Just like the cost of any home. Some communities require an up-front buy-in while others ask residents to sign a simple monthly lease.
Where to Start: How to Pick The Right Option?
Our team at Oxford Senior Living is here to guide you through each step of the next chapter in life. Our calling is to help you and your loved one stay safe, live well and thrive. Understanding some of the differences between senior housing options will help you find a starting point. The first step is determining the appropriate level of care you need – or want.
Use this guide to help you find the right starting point.
Independent Living is essentially any type of apartment or patio home that has been designed to cater to seniors’ needs. These homes typically offer maintenance-free living and may have access to services that include housekeeping, meals, maintenance and activities geared toward seniors. Neighbors grow into fast friends as they regularly gather for games, outings, parties and fitness without having to rely on outside transportation. You can truly remain independent. A new trend in Independent Living offers apartments for active seniors with a la carte pricing, essentially making the social and safety benefits of senior communities available to a much wider audience than the all-inclusive resorts with heftier price tags.
Assisted Living can offer the independence of apartment living with the added comfort of on-site health care including medication management and assistance with Activities of Daily Living like dressing, bathing and eating. On-site dining, housekeeping and laundry are standard also. Assisted Living communities work closely with families and health care providers to determine the appropriate level of care for each new resident. Most Assisted Living communities also offer an array of social activities that help seniors stay mentally and physically active with classes, contests and outings throughout each week. Additional amenities and quality dining in these communities can also prompt more family time with Grandma if the extended family enjoys coming to visit and participate in community events.
Memory Care offers 24-hour care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Memory Care communities include many of the benefits of Assisted Living, like medication management and assistance with personal care. More importantly, Memory Care communities are fully secure to help ensure the safety of residents who wander, and care staff in these communities typically receive special training to help them understand how best to communicate with dementia residents. Seniors who live with Alzheimer’s and dementia may have difficulty physically and emotionally, but a secure environment with specially trained staff can help those seniors retain quality of life and give their adult children peace of mind. These communities may also offer family support through caregiver support groups that help family members cope with the difficulties of grieving the loss of a living parent. According to the latest statistics released by the Alzheimer’s Association, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 145% since 2000 with an increase in the total population who develop Alzheimer’s every day. With the need for Memory Care communities on the rise, many have a wait list.
Skilled Nursing, often referred to as nursing homes, offer 24-hour care in a more clinical setting. Patients who are recovering from an injury or illness may stay in Skilled Nursing or rehabilitation hospitals for a limited time. In 2010, the US Census found that only 3% of seniors live in skilled nursing settings. Rather than moving to a Skilled Nursing setting, most seniors enlist support through home health or assisted living communities.
Breaking Down the Costs
While a few senior housing options fit the average social security benefit, the majority of us will want or need senior care that costs hundreds or thousands more each month. As with nearly any industry, you get what you pay for. If you or your parents are in need of a much higher level of care, your cost will be higher than that of a person who is able to walk, eat and dress themselves without assistance. So plan on spending more depending on how much one-on-one care you or your loved one will need.
Long-term Care Insurance policies can be a big asset, but they are not the only option to afford the lifestyle you need or want. Many veterans and their spouses qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits that help pay for assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. And in some cases, life insurance policies or mortgages can be leveraged.