Senior Living Options

Finding the appropriate community for your loved one can take you on an emotional and exhausting journey. There are many factors to consider such as location, price and type of care being offered.

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Assisted Living

Assisted Living facilities are licensed and regulated by State departments to provide their residents with non-medically related assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, ambulation, medication management and more. Most facilities range in size from 16 to 100 or more bed capacities. Care performed is usually restricted to non-invasive procedures. This means assisted living staff are typically unable to give shots, care for IVs or perform complicated wound management. However, State regulations to allow for exceptions if residents are receiving care by assisted living staff who are licensed medical professionals (i.e. nurses) and may further allow certain care for residents receiving hospice services. Under most State regulations, assisted living facilities can provide assistance for residents from independent to bedridden status if appropriate staff is in place to deliver such care. Price ranges are typical between $4,000 to $8,000 per month. Many amenities such as large dining rooms, chef prepared meals, social engagements and more await residents who reside here. For individuals who may find satisfaction by living in a very social environment with plush surroundings, an assisted living facility may be a good choice.

Residential Board and Care Homes

Residential Board and Care homes, also referred to as simply Board and Care homes or Small Care Homes consist of a usual bed capacity of up to 15 beds. Most States regulate these facilities in the same manner as that of assisted livings. California in particular grants the same overall type of licensure to board and care as it does to assisted living, although requirements towards licensure compliance may vary by bed size. These small board and care facilities are also not allowed to perform invasive procedures unless a nurse is present and available to meet such needs. Exceptions may also be granted by the State regulation agency if board and cares can prove their ability to care for residents who would otherwise require a higher level of care such a nursing facility or hospital. Price ranges for most board and cares varies by area but on average will cost $2,000 to $5,000 per month depending on care needs. Many residents who live in board and cares prefer this environment due to its ability to provide more individualized attentions to care needs and diet requests. Resident’s may also prefer this environment if they thrive more in a less busy, yet quiet environment without the extra amenities he or she would never truly benefit from.

Independent Living

Independent living typically consists of senior apartments or other similar type living environments. Seniors pay rent to occupy their own apartment/room and must usually be able to care for their own needs both physically and financially. Although some independent living facilities contract without outside home care services, the hired staff at independent living are not able to provide hands on assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, and other physically related services. Many independent living facilities price range is between $1,500 to $3,000 per month depending on size of unit and amenities available.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled Nursing has been given many names over the years such as Nursing Home, Nursing Facility and even "The Home." Today, they are referred to as Short Term Rehab Centers, where individuals are admitted to (most typically from an acute hospital) for services such as physical, occupational and/or speech therapy. Other acute type services may include heavy wound management, IV treatment, tube feeding maintenance, pain management, diabetic care and even tracheotomy care. Some residents are also receiving isolated treatment for contagious infections and truly require the services of a skilled nurse. A physician is usually assigned as the medical director and provides oversight for patients needing medication adjustments and other care interventions. A nurse practitioner may also be available for additional support. Even though skilled nursing rehab centers provide such high-level care, their residents are still only expected to have a length of stay no longer than 14-21 days or less. Long term care stay in a nursing is rapidly becoming obsolete as more and more skilled nursing rehab centers are moving toward the short-term care model for the communities they serve. However, should residents remain in a skilled rehab center, private pay typically starts at over $7,000 per month. Many State have a Medicaid based program which may help provide financial assistance for stay in a skilled nursing center, but such availability is quickly becoming limited. Medicare and other managed care insurance is the primary source for most residents funding their care.

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