It’s a decision many families face every year: when is the right time to move your elderly loved one into senior housing? More importantly, what is the right type of housing? If your elderly loved one needs extra care, there are a few different options for you.
First, there are assisted living facilities. This is for seniors who need assistance with daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating, but do not need a nurse on hand 24/7. Even if a facility has a nurse on staff, keep in mind that the nurse cannot give hands-on care in the form of dressing a wound, administering insulin or oxygen, or other tasks that state or federal governments define as “skilled nursing care.” Assisted living facilities provide a healthy social atmosphere, which is great for a lonely parent or one who enjoys social activities. In terms of costs, assisted living facilities range from $3,000 to $5,500 a month and these costs are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The next option is Dementia Care Units. These units are specifically designed for seniors who have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. They exist as stand-alone facilities and as wings within assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Prices range from $3,000 to $5,500 per month. These costs are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Another option is a nursing home. This is the best place for seniors who need constant medical care 24 hours a day. These homes have skilled medical professionals on staff to care for your loved one’s every need. These are more like hospitals, in that they must deliver skilled nursing care to frail seniors. Although they come with a hefty price tag of $4,150 to $6,650 per month, Medicare and Medicaid will cover some – or perhaps all – of your loved one’s costs.
When comparing various housing options for your loved one, consider what he or she will need a year or two from now. Moving an elder can be draining on both of you, so you want to make a decision for the future.
If your loved one doesn’t need a home now, but will need in a year or so, get a feel for the communities around you and start to compare pricing and amenities. This will give you insight into what you should be looking for and what is a reasonable deal when you are ready to commit.
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