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It’s common for people to use “nursing homes” and “assisted living facilities” interchangeably, but these two terms aren’t quite synonymous. While both types of senior living facilities offer medical care and other services to disabled and older residents, they differ in the level of care they provide.
Assisted living communities are great options for those who want to live in a safe, welcoming community that assists its residents with some activities of daily living (ADLs). They do so in a way that still allows them a greater degree of independence than nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), usually do. In short, an assisted living facility is for someone who needs some medical attention and assistance with day-to-day activities. These locations may or may not include a memory care unit designed to house patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
While there are some overlaps between an assisted living community and a memory care facility or a nursing home, residents of assisted living communities are usually more independent.
Your family member deserves top-notch treatment from caregivers that respect their residents’ dignity. Keep the following factors in mind when choosing a location for your loved one to call home.
Part of an elevated assisted living experience comes from a comprehensive list of senior care services, which may include:
The average cost of assisted living, memory care, and independent living facilities is rising. In fact, the national average for a one-month stay in an assisted living facility is $4,300, according to Genworth’s 2020 “Cost of Care Survey.” That means pricing is often a deciding factor when choosing a retirement community. Fortunately, there are financial assistance programs that may be able to ease this financial burden.
The Arizona Long Term Care System, or ALTCS, is a state-based health insurance for those aged 65 and up or who have disabilities and also require skilled nursing care. Importantly, ALTCS does not require recipients to live in a care home, merely that they require a high degree of nursing care.
Medicare is government-sponsored health insurance for older adults. Unfortunately, it does not cover long-term stays in skilled nursing facilities. Medicare will only pay 100% of the costs if there is a medical need, such as for rehab, and only then for 20 days. After that, Medicare will cover only 80% of the costs for 80 days.
Depending on the location and situation, the program may help cover the costs of short-term stays in an assisted living home, although it will not cover the costs associated with long-term care.
Medicaid is a healthcare option for low-income, disabled Americans. Depending on the needs of the insured and the state they live in, Medicaid can cover a significant portion of the costs associated with stays in skilled nursing facilities. In other states, though, Medicaid may not cover assisted living expenses.
In Arizona, there are limited cases when someone may use Medicaid to help cover costs of home health care or a nursing home. Namely, in cases where someone does not have long-term care insurance or cannot otherwise pay privately, they might be eligible for assistance under the Medicaid program in this state.
One of people’s primary concerns when moving into an assisted living facility is that it will be boring. Fortunately, plenty of locations offer recreational opportunities for their residents. They may include access to facilities like a swimming pool to allow for intergenerational activities when grandchildren visit, or they may offer daily activities like bingo.
Brushing teeth, toileting, and getting dressed may seem like mundane tasks to many people. However, sometimes people require extra help completing these sorts of tasks, known as activities of daily living, or ADLs. ADLs are so named because they are tasks that people need to complete to have a decent quality of life. When someone can’t complete these tasks on their own, finding an assisted living, memory care, or other sort of retirement community is necessary. At these locations, people can receive personalized care services adjusted to the level of care they require.
For family members wondering if they should continue being the sole caregiver for their loved ones—or if they should reconsider their elderly loved ones’ living options—the following resources may help.
Your loved one deserves a facility that does more than simply offer services and amenities; they deserve to be welcomed into a senior living community. There are plenty of assisted living facilities in and around Phoenix whose dedication to enriching the lives of their team, residents, and community partners shows through in their award-winning service.
Discover assisted living communities in and around the Phoenix area today!