10 Essential Need-to-Know Facts About Assisted Living You Need to Think About

An assisted living community is a big change for any senior. It is also a major step for a family to decide to place a loved one in its care. Unlike a nursing home, assisted living provides a much more community-oriented environment for seniors. It can also take a lot of pressure off families that are stressed over personal care. Independent senior living has multiple benefits for families that are ready for the change.

10. Assisted Living Is Not The End Of The Line

There is no need to have a sense of dread when deciding on assisted living. This is not a punishment, it is an alternative. Nursing homes often signal to families that it is the ‘end of the line’ for their loved ones. Assisted living is different, and points to a new beginning for everyone involved. Going into assisted living is no different than moving into a new home. It is something that the entire family can help with, and is an experience that won’t leave you with doubts about the future. The most trying questions about the move in can be answered before moving in. After that, it is simply an adjustment period between the senior and the staff. Sometimes the first assisted living home isn’t the right one, but that is normal for any new experience.

9.Physical And Mental Health Makes Every Individual Different

Chronic or mental illnesses will change how well a senior adjusts in assisted living programs. The original assessment of admitting a senior is not always the most thorough of processes. Special needs may get missed, and a missed diagnosis can make the arrangement uncomfortable for all. A lot hinges on the report from your current physician. The more detailed the report, the easier it is to find any inconsistencies in the living arrangements. Vague reporting only makes it more difficult, and will definitely lead to complications later on after settling in. Families should be wary of any report that sugarcoats important details about a serious diagnosis. In a way, it is up to the family to be forthcoming more than it is the program to be investigative.

8. Services Scale According To Need

The prices for assisted living will depend largely on how much care or special treatment is needed. Not every senior need the Cadillac of assisted living. Expenses for one individual may be much higher for another. And seniors go in as a couple or bring along a pet, there are other expenses to consider. Discovering all of the fees and putting them side by side will give you a general idea of how much is spent annually. You should also make room in your findings for a possible uptick in prices. Seniors with declining health will end up costing more as their care demands more attention. It’s little cost increases like this that make a difference in choosing the best-assisted living program for long term stay.

7. Programs Won’t Have Every Service

There will be a few services missing from several places that you really like. This is normal, and shouldn’t be seen as a negative towards an assisted living program. Just like there isn’t a perfect home, there is no such thing as perfect assisted living. The key is to prioritize services that seniors can’t live without, either for personal preference or special needs. The former is to ensure they are happy, while the latter ensures they are healthy. Make a list of these priorities and use them as a measure of compatibility with several different assisted living programs. Remember, assisted living is about independent living for the residents. When the care exceeds what the program can offer, it may be time to consider alternative options.

6. Doctors Aren’t Onsite

Families shouldn’t confuse assisted living with nursing homes. Nursing home residents live a different type of life, and it is mandatory that the facility is fully staffed, including professional care. Independent living is not really an option, so privacy takes a backseat to provide necessary healthcare. That doesn’t mean that serious health issues like dementia are not available in an assisted living program. Dementia and Alzheimer’s care is possible if the program is equipped for it. Assisted living is a great way to keep quality of life high for seniors that suffer from these diseases. You can always call ahead to see if this is an option for the program you’re most interested in. Even if they don’t support it, there is possibly a chance they can provide a useful referral.

5. Prices Change All The Time

A price change can disrupt care if you’re not prepared for it. Usually, there won’t be a sharp enough price increase that prevents you from meeting a payment. But there is enough of a fluctuation that you should be prepared for when it happens. Base rent and fees rise because of inflation or services provided a la carte. The biggest of the two is services, which becomes a problem if your loved one has a lot of medical issues. Small charges like those tacked on for meal delivery or medication management can easily sneak onto your bill and raise the price. Make sure to go over the initial contract to see just how much this can affect your payment. You may be able to negotiate a lock-down on all a la carte services so that it requires your approval first. The initial contract can always be negotiated, so don’t be afraid to go into detail about what’s expected from both sides. It’s better to know prices up front before they are staring at you in the face with a massive bill.

4. Medicaid Might Cause Problems

The biggest dispute with assisted living programs is how Medicaid is incorporated and accepted. Programs that accept Medicaid can’t turn down a senior just because they use that particular insurance. Communities that have strict insurance requirements will let you know up front so that there is no mystery of foul play. This is an important thing to mention because programs get less money from Medicaid. As a result, there are fewer rooms and beds available for residents that use Medicaid as their primary insurance. When this happens, even if there is room for a new tenant, they may turn you down if all of their Medicaid slots are taken. Any current resident of an assisted living program that will be Medicaid eligible won’t be kicked out of their current program if the community accepts Medicaid -this is regardless of how many Medicaid slots are available.

3. Seniors Can Be Booted From Assisted Living

Getting kicked out of assisted living is a real thing, just like any other resident. This isn’t malicious and often has to do with three reasons. The first is non-payment which violates the original contract. Just like missing rent, missing your assisted living program payments will get you evicted. There are forgiveness and assistance options available, but there is a limit to how they’re applied. Once you get into the habit of failing to meet the contract, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for a more compatible community. Getting kicked out also happens when health issues exceed what the program can offer. This is the most common reason to get kicked out, and it usually happens when the initial report from the doctor doesn’t include enough details. That is why the doctor’s report is vital to ensuring your loved one gets in a compatible program. The last reason to get kicked out could be behavioral issues. This isn’t something that happens often, but physical altercations with staff and fellow seniors is not a good look. If a resident has behavioral problems that cause security issues for everyone else, then they will have to leave.

2. Sometimes Communities Don’t Gel Well

Even when everything lines up right, certain communities aren’t the right fit for seniors. Imagine finding a great house but not liking the neighborhood. That is a similar setup to what you may go through when looking for an assisted living program. Great services, location and price won’t always be a surefire road to happiness for a new resident. Take the time to make sure they like the staff, residents and daily activities.

1. The Contract Is Binding For More Than The Resident

Things can get confusing in the area of contracts of the resident is not responsible for making payments. If other adults are set up as the guarantor, then it becomes a contract between the resident and the people signing on their behalf. This does not cover contracts where other adults sign on a power of attorney. Be aware of all the stipulations when signing your name on an assisted living contract.

Wrap Up

Your search for an assisted living should cover vital priorities for both the senior and the family. Aging loved ones don’t have to experience a drop of life quality. With the right assisted living program, it will be like they never left home. This is the new revolution of senior communities that keeps on improving for the better.

Feature Image Source: Pixabay

One thought on “10 Essential Need-to-Know Facts About Assisted Living You Need to Think About

  • I like that you state that there is no need to dread using an assisted living facility. My mother has been having a rough time since my dad passed and we want her to be taken care of as well as possible. I will keep this in mind while I help my siblings look for a home that she can live in and be taken care of.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.