After gathering pertinent information about you or your loved one, we will help you narrow the options in your location. Referring you only to the appropriate places, that can meet your care needs, financial budgets and your personal preferences. Saving you countless hours searching and touring communities! We also won't tell you where to move or try to "sell" you on a company or service because we don't represent anyone but you! We can truly act as your advocate just as Buyers Realtor does. Senior Housing Specialists will provide you with enough information that you are able to make an educated, informed decision. One that you can live with!
There is no bigger, more important decision than where to live and who is going to care for you when you get older. Why do this alone and risk making a costly mistake, when you can use the valuable resources and knowledge of a professional AND it costs you nothing? We have the knowledge and resources you need and our services are completely free to you!
Below are brief explanations of the different Senior Living options, along with their associated costs;
Independent/Retirement Living (IL)
Housing for those 55+. Settings include apartments, condo's, cottages, duplexes or single family homes. These communities are not licensed to provide any care. Some communities offer call pendants or pull cords for their residents. Keep in mind if you call for help the staff or Managers must call 911 as they are not able to provide any care or assessments. May have meal services in a community dining room, offer weekly housekeeping and maintenance of the property. Most have some sort of activities programming and may have transportation. Some communities have pools, gyms, spa's, beauty parlors, bistro's, gift shops and concierges! You may hire a Home Care agency to come in and help. Many properties in an effort not to lose residents and occupancy now have on site Home Care companies they contract with.
Pros: More activities and socialization. Residents don't see themselves as old here (even if using a walker or wheelchair!) No maintenance or upkeep on your home. Not tied down and more time available to travel, do hobbies or take classes!
Cons: No 24hr care available. You will probably have to move again as your care needs an increase. Many do not allow you to stay if you have incontinence or need reminders and cueing associated with dementia.
Costs: Averages from $2,500 - $4,500 (monthly). Do not accept Medicaid or Long Term Care insurance, typically private pay only. Most charge a 1-time move in fee anywhere from $1,000 - $5,000. Most are month to month rental agreements, some require a buy-in fee.
*If you or a loved one needs to make a move due to needing help and care this is not a good option. IL Living is truly for those wishing to retire from the daily chores of cooking and house maintenance or looking for socialization!
Assisted Living (AL)
Housing and care for those 62yrs+. These communities have 24hr awake care staff on site. They employee NAC caregivers, Med. Technicians, and sometimes have LPN's or RN's doing resident care. They all offer Medication Management, Shower Assistance, Meals, Housekeeping, Emergency Call Pendants, and Nursing oversight. They will communicate with your Physician, refill, store and deliver Medications according to Physicians orders. You will need an Assessment by their Nurse to "qualify" to live in their communities! They have activities, entertainment, and transportation. May have on-site Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech.
Pros: Own apartment, bathroom and privacy. Call pendants are available so residents can press a button to get immediate assistance. Most communities have full time activities directors, entertainment and provide transportation to shopping and local Doctor appointments. You are able to age in place. Many works with hospice through the end of life. Residents feel safe and secure. Some accept Medicaid and you may be able to use your Long Term Care insurance.
Cons: There is no one who can guarantee you can stay through the end of life. You may still need to move out due to (HLOC) higher level of care needs to either a Skilled Nursing/Rehab, Memory Care Community or Adult Family Home. HLOC needs may be; Dementia that includes wandering risk or behaviors, inability to stand, needing 1-2 people to help transfer, swallowing difficulties after a stroke or just failing to thrive. High turnover of staff in many communities.
Costs: Averages from $3,500 - $6,000 (monthly). 1 charge for rent costs and 1 charge for a level of care. All charge a 1-time move in fee anywhere from $1,000 -$8,000. Almost all are a month to month rental agreement and require a 30 day move out notice. A few will accept spend down to Medicaid.
Memory Care (MC)
Communities designated for older adults with cognitive impairments from various forms of dementia, Alzheimer's or TBI (traumatic brain injuries) All are secure with alarm systems that require a code to enter and leave the building or alarms will sound. 24hr awake care staff on site. NAC caregivers, Medication Technicians and sometimes LPN's or RN's providing care. All have nursing oversight. They provide Medication Management, Shower Assistance, Meals, Housekeeping, Dressing, Grooming, Reminders, and Cueing. Various levels of care are offered depending on the community just like in Assisted Living. Some may help feed residents as their disease progresses and others do not. Some will provide 2 people and Hoyer transfers other may not. The big word you hear in Memory Care is programming, which is time spent by the staff engaging your loved one in activities. Some communities really "get" those with memory impairments and are really good at it! All require a nursing assessment by their community nurse to "qualify" your loved one to live there along with creating individual care plans.
Pros: Provides a safe and secure environment for those who may wander away. Higher levels of staffing- on average 1 caregiver to 7 or 8 residents. Most MC communities have full time activity directors and bring in entertainment. You may be able to use your Long Term Care insurance.
Cons: Some communities just provide basic ADL's and line residents up in the dining room or in front of the TV. Very expensive care due to higher staffing ratios. Most do not accept Medicaid!
Costs: On average $6,000 - $11,000 (monthly). Some bundle rent and care costs and others charge separately. All charge a 1-time move in fee from $2,000-$8,000. Most do not allow for conversion to Medicaid and are Private Pay only. *For the 1st time we are seeing not enough "beds" available for those needing Memory Care. Most are full with an extensive wait list!
Adult Family Homes (AFH)
Residential homes that provide rent and care for up to 6 Adults. Smaller, home environments for older adults who typically need more care than Assisted Livings or Memory Care communities can provide. Many provide the same level of care that Skilled Nursing homes do (with the exception of IV's) such as 2 person transfers, Hoyer lifts, bladder and bowel incontinence and help with eating. Many are owner operated and have additional care staff to help. Some owners are nurses, all are CNA's at minimum effective January 1st, 2016. The resident has a bedroom and shares the common areas of the homes with other residents. All require (by law) a Nursing Assessment to move into AFH, this is usually a 1-time charge of $350 - $450 by an independent Licensed RN Assessor through the state of Washington.
Pros: Highest staffing levels, 1-3 caregivers per 6 residents. Will provide through the end of life care and work with hospice providers. Least likely to move residents out to Skilled Nursing or for a higher level of care needs. Some have a visiting "House Doctor" that will come see residents in the home along with Podiatrists. Many willing to work with your finances and accept Medicaid spend down. Longevity of staff.
Cons: Can be more expensive than Assisted Living due to higher staffing ratios and not as many residents to share costs. Less privacy than Assisted Living, not as many activities and no transportation provided. May not take those with severe behaviors as it is very disruptive in small settings.
Costs: On average $5,000 - $8,000 (monthly). All-inclusive rates. Month to month agreements. Some will accept spend down to Medicaid and you may be able to use your Long Term Care insurance.
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