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Which Senior Living Option is Right for Us?

Independent Living Facility (IL)
Senior facilities (usually 55+ apartment style) allow seniors to live independently and offer structured activities they can choose to participate in with others their age. Usually there is no care provided. In some ILs meals, house­keeping, and maintenance are offered to residents as part of the package. Most IL facilities offer month-to-month leases.

IL is paid for out-of-pocket. This is usually the least expensive of any private pay option, but has limited care options for those who may need any assistance

Planned Senior/Adult Communities
In some areas of the United States, there are whole communities planned for seniors 55+. These communities offer services to ca­ter for the different needs and ages of seniors, but are generally geared towards those who are still active. The communities may be homes, condominiums, duplexes and even apartments.

Most of the time independentliving is combined with easy access to care providers. Residents usually pay a monthly fee to cover activities and to maintain all common areas and landscaping. Amada began in one of these communi­ties, called Leisure World, which eventually incorporated and became the city of Laguna Woods. It is structured entirely around the seniors who live there.

Assisted Living Community (AL)
ALs are senior care com­munities that are licensed by the state to provide room/board, meals, medication management and care. Assisted living communities are usually large, hotel-like buildings with many common areas (dining room, game rooms, libraries and common activity areas). AL com­munities tend to have a base rate per month to cover room, board, meals and additional fees depending on levels of care provided. For example:

  • Level One may include bathing three times per week and light housekeeping services once per week.
  • Level Two may include all Level One services in addition to transfer assistance to the dining room.
  • Level Three may include all Levels One and Two services, plus assistance with continence care and medication management

Frequently, these levels are based on a point sys­tem that matches all ADLs or needed activities. Once a client moves to a new level, additional fees are incurred. AL communities are usually a great fit for those who are very social by nature, but need only lower levels of care. Staffing ratios can sometimes be one caregiver to 12-15 residents. Usually lifestyle and activities are what draw people to AL facilities.

AL is paid for out-of-pocket, with a LTC policy or through VA aid and attendance benefit.

It’s important to note that not all ALs are the same. Depending on your budget, care needs, personality and desire to be social; there may be a home that is just right for you. It is vital that you work with an Amada Placement Consultant to help you navigate the many options available. Consider calling Amada today to find out the options in your area.

Board and Care (B&C), Adult Family Home (AFH)
B&C and AFH arehomes in residential neighborhoods that are retrofitted to care for seniors. They are usually state licensed to care for up to six seniors. Most provide one caregiver per three residents (two for six). These homes generally have an all-inclusive fee structure with room, board, meals and care all included in one set monthly cost.

These homes are usually located in family neighborhoods and can be very cost effective for those who need a higher level of care. Assisted living com­munities will frequently transition clients to board and care once their needs supersede what the facility can provide. B&C or AFH can be a great option for families with loved ones who need full time care.

Like assisted living communities, there are a wide range of options in board and care/adult family homes. Some are small and cozy while others are large and spacious. Some are very attractive and others are definitely in need of a physical plant upgrade. Amada specializes in helping find B&C and AFHs based on the needs and desires of families. If you need assistance finding and selecting a B&C/AFH, call an Amada placement consultant today.

Senior Continuing Care Campuses
Thesecampuses or communities that have many combined housing options in one setting. Many times they will have an independent living section, an assisted living section and a skilled nursing section. This allows their residents to age in one community, which can adapt to their changing needs. Frequently, a full-time nurse is on staff to assist with any medical issues.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), Nursing Home or Rehabilitation Center
Most skilled nursing facilities provide 24-hour nursing and skilled medical care. They provide two types of service:

  • focus on physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and nursing/skilled needs. Medicare usually reimburses these services after a consecutive three-day hospital stay.
  • focus on the long-term cus­todial care of seniors including bathing, dressing, feeding and other activities of daily living. These services are not paid for by Medicare, but can be paid by Medicaid if the patient qualifies or can be paid for privately.

One of the biggest determining factors in choosing a senior care environment is the cost. Most of the senior care options mentioned above must be paid for out of the senior’s pocket (skilled nursing is the exception and is usually paid for by Medicare/Medicaid). This means that it is important to decide on a budget before you start to look for a suitable setting, and remember to fac­tor in all possible payment options. Check to see if the following options are available for you as you determine your budget.

** In addition to privately paying for care in any facility, some patients may also meet the criteria to utilize the Long-Term Care benefit or Veterans Aide and Attendance Benefit.**

Long-Term Care Insurance
If you or your loved one is paying a monthly or annual fee for insurance, determine whether it is a long-term care policy, which could cover many of the options listed above. Seniors often have policies that they have been paying into for a long time, but they don’t know how to use or claim on them.

If a policy is in place, call Amada to talk to one of our long-term care insurance experts to assist you in under­standing what benefits are available to you. The call is complimentary. At Amada, we are LTC experts and can help you claim on your policy. Please review the Long term Insurance section of our website.

Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit
Additional pension benefits for any veteran (or their spouses) who served during a time of war are available. Veterans qualify for the program based on a means and assets test issued by VA. If you have any questions about this program, call Amada to determine eligibility. Also consider reviewing the Veterans Aide and Attendance section of our website.