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–also called skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and retirement homes–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 dementia care unit designed to house patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. In short, 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:
It’s no secret that senior housing can be expensive. 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 care center 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.
According to Genworth’s 2020 “Cost of Care Survey,” the monthly cost of an assisted living facility in Los Angeles is $5,000. That’s $700 more a month than the national average of $4,300.
Medicare is government-sponsored health insurance for older adults. Unfortunately, it does not cover long-term stays in skilled nursing facilities or medical centers. 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 or other advanced residential care facilities. In other states, though, Medicaid may not cover assisted living expenses.
Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. In some cases, it may help cover costs associated with assisted living facilities, caregiving services, home care, or memory care services. Specifically, if a senior can receive the level of care they need in an assisted living facility or at home, but at a lower cost than a skilled nursing facility (i.e., nursing home) offers, Medi-Cal may offer financial assistance. In these cases, eligible applicants can apply for aid via an assisted living waiver.
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 levels of care they require.
In some cases, a continuing care retirement community is the right choice for you or your loved one. Also known as CCRCs or life plan communities, these senior residences are great for older adults who want to stay in a single location in their golden years. In other words, a CCRC is a singular community that offers a variety of senior living options–including independent living, assisted living, and memory care programs–all without requiring the resident to move to a new facility or new city to receive the care they need.
Pricing varies widely depending on the specific community and what financial resources are available in your area.
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 the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County whose dedication to enriching the lives of their team, residents, and community partners shows through in their award-winning service.