Elder Care Fundamentals: What You Should KnowElder Care Fundamentals: What You Should Know


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Elder Care Fundamentals: What You Should Know

After watching several of my family members struggle with dementia and various other age-related conditions, I spent a lot of time researching the options for assisted living, in-home care, and nursing homes. I wanted to be sure that I understood what was out there before my parents came to need it. All of my research helped me learn a lot about future care options for my family. I decided to help clarify the options for others who may be as confused as I was. This intention of this blog is to do just that. I hope that the information here helps you understand the basics so you can make the right choice when you need to.

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An Assisted Living Facility: What Is It?

If you are growing worried about a loved one's safety and ability to properly take care of themselves on their own, you may be thinking about an assisted living facility. An assisted living facility may be a difficult topic to bring up with your loved ones, but it can also be necessary. 

What Is an Assisted Living Facility?

Assisted living facilities are a place your loved ones can go to receive more assistance than they can get at home. An assisted living facility typically allows them to live in their own apartment or room. They will have around-the-clock supervision in case of an accident or emergency, as well as assistance with many things. 

The assistance provided in an assisted living facility can include:

  • Meals
  • Laundry
  • Transportation
  • Medication
  • Bathing
  • Cleaning

If you think your loved one needs more hands-on care, an assisted living facility may not be the best choice. Assisted living facilities are designed to provide some care, but not high-level medical care. 

Nursing Home vs. Assisted Living

An assisted living facility is a good place to get around-the-clock supervision and daily living support, but a nursing home is designed to cater more to the medical assistance side. Nursing homes are good places to go to receive physical therapy and/or occupational therapy after an accident or injury. It's common for a stay at a nursing home to be a temporary stay to give one the chance to heal from an injury. Nursing homes may also be ideal for someone who suffers from dementia. If you are unsure where your loved one would fit better, ask their doctor for assistance. 

Is Assisted Living Permanent?

An assisted living facility is usually a permanent arrangement. Because it is a place to go when experiencing a deterioration in health and ability to care for yourself, if your loved one does move to a facility, it is unlikely they will leave. If you think an assisted living facility is the place for your loved one, have an open and honest conversation about your feelings and what an assisted living facility is really like. 

Does Medicare Cover the Cost of Assisted Living?

Unfortunately, Medicare plans do not cover the cost of an assisted living facility. This can be quite frustrating because assisted living is not cheap. Assisted living costs average around $45,000 per year. Your loved one may still be able to receive assistance in paying for their assisted living.

Other financial assistance options can include:

  • VA benefits
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Medicaid assistance

If your loved one does not qualify for the above options, they would need to pay for assisted living out of pocket.