When individuals reach a certain age, planning for senior living only becomes a more concrete reality. Retirement looks different for every person, but one of the most popular options for senior citizens is assisted living communities. An assisted living community is a viable option for any senior who wants to remain independent while still receiving the type of care and attention that they need as they age.
These facilities typically provide long-term care to their residents, who may also have the option to interact with other people living there. This sense of camaraderie may also be beneficial for seniors' overall wellbeing.
However, the cost of assisted living is a big concern — but it is relatively more affordable than hiring a caregiver. The average cost of assisted living facilities is $4,300 a month, which is still quite steep. Nevertheless, there are a great number of options that are more affordable and just as qualified to give seniors the care and security they deserve.
Assisted living refers to the accommodation and services for individuals who require some medical or personal assistance with daily tasks. These services are typically for the elderly, as they require assistance with tasks like the following:
The difference between assisted living and nursing homes is that those who require the former do not necessarily need the extensive medical care provided by the latter. As such, assisted living is best suited for individuals who want to maintain a greater degree of independence in their day-to-day lives.
Assisted living facilities may also be referred to as adult care facilities or residential care facilities. They range in size from 25 to 120 residents, and residents typically share common amenities and apartments or rooms.
These facilities typically offer varying levels of care, with some residents paying a much higher amount for higher levels of care (which will vary by facility). Furthermore, assisted living facilities’ services may vary by state. Such services or assistance may include the following:
As previously mentioned, state regulations are ultimately what determine the level of care afforded by assisted lying facilities. These state regulations are something individuals should keep in mind when choosing amongst different facilities. Below are three examples of how these designations differ.
In California, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform classify Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly as non-medical facilities that offer boarding, meals, housekeeping, supervision, medication management, and personal care assistance with basic activities.
However, the Virginia Department of Social Services defines Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) as non-medical residential facilities that offer or administer personal and health care assistance, 24-hour supervision, and support for four or more aged, sick, or disabled individuals.
Lastly, according to New York’s Department of Health, Adult Care Facilities (ACF) provide long-term, non-medical residential care to the elderly who are significantly unable to live independently due to physical disabilities, mental stress, or other limitations caused by aging or other circumstances.
Despite the varying levels of care according to state regulations, there are certain guidelines that can be used to compare the different facility options available to you:
As previously mentioned, an assisted living community is a great place to retire as it gives seniors a level of independence. Here are some of the best affordable assisted living facilities in different states to give you a diverse range of options to choose from:
Parsons House Preston Hollow is a family-owned residential care facility that gives residents great value for money. With average monthly costs starting at $3,628, this is more affordable compared to the monthly average of other senior housing facilities. They have several different levels of care services: memory and respite care, assisted living, and independent living.
It is ideal for long-term care, given how individuals will have access to various resources and services as their needs change. This is one of the housing communities that truly encourages a sense of community, as they have daily activities for residents, group classes, fitness centers, and the like. The assisted living community is also situated nearby healthcare facilities and Medicare doctors.
Pacifica Senior Living is one of the best assisted living options for senior housing for individuals who want to use insurance. You can use Medi-Cal to cover some of the costs, as it belongs to the list of approved Medi-Cal Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly.
More independent seniors may opt for their one-bedroom or studio apartments, but they also have assisted care services and Alzheimer's care if you need a little more assistance. There are several communal areas like movie theaters, dining rooms, and group activities. Residents will also have access to amenities like hair salons and housekeeping. Individuals who choose this senior housing option will have peace of mind knowing that staff is on call 24/7, should there be any emergencies.
Brookdale Spruce Wood has a prime location, two miles away from downtown. Monthly costs begin at $800 at the most basic level. Like a few other assisted living communities, they have various levels of care: nursing home care, memory care, assisted living, home healthcare, and even hospice.
Residents can enjoy the facility's on-site game rooms, a barbershop, salon, library, and more. You may get some exercise on the grounds, particularly in their garden and courtyard. This assisted living community aims to provide seniors in this living community with the best quality of life possible. Meals are made specifically to address residents' health concerns, and it also has religious services for those who need them and specialized staff that can attend to all your concerns. Durham also has several medical facilities nearby and other exciting events in the area as well.
Lincolnwood Place is a senior living facility in Illinois that has been in the industry for over 25 years. Prices here begin at $2,495 — which is relatively low considering how much they have to offer. Their apartments and housing options are newly renovated, and rooms are beautiful regardless of the living option you choose. The staff is ready to provide assistance 24/7.
They have valet services, transportation, and staff who are skilled and experienced in what they do. In fact, their memory care is award-winning. Apartments have in-house kitchen appliances, but they have gourmet dining at The Bistro as well. Lincolnwood Place has also been awarded by JD Power and Associates a top spot for customer satisfaction, specifically for assisted living and memory care.
There are also many opportunities for socializing with other residents, from wine tasting to live performances, day trips, outings, happy hours, trivia nights, gardening activities, game nights, book clubs, and several other social events. Also, Illinois is one of the most tax-friendly states for seniors, with the majority of your retirement income being tax-exempt.
Greatwood at Sugar Land offers both assisted and independent living options that begin at $1,900 monthly. The staff at Greatwood cares deeply about each and every senior, as they personalize their care services according to your changing needs. This is a major asset of the facility, considering that the cost of assisted living begins at a much lower price. The staff also provides services for medication management, incontinence, diabetes, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
Residents have wellness checks every day and are taken care of by the facility's with housekeeping and dining services. The staff provides services for holistic enrichment, and their caregiver assistance is available 24/7. Activities include karaoke, arts and crafts, cooking, performances, exercise classes, and all types of religious services for members of different faiths.
Atrium Village Independent Living is one of the more luxurious housing options, with prices beginning at $2,795 — lower than the usual monthly average. There are a number of different housing options depending on the level of care and independence that you need.
The staff creates specialized calendars for each level of care, so residents always have something to look forward to in this senior living facility. Dining at The Cafe at Atrium Village is well-known in the community, providing restaurant-quality meals and service. Transportation is arranged for residents who need to make it to medical appointments off-site. There are also weekly off-site trips every Thursday.
The Garnet of Casa Grande is a housing option that feels a lot more like a resort than an assisted living facility. Monthly costs start at $2,940 on average, making it quite an affordable senior community. Users will not have to worry about daily tasks or chores, as the staff can take care of this for residents. The clinic and nursing staff are on-call 24/7.
The Garnet's location is close to town museums, restaurants, cafes, and stores, but there are numerous on-site activities. The facility can accommodate every individual's unique needs, with amenities such as daily workout classes, weekly trivia nights, walking clubs, pool tables, game rooms, libraries, live entertainment, and so much more.
Acclaim at Belmont Bay is a fantastic private housing community located in lush Northern Virginia. The pay for assisted living in this resort-like senior living facility begins at $2,770 a month. Seniors get to live independently and also enjoy amenities such as their spa, indoor pool, and patio.
There is 24/7 security and assistance, housekeeping, and utilities included in the housing costs. They have four different dining options for every palate and preference, including private rooms for visitors. Meals are prepared with seasonal menus, and ingredients are grown on-site. This senior housing facility finds the middle ground between suburban and city living, as it is a mere twenty miles from Washington DC.
Most families cover assisted living costs using private funds. These consist of a combination of savings, Social Security benefits, pension payments, and retirement accounts. On that note, the possibility still exists for government programs to provide assistance in paying these expenses.
Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living. They will pay for most medical costs incurred while a senior is in assisted living, but it won't provide any funds toward personal care or room and board expenses at an assisted-living facility.
Medicaid is one of the most common ways to pay for a nursing home when you have no money available. Even if you had too much income in the past, Medicaid might still be an option for you because they take into account your current needs and not just what happened decades ago.
Senior care facilities are designed to give patients the best of the best. With a larger staff and more space, they can accommodate advanced conditions or complex health issues with ease. Furthermore, the staff at these centers will be more skilled and experienced, so they can care for people with acute or chronic health conditions.
The cost of an assisted living facility is more than double that of a nursing home, which can break the bank for some families. For those paying out of pocket, the annual cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home is around $89,000. In contrast, an assisted living facility typically runs about $48,000 annually.
In most states, Social Security (through Optional State Supplements) provides financial assistance for persons that reside in assisted living communities provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
Usually, these spaces have around 10% vacancy rates, and a new community will need to fill 100% of its rooms before it is considered at full capacity; therefore, the management may be willing to negotiate on your rent for an upfront move-in date.
When it comes to choosing among assisted living options, you can still find many quality facilities that are lower than the average price. These facilities will give you the level of care that you need, with services that let you live independently and comfortably during your golden years.
If you want to do some further reading on assisted living communities for seniors, have a look at some of our previous articles. Contact Senior Strong today!