There may be a point in life where senior citizens or their family members may have to start looking for assisted living near them. This is not an easy task because you or your aging loved one must find the ideal facility where the older adult will spend a huge chunk of their golden years in bliss. There are a couple of factors you must consider before settling on any local assisted living facility such as:
Make a List of All Assisted Living Facilities Near You
Start by finding out what assisted living options are available in your area. There are a number of resources that can help you out with this including:
- Our directory of more than 50,000 assisted living facilities, which includes every single state-licensed facility
- Local yellow pages
- Local or state AAA (Area Agency on Aging)
- Friends and relatives
- Retirement guides
- The state licensing agency
- AAHSA (The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging)
Get a General Overview of a Few Assisted Living Facilities
After getting a list of potential assisted living places near you, the next step is to do due diligence to find out what the homes are all about. Give some of the communities that impress a call and ask for information such as floor plans, price list, brochures, rules and residents rights.
Plan to Visit Several Assisted Living Communities
Armed with the information above, you will be able to make a thinner list of the top assisted living facilities nearby to consider and find a retirement community near you that will meet all of your needs. Take time to visit some senior living facilities nearby to get the first-hand experience of what the residences have to offer. Remember that doing this on the phone or via email means that you will be talking to a sales representative whose job is to promote their assisted living business. It’s always best to schedule a tour and visit the facility in person.
Walking into the assisted living community will give you a clearer picture of life in the facilities and how the communities are run. This can help you make an informed decision. Do not just visit once, as you need to go back again at different times to make sure that you were not hoodwinked or misled the first time around. Try and visit during meal times to have a taste of what the kitchen staff prepares and serve. You can also join in when residents are participating in one or two activities to have a feel of how life will be in the new assisted retirement community. Remember to ask as many questions as you can so that there will be no doubts in your mind once you identify the assisted living community to move into. Talk to both staff and other occupants to hear the experiences they have on-site.
Signing the Assisted Living Contract
After your search has yielded fruitful results and you’ve found an assisted living facility near you that you find will work really well, it is now time to sign the contract before officially moving in. Do not rush to put your signature on the dotted line. Take time to go through the contents of the legal document keenly to make sure that you will not be short-changed in any way. If there are any confusions, have them clarified before anything else. You can even involve a lawyer to help you out in the areas that you are having difficulties understanding or you are not entirely sure about.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a senior living option that offers personal care services to seniors who have minimal needs. The primary purpose of the assisted living residences is to assist retirees to live independently in a supportive and safe environment. Assisted living facilities are different from senior housing near you, which, unlike assisted living is geared towards fully independent older adults.
The ideal residents for assisted living communities are older adults who are in decent health and are capable of living on their own but need some form of assistance with their day to day lives. Such communities are perfect for the elderly adults who enjoy life and do not want to stay confined in the walls of nursing homes unnecessarily. Generally, senior assisted living homes do not accept candidates who require medical assistance round the clock because most of the time they do not have the capacity or staff to provided skilled nursing care.
Note that the communities offer personalized care to meet the needs of the inhabitants at a personal level. This means that you do not have to worry about your loved one suffering from blanket services. For instance, if one of the residents has mobility issues, his or her care will include help with mobility issues.
What are the features of assisted living homes near me?
This senior living option strives to make the lives of residents as comfortable and fun as possible. Depending on the assisted living community, senior citizens may have access to various amenities that may include:
- Swimming pools
- Fitness center
- Nearby post office
- Beauty salon/barber shop
- Internet access
- Telephones - both landline and cell phones
Type of Care Provided in Assisted Living Facilities
Level of care varies widely in most assisted living homes. The communities offer various levels of care that are designed to meet the needs of all of the potential clients. Before any senior citizen can move into an assisted living home, they are required to go through an assessment to find out if the retirement community they choose is able to take care of their needs effectively. Seniors need to carefully check all services offered by the communities and differentiate between the more independent 55 plus communities near them, that will not offer assisted living, and the assisted living communities that include assisted living and will meet their care needs.
Some basic services that you can expect in senior assisted living include:
- Nutritious meals
A majority of ALFs offer the elderly three meals a day and snacks in-between. Professional chefs with the help of dieticians or nutritionists prepare the meals using fresh ingredients to present tasty and nutritious meals at all times.
Aging individuals can opt to have the meals in a common dining area or in the privacy of their rooms. Kitchen staff normally consider special diets so that everyone ends up eating wholesome foods that are good for their health.
- Security and safety
Assisted living places that you may find near you employ various security measures to keep residents safe. Some have high walls and well-guarded gates keeping off unwanted company. Others install emergency call buttons that older adults can use when faced with any type of emergency. It gives senior citizens great peace of mind knowing that they will not have to keep looking over their shoulders and they can freely be doing the things they love.
Assisted living homes also put in place security measures that help to prevent accidents from happening. The design of the facilities is meant to minimize hazards. Examples of measures that the senior living centers put in place include installing shower grab bars, having enough space for movement, de-cluttering common spaces and having non-slippery floors.
- Social activities
Supported living facilities near you may also offer seniors a chance to have a really great time, allowing them to enjoy fulfilling golden years. Residents do not just sit around and get bored. Many senior living homes have activity directors who are responsible for coming up with a list of exciting and enjoyable activities that retirees can take part in. This can include attending concerts, joining clubs, watching movies, playing, games, or going out for happy-hours. Participation in these activities is normally voluntary so that occupants only end up doing the things they love.
- Intellectual stimulation
Assisted living communities near you may also offer residents learning opportunities. This is where occupants can attend book clubs, art classes, computer classes and gardening. Some assisted living homes even collaborate with higher learning institutions to allow interested individuals to attend lectures they want every now and then. In such cases, residents can also use school amenities and take part in cultural offerings without any problem.
- Medication management
It is essential that members of the older generation who are using medication continue taking it on time as prescribed by the physician. Some seniors may forget to take their drugs, putting their health at risk. Staff at the assisted living facilities help in reminding inhabitants to take their medicine on time so that it works as it should. Some communities even go a step further to assist with storage and administration of the medicine.
Assisted living residents are not confined to the communities. They have the freedom to go in and out as they please. Assisted living centers organize transportation for the senior citizens who can no longer drive safely. It can be to honor medical appointments, go shopping, visit relatives and friends, or go out sightseeing to have fun.
- Intensive memory care
Some memory care patients are not at a stage where their situation demands intensive medical care. Such a population can comfortably settle in memory care assisted living facilities near them that take care of people with memory care impairments.
The residences typically have personnel who go through extra training to know how to handle the elderly persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia in the best possible way. Older adults who are trying to find demenia care near them can find it at many assisted living facilities. The communities also have structural modifications on the premises that prevent older adults with memory care issues from wandering and getting lost or harming themselves.
- Housekeeping and home maintenance
Many older adults do not want to be burdened with the responsibility of maintaining clean and tidy areas. Occupants of most local assisted living communities do not have to worry about this because there are professionals who come in several times to clean their apartments and ensure that everything is in order. The services may also include washing of beddings and general laundry.
Inhabitants do not have to worry about the responsibilities that come with maintaining a home. Gone are the days when a retiree had to look for a handyman to come and handle repairs in the house. Professionals in the senior assisted living homes take up these duties, allowing senior citizens to kick back and have the best times in their formative later years.
- Access to medical services
Most assisted living facilities that you are likely to find near you organize for routine expert nurse and doctor visits. The professionals conduct medical check-ups to make sure that elders are in good health. Depending on a patient’s condition, a doctor can advise on whether it is safe for the resident to continue staying in the facility or move to a nursing home near them where they will receive the specialized care they require.
- Assistance with daily living activities
It goes without saying that all local assisted living communities offer help with ADLs. This can include help with daily tasks like eating, dressing, hygiene, bathing, mobility, toileting, shopping and using the telephone.
One of the things that attracts golden-agers to assisted living near them is the fact that they can find comfort in the fact that there are professional staff members who are available 24/7 in case they need them. It does not mean that personnel hover around residents like vultures. It simply means that help is usually a call away.
- Social experiences
It becomes very easy to lose touch with people as you age. Some people move away while others may leave the earth permanently. The situation can leave any aged adult lonely, yearning for human touch and interaction. Often, this leads to the development of depression and anxiety. Finding assisted living near you helps to avoid this as the residences bring elders together to live in one community.
Senior care homes also present multiple opportunities for neighbors to spend time with each other. The interaction sessions make it very easy for a person to make friends that they can be laughing with and sharing life experiences. Some senior citizens even end up falling in love and finding life-partners in their post-retirement years while in the communities.
Living Arrangements in Assisted Living
Retired adults have a wide array of options when it comes to the living spaces in assisted retirement communities. An aging individual has the right to choose the type of home to retire in. Some are large with hundreds of living quarters while others have less than 10 assisted living units.
Residents can choose between staying in a single room, studio, one-bedroom apartment or larger assisted living apartments with more rooms. Some of the accommodation options come with kitchenettes, dining areas, living room, walk-in closets, bedrooms and bathrooms. Senior citizens can choose the one they like and also the one that they can afford.
Some assisted living residences that you can find near you rent out the living spaces to the occupants where they pay rent depending on terms of agreements. Others make it possible for retired adults to buy and own the homes so that they never have to stress about rent again.
Many assisted living facilities also allow couples or friends to move in and live together under one roof. This can help to reduce costs as they share the expenses. It also helps to get rid of boredom because there will be someone in the apartment at all times.
Staff at the assisted living communities value the privacy of all the inhabitants. They never budge into rooms and will always knock before attending to a resident. Aged adults need not worry about people getting into their space. Elders also have permission to host their family and relatives in their new senior living homes because their lives do not stop once they transition into assisted living.
Understand that some of the accommodation options in assisted living communities come with furniture and appliances that residents use. Others will allow senior citizens to decorate as they wish to make the place feel more like home with the things they like. Some assisted living complexes even have storage solutions for the things that occupants do not use but still treasure.
How much does assisted living near me cost?
The costs of assisted living vary depending on a couple of factors which may include:
- The type of residence
- Geographical location
- The kind of services rendered
- Size of living space
A majority of local assisted living communities typically charge a basic rate that covers all the services that residents receive. These include additional fees for any “extras” or special services. Most assisted living homes charge on a monthly basis, but some have provisions for long term lease options.
Base assisted living rates usually cover meals, room and board, and access to some of the facilities that the senior communities have. Other expenses that retirees may have to incur include entrance fees, deposits, housekeeping and laundry fees as well as any other additional services they need that the assisted living residence does not offer. It could be something like nursing care that a retired person requires a few hours every week that the facility does not provide. It is crucial to know about all the costs of the senior living community comprehensively to budget wisely and avoid surprises in the future.
The projected average cost for assisted living this year is around $3,800 monthly. The cost can drastically increase or decrease depending on the state that a person is in as well as the type of facility they decide to live in.
How can I pay for assisted living near me?
Seniors can explore different methods of paying for local assisted living communities, depending on what suits their situation best. Some of the most common payment methods include:
Private Pay - A majority of assisted living residents use personal income or savings to pay for their residency. Related options are annuity, cashing 401k plans, IRAs, selling assets and other investment portfolios. Medicare may provide partial coverage for assisted living services, based on certain qualifications, when a senior citizen diminishes their personal resources.
Long-Term Insurance - a retiree can start enjoying the perks of a whole life insurance policy long before dying. Keep in mind that using this option may reduce the overall value of the policy. Ways to pay for assisted living using life insurance includes selling the policy, cashing out the policy or converting the insurance to “life assurance”.
Veterans Benefits - veterans and their widows can benefit from financial aid from VA (Veteran’s Administration) when it comes to paying for assisted living communities near them. There are requirements that one must fulfil before they can be eligible. Get in touch with the relevant offices to find out the eligibility procedure.
Medicaid - this option offers an excellent financial solution to the elderly who have low net worth and income who still want to live in assisted living communities close to where they are. It, however, does not pay in full as it only covers some expenses. Medicaid might pay for some personal care services but do not expect to use it for room and board at assisted living facilities near you.
Find Assisted Living Facilities by State:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
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- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
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