Understanding the various Senior Living Communities is imperative. Most intertwine the multiple communities and think they are all the same. They are not. Many equate senior living to nursing homes, but there are options. Assisted living and nursing homes are two options. Depending upon the level of care will determine the best fit for your aging loved one.
An assisted living facility provides a one-bedroom or studio apartment for individuals, including a kitchen, bedroom, and living spaces. Facilities are for active seniors who can no longer live independently and need assistance with one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Service may include assistance with dressing, bathing, and ambulating. Assisted living residents allow individuals to live independently yet get help where needed. Some communities specialize in serving individuals with specific needs such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s.
Medicare will only pay for skilled services or rehabilitative care. A nursing home has a maximum of 100 days of coverage, but the average Medicare-covered stay is much shorter (22 days). Therefore, it is best to check with your nursing home provider.
Medicare does not cover assisted living residences or any additional care needed with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Long Term Care or life insurance policies with a long-term care component can help with these costs. Speaking with a financial advisor or life insurance agent/broker is best about these options.
Depending on the state’s Medicaid program, low-income individuals may be able to utilize Medicaid to help cover the cost of services. State Medicaid programs can cover home and community-based services (HCBS) such as personal care and supportive services provided in assisted living communities. Medicaid does not pay for room and board costs.
Ultimately, evaluate your aging loved one’s needs to determine which is better for them.