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“Nursing homes” and “assisted living facilities” are not the same; they differ in the health services and levels of care they provide their residents.
While there are some overlaps between an assisted living community and a nursing home, the difference is that residents of assisted living communities are far more autonomous.
Assisted living communities are highly attractive options for older adults who want to live in a safe, welcoming place. Assisted living residents receive some help with completing activities of daily living (ADLs). That said, residents of assisted living facilities typically have a greater degree of autonomy than residents of nursing homes—also called skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and retirement homes—do.
All in all, an assisted living facility is ideal 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.
Everyone wants their loved one to stay home for as long as possible. Sometimes, though, family caregivers cannot ensure their loved one’s well-being and safety the way a specialized facility can. Even utilizing home health services will only ensure senior safety for so long in some cases.
When family caregiving and home care are not enough to assure an older adult’s safety, moving them into an assisted living community is a safe option. There, they can get the quality care they need while families get the peace of mind they deserve.
Keep the following considerations in mind when choosing an assisted living location.
Part of an elevated assisted living experience comes from a comprehensive list of senior care services, which may include:
The average cost of senior housing, particularly assisted living and memory care communities, is rising. According to Genworth’s 2020 “Cost of Care Survey,” the national average for a one-month stay in an assisted living center is $4,300.
The average cost of assisted living facilities in the St. Louis area is $3,750/month, according to Genworth’s 2020 “Cost of Care Survey.” For context, that’s $550 less a month than the national average of $4,300.
Fortunately, financial assistance programs are available for seniors.
Medicare and other federal and state-sponsored programs usually do not guarantee coverage of costs associated with extended stays in assisted living, skilled nursing, or other senior care facilities. Private insurance is therefore the go-to option for covering long-term residential care expenses and other senior services.
Medicare does not cover long-term stays (i.e., stays longer than 100 days) in skilled nursing facilities or other medical centers.
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 skilled nursing care services.
St. Louis participates in PACE program, which is a Medicare program/Medicaid service that helps seniors access services they may need in most locations, including within their own homes.
According to the official Medicaid website, people are eligible for PACE if they meet the following requirements:
A continuing care retirement community may be the right choice for your loved one in certain cases. Also called CCRCs or life plan communities, these locations are great for older adults who want to stay in a single spot as they age. These communities are flexible enough to meet the needs of many kinds of seniors.
Namely, a CCRC is a singular community that offers a variety of personal care options and senior living options, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care programs. Residents therefore do not need to move to a new facility to receive the level of care they need, which can change as they age.
Moving into an assisted living facility doesn’t mean your loved one will be perpetually bored. That’s because plenty of senior living locations offer their residents countless opportunities for recreation and community engagement.
Brushing teeth, toileting, and getting dressed are part of a list of tasks that experts call activities of daily living. ADLs are tasks people need to complete on a daily basis, hence their name.
When someone can’t complete these tasks on their own, finding an assisted living facility or other sort of retirement community is necessary. At these locations, people can receive personalized care services adjusted to the unique levels of care they require.
If you’re concerned about COVID-19 for yourself or your loved one, it’s easy enough to receive more information about communities online or through the community’s official phone number. You can even take virtual tours online at many facilities.
The following resources may help 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.
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. You also deserve peace of mind knowing that your loved one has a high quality of life. There are plenty of assisted living facilities in and around the City of St. Louis that can do just that.
If you’re in Missouri, discover assisted living communities in and around Saint Louis County and the St. Louis area today!