to a minimum and maximum monthly rate. Your monthly rate will be recalculated if your living situation changes for any reason and you are no longer living with your spouse. For 2021, the minimum monthly rate for a couple living together in an assisted living unit is $1,615.00 per month per couple.
The maximum monthly rate for publicly subsidized assisted living services is based on the market rent for housing and hospitality services for the geographic area where you live, as well as the actual cost of personal care services you receive. For more information on the maximum monthly rate, please contact your health authority.
For more general information on the costs of publicly subsidized home and community care services in B.C., please see:
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A Social Engaging Environment
Its no secret that social connection and engagement lead to happier lives. But did you know that social isolation can actually harm both mental and physical health?
Nearly 13.8 million seniors live alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its not uncommon for older adults who live alone to feel lonely. Changes in family dynamics such as divorce or the loss of loved ones chronic illness, hearing loss, poor mobility, and lack of adequate transportation are just a few of the reasons seniors may feel isolated.
Loneliness can lead to habits that negatively affect health, like smoking, excessive drinking, and poor nutrition. It can also increase someones risk for depression, dementia, and heart disease, among other health conditions.
Assisted living offers plenty of opportunities for seniors to stay physically active, learn new skills, and engage with like-minded friends and peers. Enrichment programs and activities at assisted living facilities appeal to all kinds of interests, including sports, music, crafts, religious and spiritual practices, and more. While programs and activities vary from one community to the next, many assisted living facilities offer a wide range of options that allow residents with different levels of cognitive and physical skills to participate and feel included.
What Amenities Do Assisted Living Communities Offer
While every community is different, and the needs of each individual will also differ, most assisted living communities offer similar amenities. Typically, assisted living communities provide a home-like, residential atmosphere and a balance of independence and assistance that many seniors enjoy.
Typically, assisted living communities offer the following amenities for residents:
- Access to health/medical services
- Day-to-day assistance
Most assisted living for the elderly offer customizable plans for each resident, including various levels of assistance. Our senior living advisors are available to help you determine the level of care your loved one requires and select the perfect community for his or her unique needs and lifestyle wishes. We can even help you determine if its the right time to make the transition to assisted living by taking a look at things like mobility, medication, mood, memory, mental state, and more.
Learn more about our assisted living services and if this is the right option for you and your family. Contact Oasis at today!
The Oasis Process
Oasis Senior Advisors is a FREE service that provides experienced, professional help in finding the right senior living community.
- 1No-Obligation Consultation
A FREE, no-obligation consultation,so youll know what to expect and how were going to help you.
- 2Identifying Your
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Is An Assisted Living Facility Right For You
If youre trying to decide whether assisted living is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you need more help than family and friends are able to provide? Are the activities of daily living becoming stressful or overwhelming? If family or in-home help is not able to bridge the gap, assisted living is an option.
Do you feel lonely or isolated at home? Having an active social life is vital to your health and happiness. Being alone much of the time is a recipe for depression in older adults. The social aspect of assisted living can be a huge benefit. Good facilities offer a range of social and recreational activities. And the community environment also gives the opportunity to make new friends.
Do you worry for your safety? Perhaps your mobility is limited, making it difficult to get out of bed by yourself, for example. Maybe youre afraid of what might happen if you fell and couldnt get up, or experience another problem and couldnt get help.
Are you tired of maintaining a home? There are a lot of responsibilities that come with living in your own home. Assisted living facilities can provide a home-like atmosphere, without the work of cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry.
Signs that an older adult might need assisted living
Its not always easy to tell when your parent or another loved one needs more help. The following warning signs may indicate that its time for a talk about assisted living:
What Are Nursing Homes
Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, provide a wide range of health and personal care services. Their services focus on medical care more than most assisted living facilities. These services typically include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, and assistance with everyday activities. Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, are also available.
Some people stay at a nursing home for a short time after being in the hospital. After they recover, they go home. However, most nursing home residents live there permanently because they have ongoing physical or mental conditions that require constant care and supervision.
To look for and compare nursing homes in your area, see Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare. Also get tips for choosing a nursing home.
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What Is Assisted Living
Assisted living is for people who need help with daily care, but not as much help as a nursing home provides. Assisted living facilities range in size from as few as 25 residents to 120 or more. Typically, a few “levels of care” are offered, with residents paying more for higher levels of care.
Assisted living residents usually live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas. They have access to many services, including up to three meals a day assistance with personal care help with medications, housekeeping, and laundry 24-hour supervision, security, and on-site staff and social and recreational activities. Exact arrangements vary from state to state.
What Types Of Care Are Provided In Assisted Living
Since assisted living communities are not regulated nationally, there are some differences in the exact services and standards delivered from state-to-state and facility-to-facility. Some states, for example, require assisted living staff members to undergo more than 24 hours of training, while other states have zero training requirements.
Still, there are a number of standard services provided to residents at the vast majority of assisted living communities across the U.S. These include personal care services in the form of assistance with activities of daily living such as:
- Medication management
In addition to personal care, just about every assisted living community in the country offers the following services:
- Prepared meals
- Cleaning services
- Organized activities
While these services are included in a residents monthly payment at some communities, others will charge per service utilized, so its important to check with community staff about any additional fees.
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Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities are a different type of retirement community that provides seniors with the full spectrum of lifestyle and health care options – from independent living, assisted living to skilled nursing care, all on one campus. CCRC contract types vary, with some providing all-inclusive “Life Care” guarantee of health care services to residents and others providing health care and other services a la carte or “fee for service.”
Financial Assistance Options For Low Income Elders
The following public and private resources can help low-income elders and their families afford the cost of assisted living. Keep in mind that every assisted living community is a little different, so its always a good idea to speak with each facility to learn more about their payment options and what forms of assistance they are willing to accept.
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Higher Levels Of Care
Higher levels of care are for residents who need more hands-on assistance from caregivers. These residents may not be able to ambulate independently and need help walking or wheeling from one place to another. Residents need more extensive help dressing, bathing, or managing their toileting or incontinence. These residents may exhibit some signs of memory loss and require more verbal or physical cueing to make decisions or manage their day successfully. Finally, these residents may require some complex medical monitoring or assistance managing chronic pain, and they could have increased fall risks, or other safety concerns.
Spousal Protection Assisted Living And Nursing Homes
If you’re married, Medicaid spousal protection rules can help a healthy spouse continue to live at home instead of becoming impoverished to pay for the other spouse’s assisted living or nursing home care. More commonly, it’s nursing home care but applies to some assisted living situations. Here are Wisconsin’s spousal impoverishment regulations as an example.
You can continue to receive SSI. Check out the 2020 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards here. The community spouse is the one who continues to live at home or otherwise in the community.
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Questions Related To The Amenities
Assisted Living Vs Nursing Homes
Assisted living and nursing homes differ in many ways, although some people may think of these two senior care types as synonymous. Both assisted living and nursing homes offer housing, meal services, and help with ADLs, such as bathing, toileting, and walking. One of the biggest differences is that seniors in assisted living dont require skilled nursing services like people in nursing homes.
Assisted living residents are generally active seniors who remain relatively independent with the exception of certain specific daily tasks. While they may have some health problems, seniors in assisted living dont require 24-hour medical care and supervision. They may be interested in a maintenance-free lifestyle in a vibrant community that offers a variety of social activities and opportunities to stay engaged with friends and peers.
Like assisted living, nursing homes also offer activities for residents, but assisted living facilities usually have more diverse options to cater to all tastes and preferences, including exercise classes, cooking workshops, outings to theaters, and more. The lifestyle at an assisted living facility is very different when compared to a nursing home. Assisted living accommodations may feel homier and more spacious, while nursing home residents often have to share a room.
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What Is Designated Supportive Living 4/4d
- DSL4 is a setting that provides you with a home where you can enjoy privacy and independence with the comfort of knowing your health and personal care supports are on site when you need them
- Provides accommodation, meals, housekeeping, linen and recreational services
- Provides a higher level of personal care supports and health care services onsite for scheduled and unscheduled care needs according to the plan of care
- DSL4D provides specialized dementia care
- Accommodation fees and amenities vary from location to location but typically cover rent, meals, housekeeping, linen and towels change, building amenities and some recreation programming
- The individual provides or pays for room furnishings, medication, medical and surgical supplies for chronic wounds, personal medical equipment and incontinence products , cable, phone and internet, personal laundry, hair salon fees, toiletries, and outings
More Ways To Pay For Assisted Living
While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay forassisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs.Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:
- Veterans Benefits
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Reverse Mortgage
For more information about different ways to finance assisted living,visit our Assisted Living in New York page.
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What Should I Look For In Assisted Living
After determining if its time for assisted living, its time to choose a community. This is often the most challenging part finding a community for your loved one that feels like home.
When possible, its always great to tour a facility before any decisions are made about moving in to get a firsthand peek at what amenities are available and residents lifestyles. Today, most communities offer high-quality virtual tours as well, which are particularly useful when in-person tours are not possible or safe. The main advantage of an in-person tour is that you can see and converse with current residents about their experiences. Still, virtual tours can provide you with an inside look at a community and give you more of a sense of it than just looking at pictures alone.
Whether youre looking at a community in-person or online, be on the lookout for the following signs of a high-quality ALF.
How Do I Choose An Assisted Living Facility
You may feel overwhelmed with choices when its time to find an assisted living facility for your loved one. Assisted living services and amenities vary widely among different facilities, and many options are available to fit your loved ones needs and preferences.
Seniors and families can choose from small, homelike facilities to resort-like communities with high-end finishes and gourmet dining. So how do you choose the right option for your aging parent?
Start by prioritizing your loved ones needs and preferences. Think about the type of help your aging parent needs and how often they might need it. Be sure to also consider your family members interests, preferences, and cultural values.
Consider these questions:
Then, consider these features as you choose an assisted living facility for a loved one:
Costs are a significant factor to consider when choosing an assisted living community. Dont hesitate to ask questions to help you understand how costs are calculated and whether move-in specials are available.
Ultimately, theres no substitute for visiting a community and experiencing a typical day. Touring an assisted living facility provides opportunities to see the building, assess cleanliness, witness staff interactions with residents, try a meal, participate in activities, and talk to other residents. Most assisted living facilities also offer virtual tours if an in-person visit isnt possible.
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