Frequently Asked Questions
What is assisted living?
Assisted living is for those who are 55+ who want to live as independently as possible, however, may need some assistance with their daily activities such as laundry, housekeeping, meal preparation, medication management, etc.
What is the difference between an assisted living facility and a skilled nursing facility?
Skilled nursing facilities provide around the clock complex nursing care that assisted living facilities are not equipped to handle, such a wound management, intravenous medications, and tube feedings. Assisted living communities, on the other hand, will generally provide assistance and supervision with activities of daily living; this often includes medication management.
When is it time to make a move to assisted living?
The best time to make a move is before something happens that forces your loved one to make a move quickly. Some signs that indicate it may be time to consider assisted living include:
- Medication may be taken incorrectly or dosage forgotten
- Meals may be forgotten or spoiled food in the refrigerator
- House is not clean or tidy
- Laundry is piling up or same clothing is repeatedly worn
- Bills are routinely unpaid
- Isolated and lonely
What questions should be considered when touring a community?
- Are the grounds well-maintained?
- Is the facility attractive, clean and odor-free?
- Are there different floor plans? What is the square footage of each?
- What are the amenities? What is the fee for each?
- Is there an activities calendar? Ask to see the calendar.
- Are there options at every meal? Ask to see a menu.
- Is there an entrance fee?
- Is there 24-hour staff on-site?
- What is the monthly rent?
- Is transportation available?
- How are medications managed?
What is the best advice for making the transition to assisted living?
It is important to set up the apartment with furnishings that are familiar to your loved one. Be sure to bring photos and personal possessions that are meaningful to provide a home-like feel.
How long is the average length of stay?
Statistically, the average length of stay in an assisted living facility is 2 – 2.5 years.
How does one pay for assisted living?
Assisted living communities are typically private pay. However, there are veteran benefits that may be available for qualified individuals, including the surviving spouse of a veteran. Long term care insurance policies may also provide reimbursement for assisted living expenses. Medicare does not reimburse for assisted living.
Why is assisted living so expensive?
The cost of residing in an assisted living community is significant. This is due primarily to the high level of staffing required, specifically nursing assistants and licensed nurses, in order to provide the care and supervision needed by residents. Assisted living communities are typically staffed 24 hours a day.
Is home health care cheaper than assisted living?
Whether home health care is more or less expensive than assisted living is dependent on the number of hours and days a caregiver is employed. Home health aides are typically paid privately by the hour. An aide providing care to an individual for several hours each day, several days per week will likely be less expensive than residing in an assisted living facility. As care needs increase, it may become more financially advantageous to move into an assisted living community, especially considering the wide array of amenities included.