If you’re looking for the best assisted living facility for you or your loved one, you’ll most likely have lots of questions in your mind. We’ve come up with a list of common questions and answers about this topic that may help you make an informed decision. Be sure to check our previous post, Assisted Living Facilities Part 1.
What is the Average Cost of Assisted Living?
Even though assisted living costs vary greatly, assisted living in Myrtle Beach tends to be less expensive than in-home or nursing home services in the same area. The location of the facility, the type and extent of the services offered, and how much they charge, will all affect the price you pay. Ask about the exact terms and conditions of ALFs when interviewing them so you don’t get surprised by unexpected expenses.
ALFs offer a variety of pricing models to accommodate residents’ individual needs, with some offering all-inclusive rates and others utilizing points systems or multi-level tiered structures. Plus, more specialized facilities may even opt for per-service or à la carte options – adding an additional fee based on the services provided.
The national median price of a private one-bedroom unit in an ALF for a private homeowner was $3,268 per month in 2016. Missouri had the lowest rates. There was a median rate of $2,357 per month. The District of Columbia, however, had the highest monthly rates at $6,700.
Many people are curious if assisted living facilities that are not for profit offer lower rates. The CDC report states that nearly 82 percent ALFs are for-profit, making it difficult to find non-profit facilities. It is not possible to guarantee that the rates of these facilities will be lower even if you find them. Non-profit ALFs are also more likely to be associated with certain groups or associations, such as religious, professional, and ethnic organizations.
SBDCNet reports that almost 70% of senior citizens who live in senior living facilities rely upon their family and personal wealth to pay for their expenses. Seniors pay for an assisted living using funds from their:
- Investment portfolios
- Savings accounts
- Home sale proceeds
- Families or children
Some ALFs will negotiate their prices. If their occupancy rates are low, they may offer a lower rate base rate. They may also be willing to include a clause that guarantees that your rates will remain the same for a certain period of time. Do not be afraid to negotiate to make assisted living more affordable.
Is assisted living covered by Medicaid? What are the other funding options?
Medicaid was originally only available for the care of nursing homes. It didn’t pay for expenses for assisted living facilities. Many states are making changes to ensure that Medicaid covers ALF costs. Medicaid is not able to cover all costs associated with assisted living in states or regions that it can be used.
The American Council on Aging reports that as of 2019, 40 states and the District of Columbia offer some assistance through Home and Community Based Services. ALF costs can be covered by some state Medicaid plans. Each state and each district has its own availability. There are many types of waivers and plans that can be used. While waivers often offer higher payments than regular plans, they are usually enrollment-capped and require residents with high-level medical needs. While state Medicaid plans are less expensive than waivers due to the lack of enrollment caps and more restrictive care requirements, they are generally cheaper.
It is important to check the regulations in your area. The definition of assisted living and the services that are covered by it varies from one state to another. Additionally, Medicaid is not always available in all ALFs. Because there are so many factors to consider, Medicaid should be evaluated individually to determine if it is an option. It’s not always possible, and it isn’t always the best option.
Despite this, significant progress has been made over the past few years in Medicaid coverage. It is expected that it will continue to improve. It’s a good thing, because it can be difficult to get assisted living if you don’t have enough money or are not able to pay for Medicaid. Government agencies, businesses, as well as organizations, need to collaborate to create affordable senior living options.
As you work out how to finance assisted living, it is important to consider all possible financing options. You may also have other funding options, including private, state, non-profit and federal funding options.
Veterans can receive the Aid & Attendance (A&A), pension benefit
With so many options available, why not make the most of them? Embrace all that life has to offer and consider embracing optional opportunities whenever they come your way.
What are the most important questions to ask when choosing an assisted living facility?
You will likely find that you have a lot of questions to ask when it comes to assisted living in Myrtle Beach. This is a big decision for you and your loved one. This is a major decision that will change your life. You want to make sure you and your loved one are comfortable and well taken care of in a home that feels like home.
It is important to understand the various levels of care offered. You should also look into the future. Is there ever a time when your loved one or you will need to move to a nursing facility? It is important to plan for the future and consider how fast those needs might change. It may be helpful to learn about the most common reasons residents leave an assisted living facility.
While first impressions are important, it’s important to dig deeper into a community you’re interested in visiting. Make a list of questions before you arrive. Consider the features and services that are most important to you or your loved ones. What is the definition of high quality living for you and your loved one? Talking to other residents and their families is also helpful. What are their opinions about the community?
Here are six areas you should consider and possible questions to help you get started with your questions.
- Are rates currently affordable? Will they remain affordable in the future as well?
- Does Medicaid accept Medicaid?
- Is there a way to pay for the services?
- Are all fees and services disclosed in the agreements?
- Is there a fee structure that is based on changing needs?
- What are the transfer and refund policies?
- Do personal renter’s policies need to be purchased?
2. Staffing and care
- Are care plans written by residents and reviewed regularly?
- What is the assessment of residents by staff at the facility?
- What policies are in place for medication storage and distribution?
- Is it legal for residents to self-medicate?
- Do you have staff who can coordinate appointments and home health care visits?
- How medical emergencies are handled?
- What personal care services do you offer?
- What type of transportation are you able to use and when is it available?
- Are background and criminal checks done on staff members by the community?
- Do you find it difficult to communicate with management?
- What is the level of training? What education are they required to receive?
- Are nurses available every day and on-call throughout the night?
- Do you have any questions for other residents or families?
- Are you able to drop by unannounced to view the residents and staff?
- Do you know of any Alzheimer’s or dementia care units?
As you evaluate living arrangements, it is important to be mindful of safety and security measures. Consider inquiring about the presence of grab bars or tub guards in common areas; whether a staff member can be reached with relative ease; if doors are secure against external intrusions; any potential issues that have been raised by residents within the senior living community and/or evidence of abuse towards personnel members as well as necessary criminal clearances for employees.
4. Living quarters and facility
- Is the place welcoming and comfortable?
- Are the staff and management friendly with residents?
- Are residents happy?
- Are the residents well-cared for?
- Can residents retain a certain degree of independence and privacy?
- Who can live in the personal living quarters of an individual?
- Are there different types or styles of studios and apartments?
- Are the living areas furnished?
- What are the rules for living in the community?
- Are residents allowed to cook and eat in their apartments?
- Do you have any specific schedules?
- Are the communities well-organized and easy to navigate?
- Are there safety features in the community such as handrails and no-skid flooring, smoke detectors, and high toilets for seniors?
- What are the smoking guidelines?
- Are the menus ever changed?
- What number of meals and snacks are included with the quoted rate?
- Are special dietary requirements and meal requests possible?
- Are residents allowed to eat wherever and whenever they want, even in their own homes?
- Are the buildings clean and well-maintained?
- Are families kept up to date?
- Is it simple for families to reach facility staff?
- Are family members notified about any changes in the care of a resident?
- How do families get notified of medical emergencies?
- Is there an appeals process for residents or family members who are dissatisfied?
6. Personal Enjoyment
- Are you certain that your loved one will be content living in the home?
- Are there any satisfaction surveys of residents?
- Do you think it would be possible to try a few meals to get a feel for the food?
- Is there any organized events or activities that residents can participate in, even if they are not within the community?
- Are residents encouraged and supported to take part in activities and events?
- Is it possible to have pets in the apartment?
- Are family members allowed to spend the night in residents’ private quarters?
Call Reflections Assisted Living at Carolina Forest now if you’re looking for the best assisted living facility for your loved one.
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