COVID-19 and Residential Care
The pandemic quickly transformed nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential care settings as less desirable. Time will tell if the post-pandemic options change the system.
Are You Considering Residential Care, An Assisted Living Facility?
Although assisted living costs less than nursing home care, it is still fairly expensive. Depending on the kind of assisted living facility and type of services an older person chooses, the price costs can range from less than $25,000 a year to more than $50,000 a year. Because there can be extra fees for additional services, it is very important for older persons to find out what is included in the basic rate and how much other services will cost.
Primarily, older persons or their families pay the cost of assisted living. Some health and long-term care insurance policies may cover some of the costs associated with assisted living. In addition, some residences have their own financial assistance programs. The federal Medicare program does not cover the costs of assisted living facilities or the care they provide. In some states, Medicaid may pay for the service component of assisted living.
- Think ahead. What will the resident’s future needs be and how will the facility meet those needs?
- Is the facility close to family and friends? Are there any shopping centers or other businesses nearby (within walking distance)?
- Do admission and retention policies exclude people with severe cognitive impairments or severe physical disabilities?
- Does the facility provide a written statement of the philosophy of care?
- Visit each facility more than once, sometimes unannounced.
- Visit at meal times, sample the food, and observe the quality of mealtime and the service.
- Observe interactions among residents and staff.
- Check to see if the facility offers social, recreational, and spiritual activities?
- Talk to residents.
- Learn what types of training staff receive and how frequently they receive training.
- Review state licensing reports.
WHAT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED?
Residents of assisted living facilities usually have their own units or apartment. In addition to having a support staff and providing meals, most assisted living facilities also offer at least some of the following services:
- Health care management and monitoring
- Help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Medication reminders and/or help with medications
- Recreational activities
Nursing homes, home care, private duty nursing services, and many other skilled medical services can range from $40,000 to $100,000 a year. Long-term care insurance can help to spread this cost out over a longer time frame and reduce the out-of-pocket cost.