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Independent Living and Retirement Communities

For those seniors who are totally independent and want to maintain an active senior lifestyle, retirement communities offer the ideal choice. You will have the option of living in a senior apartment community or a residential community set up to cater to the unique needs and desires of the active senior population. You will typically have the option of either securing a lease or buying a unit within your community complex. Additionally, some of these communities offer laundry, meal preparation, housekeeping, and concierge services. These are socially rich environments where many will enjoy lots of activities and recreation. Expect anywhere between 50 to 300 units per community. Costs for independent living will vary depending on geographical location, amenities, buying versus leasing, and ancillary services offered.

Home Care

Is a popular choice for those seniors and elders who strongly prefer to stay in their homes with the assistance of a professional home companions and caregivers. These home caregivers and companions offer a variety of services all aimed at enabling an enhanced quality of life in an environment that most people are most comfortable. Some of the services offered include:
  • Companionship
  • Housekeeping
  • Assistance with routine activities of daily living such as bathing & showering, meal preparation, medication reminders, errands and appointments, laundry, restroom assistance, dressing. Also referred as custodial or personal care
  • Taking care of pets
  • Transportation assistance
  • Skilled medical home care offering more intensive medical care provided by nurses and therapists
  • Respite Care for family caregivers who need some relief or downtime to take care of personal and professional business
Caregivers and companions are available based on your needs and can provide you with 24/7 care and are open to a “live-in” situation where they will be there at your beckoning call.

Although this option is preferred by most, it can be extremely expensive. Be prepared to pay $25 per hour for personal care and up to $90 per hour for skilled home care. The monthly bill can easily climb to tens of thousands of dollars per month.

Assisted Living

This senior residence option is ideal for those individuals who need a little assistance and/or supervision with activities of daily living (i.e. bathing, dressing, eating, medication reminders) but do not require intensive supervision and medical care like a nursing home. Simply put, assisted living is the midpoint between home and a nursing home. Seniors who choose this option are alert but are no longer able to safely live on their own. Residences can maintain a respectable level of independence and privacy. Assisted living facilities can range from large houses in residential neighborhoods with a few private or shared rooms to large complexes with over 200 units. Most facilities range from 25 to125 units. You can expect 24/7 on-call service, 2 to 3 meals daily, recreational activities, exercise and social programs, laundry services and transportation. Some assisted living facilities will offer specialized care for Alzheimer’s/ Dementia residents and some will be granted hospice waivers to care for hospice residents. Costs will vary significantly (from $1,500 to $6,000 per month) depending on the geographical area and services requested. The national average base price is around $30,000 a year and does not include various services.

Residential Care Home—"Board and Care Homes"

Residential Care Homes are operated in private homes in residential communities and are an excellent choice for residents who are looking for a more intimate, private, “home like” assisted living experience. You will be taken care of by a staff of professional caregivers and will often live with up to 6-8 senior residents. Often times, many of the facilities maybe in close proximity to a client’s previous homestead; thus, allowing residences to stay connected to their communities that they have grown accustomed. Some Residential Care Homes will offer specialized care for Alzheimer’s/Dementia residents and some will be granted hospice waivers to care for hospice clients. Costs will vary significantly (from $1,500 to $6,000 per month) depending on the geographical area and services requested. The national average base price is around $30,000 a year and does not include various services.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Facilities

This option is ideal for those seniors who exhibit or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia symptoms. Some of these symptoms include, but are not limited, to the following:
  • Confusion and forgetfulness
  • Difficulty remembering names and faces of close friends and relatives
  • Abusive and unpredictable behavior, combative and refuses care and supervision
  • Will wander away from their homes and forget where they live
Alzheimer’s Care and Dementia care are ideally suited for those who need extensive personal care and assistance of activities of daily living. Facilities are often modified with special doors, locks, alarms and devices suited for residents who often find themselves wandering. The staff at Alzheimer’s and Dementia facilities often receive specialty training aimed at caring for the unique and demanding needs of Alzheimer/Dementia clients. Costs are often times higher than your base rates for assisted living and residential care home and can range anywhere from $36,000 to over $100,000 a year.

Skilled Nursing Homes and Facilities

Nursing homes, also referred to as skilled nursing facilities, are for seniors who require round-the-clock care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living requiring round-the-clock nursing supervision and medical care in addition to meals, personal care, laundry services, recreation, rehabilitative programs, pharmacy and laboratory services, and counseling. While skilled nursing is typically needed for long term care, nursing homes are also available for short periods of time while a residents recovers from an injury, surgery, and/or illness. The average national cost for skilled nursing is more than $60,000 per year and can easily pass over $100,000 per year.

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