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Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

Last post Tue, May 13 2014 7:00 AM by babsagain. 12 replies.
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  • Sun, May 4 2014 10:20 PM

    Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

     As our parents (or even us) are aging ~ what are the accommodations available for those who are NOT independent???

     I guess? there is a division between the two living styles ~ and it's a fine line!  When one is incapable of independence, and just suggestions are not enough ~ Nursing Homes could be the only solution?

    Assisted Living will not "accept" any insurance, that I know???  Nursing Homes do accept insurance coverage, depending on the type ~ and sometimes MediCAID!

    Yes, MediCARE, will be "accept" for a very limited period of time, if certain criteria is met ~ every state is DIFFERENT!  A patient must be in a hospital for 3 midnights and transported by ambulance to Nursing Home ~ NOT Assisted Living.  Then 30 or 60 (???) days will be covered by MediCARE ~ and this interim period you can make arrangements for MediCAID, IF and only IF, the Nursing Home "accepts" MediCAID. 

    Every State and every Facility is DIFFERENT!  ~  Do your homework and find out the terms and conditions!!!!  The Nursing Home will, of course, receive a patient's Social Security AND  pension ~ MediCAID will "pick up" the difference!

    I would certainly be interested in others' experiences ~ 'cause I'm getting to THAT age that I may need HELP! 

    JustMe

     

     

     

  • Mon, May 5 2014 12:02 AM In reply to

    • Sea
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Feb 23 2013
    • Posts 874

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

     JustMe, My parents were in both. In Assisted Living, they had their own and nurse coverage if they needed it. They had ato take care of all their physical needs - eating, bathing, dressing, etc. They enjoyed it - lots of company, activities, van trips, just almost a hotel atmosphere (it was a pretty high-class residence, and they could afford it).

    Nursing homes are quite different. My own experience is that they offer 24/7 nursing care, doctor access, assistance in bathing, dressing, eating. Looking for one merits a great deal of careful research.  Aides perform much of the work. Yes they are prohibively expensive and you are right about the spending-down of assets Medicaid requires. They will take all your income, but then, everything is provided.

     I would try the Assisted living first if you can afford it, also research this carefully. I am sure you can find reviews of facilities on the Internet.

    By any chance can you afford to stay in your home with help? Some states try their best to keep us at home, bringing in help. Contact the Center For Independent living in your state first for finding about any of these options.

  • Mon, May 5 2014 9:35 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

     Long term care insurance, aka LTC insurance, can be purchased to cover your care expenses.  It is fairly expensive--expect to pay around $200 monthly for one person.  However, the cost of an assisted living facility and a care center is in the thousands every month. 

    If you don't have LTC insurance, and need care beyond what Medicare pays, the you will most likely be covered by Medicaid BUT only after your assets are used to pay your care first.  If a spouse is involved, then they are allowed to keep a house, a vehicle, and a very small amount of any savings.  Everything else is used to pay for your care.  

    That is why, if you have retirement savings/investments, it is so important to have LTC insurance in place.  

     

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Mon, May 5 2014 10:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

    My dad recently moved into assisted living. Nursing home care was 2x the cost and not independent enough for my still-independent dad.

    Assisted living provides meals, medicine assistance, light housekeeping and laundry. A person must be able to care for him/herself to live in the assisted living apartments. My dad has a small apartment without a full kitchen (he does not want to cook for himself). Other units have stoves/ovens so a person could make meals. My dad can come and go as he wishes (he still drives) but appreciates the social and community aspect of assisted living as well as knowing there is someone available 24 hours a day should he need assistance (he has some health issues).

    Nursing care was not an option for him at this time. He does not need that level of care right now.

    And I agree with PP about purchasing LTC insurance. So important! But lots of options, reasearch carefully.

    Erika
  • Thu, May 8 2014 10:58 AM In reply to

    • Mimi
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, May 4 2008
    • Posts 993

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

    I am extremely thankful that for now at least I am much better than I was, but I have looked into a lot of options for myself due to my health problems.  It is so complicated, and you're right that it varies so much by location!

    Here assisted living is at least twice the cost of a nursing home, which seems strange since there isn't as much care provided. 

    Because I simply can't afford the thousands of dollars per month and I don't qualify for assistance since I'm not the right age and they can't figure out the cause of many of my symptoms so they can't be "proven" to qualify me for disability (wouldn't it be wonderful if that made them magically go away?!) what I've considered is creating my own form of assisted living in a way.  Right now I live in a little house in the country which requires driving to grocery stores, etc.  This isn't really practical when my health problems get worse. There is no public transportation in my small town.  (There is a van service by appointment for seniors or disabled people, but even the small fee adds up.)

    Even a fancy regular apartment is thousands less than an assisted living facility since I don't have anything that would cover that care.  If it is on the main floor or the building has an elevator, I have the advantage of not having to deal with stairs.  There is also no maintenance to deal with.  I would look for one on the busline so that I wouldn't have to drive.  One that is close to stores and restaurants and medical facilities would be ideal.

    Cities have lots of restaurants that deliver.  Most now even have home grocery delivery companies and even personal chefs that make & deliver healthy meals.  While it costs a lot more than I currently pay by going to Aldi and cooking my own food, it's still far far cheaper than assisted living or nursing homes in my area.

    There are also home health care aides and nurses that will visit regularly if you need them to and there is always 911 in an emergency as well as those call button services that are comparatively affordable.

    I just wanted to throw out a third option for people in a similar situation to me.  I hope this helps!

    "...for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil." Proverbs 15:15b-16 NLT

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.--Winston Churchill
  • Thu, May 8 2014 11:25 AM In reply to

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

    JustMe, my mother was in an assisted living facility and her long term care insurance covered most of it. The key was whether or not the nursing staff gave mom her medication each day versus my mom keeping it in her room and taking it herself. If mom kept her medications and took them herself then the insurance would not pay. Mom did not have an apartment but she had a nice large room that allowed her to bring her own bedroom suite and much of her own stuff from home such as pictures for the walls, etc. Someone from the nursing staff stuck their head in the door and checked on her every hour. The facility allowed her to have a microwave and a small refrigerator in her room but she couldn't have a hot plate, toaster oven or a coffee pot. They had a beautiful dining room that resembled a five star restaurant and believe it or not, for the most part the food was excellent. The residents even ordered their meals off of a menu so they had choices. If I am not mistaken, I think mom's portion of the assisted living only came to a couple of hundred dollars a month. It ended up being less expensive for her than living in her home. It took mom a few months to settle in but when she did, she loved it there.
  • Thu, May 8 2014 11:52 AM In reply to

    • Mimi
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, May 4 2008
    • Posts 993

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

    Oh, I just remembered that my friend (who is in her 40's but needs the care that a nursing home provides) has had social workers visit her both in the hospital and elsewhere who specialize in helping people navigate the confusing aspects of financing the various options and finding one that in her case accepts medicaid.  Even though she lives in a relatively small city, there are several that do.

     The social workers really helped, and she likes where she is.

    "...for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil." Proverbs 15:15b-16 NLT

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.--Winston Churchill
  • Thu, May 8 2014 11:46 PM In reply to

    • Sea
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Feb 23 2013
    • Posts 874

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

     JustMe, you can try contacting your senator and representative, sending a detailed letter about your conditions and needs and the failure of the system to provide you with disability. You can also write your governor.

    And please do look into the Center for Independent Living. They truly might be able to help you.

    Good thoughts going out to you from me.

  • Fri, May 9 2014 12:12 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

     An alternative to waiting until the inevitable crisis occurs is to move to a CCRC (Continous Care Retirement Community). My mother did that and it worked out very well for her. She'd been in her house for 40 years and cried when it sold but six months later, relieved of the burdens of homeownership, said "I wish I had done this ten years ago!" She lived there for eleven years, the last six months in assisted living. For years if I couldn't reach her by phone I didn't worry about it because I knew she was checked on at least daily and she was out running around doing stuff.

    Essentially the deal with a CCRC is this: You pay either a large entrance fee, a very high monthly fee, or a mixture of both. Entrance fees range from $60,000 to over $350,000, plus a monthly rent for the dwelling, which can be an apartment, a detached single-family home which is usually a one or two-bedroom cottage type house with one level - no stairs, and perhaps a garage. On the same campus is an apartment building or two, or three, which includes facilities for independent living and full nursing care if that becomes needed.

    You may or may not get back some or all of the entrance fee depending on the policy of that particular place. What you get for it is a lower monthly expense and a promise that if you exhaust your financial resources while there they will not throw you out. Sort of a paid-up long term care policy.

    I'm 64 and we are looking around at CCRCs with the intention of moving to one in five to eight years. FIL was so stuck on hanging on to his house that he couldn't afford or physically keep up anymore that he would have been far better off in a CCRC. So many people don't want to face the inevitable reality that unless they are very wealthy and can afford a nurse at home that eventually they will have to move. Our thought is do that move before we are forced to thus avoiding the inevitable crisis. Both of our parents had a lot of assistance from their kids when they had to move. We won't have that assistance - no kids - and we wouldn't want to place that burden on them anyway. So it is up to us to take responsibility for ourselves.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Sun, May 11 2014 4:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home ! ! !

     JustMe-Living thru assisted care arrangements with Daddy right now lead me to give you this advice-- RESEARCH CAREFULLY!

    Outward appearances do not reflect the quality of care or services.    

    retred 

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