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) while still allowing them a greater degree of independence than nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), usually do (link to nursing homes blog post once published). 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.
Part of an elevated assisted living experience comes from a comprehensive list of senior care services, which may include:
The cost of healthcare is a serious consideration, and is often a deciding factor in choosing a retirement community. Fortunately, there are financial assistance programs that may be able to help ease this financial burden.
Medicare is government-sponsored health insurance for older adults. Unfortunately, it typically does not cover long-term stays in skilled nursing facilities. Specifically, Medicare will only pay 100% of the costs for a stay in such facilities if there is a medical need, such as for rehab following an injury, and only for 20 days. After those 20 days are up, Medicare will cover 80% of the costs for 80 days. The program will not offer assistance for stays exceeding 100 days.
Medicare will not cover the costs of staying in an independent living community.
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.
Assisted living isn’t for everyone. In some cases, a supportive living program may be a better fit than assisted living options. Supportive living communities are unique to Illinois. While they offer several benefits and services similar to assisted living communities, supportive living programs are typically much more affordable and residents are not kicked out of the program due to an inability to pay. Medicaid typically won’t cover meals and room expenses, although it can cover other costs associated with supportive living.
Supportive living communities are typically housed in apartments that offer one bedroom or two bedroom floor plans. They may or may not be within walking distance of nearby attractions. Although, the State of Illinois requires supportive living programs to provide scheduled transportation to its residents, so they may still enjoy outings in the nearby area.
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 Chicago 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 Chicago area today!