The most frequently asked questions when deciding to move to senior living

Senior with computer

When considering moving to senior living most people have many questions. 

What are the different types of senior living communities?

There are four main types of senior living communities:

  1. Independent living: This is the most active and independent level of care, in fact, there is rarely care involved. Residents typically live in their own apartments or cottages. They may have access to amenities such as meals, transportation and social activities, but they are still responsible for their own daily living needs.
  2. Assisted living: Residents in assisted living communities need some help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and medication management. They may also need assistance with transportation and meal preparation. Assisted living communities offer a variety of services and amenities, and residents typically have their own private apartments or rooms.
  3. Memory care: Memory care communities are designed for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. These communities offer specialized care and support to help residents maintain their independence and quality of life. The 24-hour staff are there to help guide their day, give reminders and keep and keep them on track.
  4. Skilled Nursing: Skilled nursing facilities provide the highest level of care and are typically for residents who need 24/7 medical supervision. Skilled nursing facilities offer a variety of medical and therapeutic services, and residents may have their own private rooms or semi-private rooms.

How much does senior living cost?

The cost of senior living varies depending on the type of care, the location of the community, and the amenities offered. Independent living is typically the most affordable option, while skilled nursing facilities are the most expensive.  At Franke Tobey Jones, independent living starts at $3,970 per month with some buildings having a buy-in.  Assisted living starts at $3,775 per month plus level of care cost that starts at $445 per month.  Memory Care starts at $5,400 per month plus level of care charge (which depends on how much help they are receiving).  Skilled Nursing is between $430 and $490 per day.

What should I look for when choosing a senior living community?

When choosing a senior living community, it is important to consider your needs and preferences. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Type of care:  What level of care do you need, if any?

Location:  Do you want to live in a certain area, possibly close to family?

Amenities:  What amenities are important to you?  Dining, housekeeping, transportation, fitness, classes, walkable campus, outdoor spaces, ability to move throughout the campus as more care is needed, etc.

Cost: How much can you afford to spend?  Here is a budget calculator to help you.

Reputation:  What is the reputation of the community?

It is also very important to visit the community in person and talk to the staff and residents.  This will give you a good sense of the community and whether it is a good fit for you.

What happens if my health needs change?

If your health needs change after moving into a senior living community, you may be able to transition to a higher level of care within the same community.  However, if your needs exceed the level of care that the community offers, you may need to move to a different community.  For instance, CCRCs/Life Plan Communities, offer skilled nursing which means you or your loved one can stay in the community when the highest level of care is needed.

How do I pay for senior living?

There are a number of ways to pay for senior living, including:

  • Private pay: This is the most common way to pay for senior living. It involves using personal savings, investments, or other assets to cover the cost of care.  Franke Tobey Jones is a private pay community.
  • Long-term care insurance: This type of insurance can help cover the cost of long-term care, including assisted living, nursing homes and home health care.  FTJ will help residents get reimbursed.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a government program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families. In some states, Medicaid will cover the cost of assisted living for seniors who meet certain financial requirements.  (FTJ does not have a contract with Medicaid).
  • Veterans’ benefits: Veterans and their spouses may be eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help pay for assisted living.
  • Other government programs: There are a number of other government programs that may be able to provide financial assistance for senior living, such as the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 program.

It is important to note that the cost of senior living can vary widely depending on the level of care needed and the location of the facility. It is vital to do your research and compare different options to find the best fit for your loved one’s needs and budget.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Start planning early. The sooner you start planning for senior living, the more time you will have to save money and explore different financial assistance options.  There may also be long wait lists at many communities.
  • Get professional advice. A financial advisor or elder care specialist can help you assess your financial situation and develop a plan to pay for senior living.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are a number of resources available to help you pay for senior living, such as government programs, nonprofit organizations, and local churches.

If you are considering moving to senior living, it is important to do your research and ask questions. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and the best way to decide if senior living is right for you is to talk to your family and doctor.  If you have any questions about senior living, please do not hesitate to contact us at 253-752-6621 to speak to one of our senior living experts.

Categories: General