Most people want to remain in their own homes as long as possible, but there may be a time when it’s necessary to make a change. The decision to leave the comfort and familiarity of home is never an easy one, but senior living facilities are a great solution for many.
There are several types of senior living facilities, and sifting through all the options is enough to make your head spin. Basically, the best choice boils down to needs (both now and anticipated), preferences, and of course -- finances.
The following information can help you compare senior living facilities.
Independent living: Usually limited to people over age 55, independent living communities are often a great choice for people who are in relatively good health with a high level of self-sufficiency. Independent living communities, which often consist of small apartments or townhomes, are fully equipped with all the comforts of home on a much smaller scale.
Residents of independent living communities have more time to enjoy life without worrying about household maintenance and repairs. Active seniors feel more free to travel when things at home are easily taken care of. Many communities are gated, which acds extra peace of mind.
The cost: Retirees enjoy the company of other seniors living nearby, and group activities and outings are often part of the deal. Meals and housekeeping services are usually available for an additional charge. Price of independent living generally ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.
Assisted living: When older folks are no longer to live independently but they don’t need the extensive assistance offered by a nursing home or long-term care facility, an assisted living community may be the perfect choice. This type of senior living works well for people who are concerned about personal safety or who are no longer able to keep up with household chores or prepare healthy meals. Assisted living also helps stave off isolation, loneliness and depression.
Assisted living communities are staffed with trained nurses who are on hand to assist with medication and other non-complex medical needs. Residents receive three nutritious meals per day and help with housekeeping and personal tasks such as dressing and bathing. Mos assisted living communities offer daily activities and many provide transportation to medical appointments or errands.
The cost: Seniors who opt for assisted living can expect to pay between $2,500 and $4,000 per month. The price varies from state to state and may vary depending on level of care, size of living quarters and extra amenities.
Nursing homes: Also known as skilled nursing or long-term care facilities, nursing homes are usually the best option for people with more complex medical conditions that demand a higher level of skilled nursing care.
At the most basic level, nursing homes provide a comfortable room (usually shared), nursing supervision around the clock, housekeeping, meals and social activities. Others may offer extra amenities such as rehabilitation services, beauty salons or barber shops, on-site pharmacy or transportation, although the extra services may add to the monthly fees.
The cost: Nursing homes are the most expensive option and the cost increases if specialized services, including memory care, is required. Depending on location, cost may range from $5,000 and $11,000 per month. Medicaid and veterans’ benefits may be available to help with nursing home care in some circumstances.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRM): CCRMs offer considerable peace of mind because they provide a continuum of care in one convenient location, either in the same building or on a residential area or “campus.”
For example, a person may start with independent living, then eventually move into a higher level of care as needs change. CCRMs are often the choice for couples when one spouse requires more care than another.
The cost: Continuing Care Retirement Communities come with a hefty price tag, although the price varies substantially depending on size of units, location, type of contract and current health status.
Most require an entrance fee, generally ranging from $2,000 and up. In addition, a monthly charge is assessed, usually in the neighborhood of $1,000 to $5,000. Additional service fees may apply for extras such as pet deposits or wellness programs.
Visiting Senior Living Facilities
Once you’ve gathered the preliminary information and determined what type of senior living is best for your or your loved one, the next step is to dig a little deeper and pay a visit to facilities in your area.
Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for clarifications if something doesn’t make sense. Visit more than once if possible.
Here are a few things to look for:
- Look around. Is the staff friendly and welcoming? Do the rooms look comfortable? Are buildings clean and well-maintained. Are doors secure with safety measures in place?
- Ask about training received by nurses and other staff. Inquire if the nurse to patient ratio meets minimum requirements in your state. Is a licensed nurse (either LPN or RN) on site around the clock? Do nursing aides and caregivers receive regular training?
- Talk to a few residents. Are they happy with their living situations? Do they enjoy hobbies and group activities? Are they pleased with the care they recieve? Are the meals satisfying? Are rooms comfortable? Are there adequate places to welcome friends and family?
- Look outside. Are residents able to spend time outdoors? Are there safe walking paths or patio areas for socializing?
- Ask to see the activity calendar. Will the recreational activities be ones that your loved one is likely to enjoy? Are there enough varied activities to prevent loneliness and boredom?
If you'd like to add Heritage Villas to your list of places to check out, we'd love to give you a tour. Contact us today!