If you are in charge of looking for a new place for your elderly loved one to live, the process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Elder Care Direction is available to help you to understand the choices and to identify the options that might be appropriate for your loved one. On the spectrum of care, independent living is the least restrictive option. Assisted living is one step above independent living. Here is how senior care works in both of these types of senior living.
There are a variety of different housing arrangements in independent living, including apartment communities and housing co-ops. In independent living facilities, the residents live in their own private homes and have access to common areas. This senior living option is meant for seniors who are still able to live on their own.
Assisted living facilities are normally apartment-style facilities. The individual units may have kitchens. Facilities that provide help with memory care may not have kitchens in the individual units because of safety concerns, however.
Amenities and provided care services
In an independent living community, the goal is to make your loved one’s daily life a little easier so that he or she can stay independent as long as possible. In these communities, people might help with housekeeping, laundry, and landscaping. There may be an on-site dining facility and security provided. There will not be a full-time dedicated staff team that provides medical care or custodial services, however.
Assisted living is aimed towards helping older adults who need some help with the activities of daily living, including taking medications, bathing, and dressing. At these facilities, staff people are available on an on-call basis 24 hours per day. These facilities do not provide skilled nursing care for elderly people who have serious physical or mental ailments.
Assisted living and independent living communities will have recreation schedules. Common types of activities that might be offered include discussion groups, field trips, excursions, game nights, holiday celebrations and exercise classes. They also offer transportation help to take residents to the grocery store, run errands, and to their medical appointments.
The primary costs for independent living communities are utilities and rent. There may be joining fees for certain specialized recreational activities such as access to private golf courses. The costs that may be involved will depend on the services that the elderly adult chooses.
Assisted living facilities also have a base rate system. Additional services are offered at additional costs above the rent, basic services, and utilities. Older adults who require one-on-one care can normally hire in-home care staff to supplement what is offered by the community.
Paying for independent living or assisted living
The biggest difference between independent and assisted living is the types of resources that can be used to pay for the costs. Medicaid, Medicare, and long-term care insurance will not pay for independent living. People pay these costs out of the money that they receive from their Social Security retirement benefits, retirement savings, pension income, reverse mortgages, personal funds, and annuities.
There are more options for people who need assisted living. In addition to the previously mentioned sources, long-term care insurance and veteran’s benefits may be used to pay for the costs. Medicaid may also help seniors who qualify.
Low-income seniors may receive help with paying for assisted living and independent living through the Section 202 and Housing Choice voucher programs. However, there are very long waiting lists for both.
Get help from Elder Care Direction
To learn more about independent living and assisted living, talk to the professionals at Elder Care Direction. We can help you to understand your options and discuss ways that you might be able to pay for it. Contact us today by filling out our contact form.