Atlanta is one of the best places that a senior can retire as well as find affordable long-term care. If you have noticed that you can no longer get around as easily or need help with daily chores, it might be time to start researching assisted living in your area. This guide will help you understand the different kinds of care as well as the costs associated with those services. It will also help you find ways to save money as well as know how to pay for your long-term care.
Assisted living is a term that can cover a wide range of services, but it generally means services for those that need help with their daily tasks, but don’t need the constant supervision of a skilled nursing facility. This can cover things like:
Transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store, or other errands
Preparing meals and snacks
Helping with personal grooming such as bathing or getting dressed
Light housekeeping chores like washing the dishes, dusting, or laundry
For some people, these services can be provided right in their own home without having to move. However, that isn’t always an option and there are assisted living communities all around the Atlanta area.
Many assisted living facilities still allow their residents to maintain a certain degree of freedom or independence by allowing them to live in their own home or apartment. They also provide a central group center where their residents can take part in things like cooking or fitness classes or even entertainment such as live music.
By the year 2030, one in five residents in Atlanta is expected to be 60 or older
In Fulton County, about 50% of the population 65+ lives in their home alone
74% of the county population doesn’t own long-term care insurance
20% of the population is very concerned about their long-term care
Atlanta is one of the regions of the country where the average cost of long-term care tends to be lower than the national average. In 2015, the U.S. average cost for assisted living was $43,200 but in Atlanta is was $36,720. The other good news is that number is only expected to grow by 2% over the next five years.
In-home care costs are also slightly lower with both homemaker services and home health aides both costing an average of $41,184. While these numbers are lower than the national average, they are still pretty costly, but there are ways to pay for your care.
When you start looking at assisted living facilities and services, you want to make sure that you ask a lot of questions so that there are no hidden fees or surprises once your bill comes around. Here are just a few cost questions that have been adapted from the Assisted Living Federation of America. You can find the full list on their website.
What are the move-in and move out provisions?
Can I see the residency agreement form?
Is there a consumer disclosure form and if so, can I look at it?
Is there a resident’s bill of rights posted?
What is the policy on overnight guests or pets?
What is the standard meal plan and can it be supplemented with snacks and outside food?
Can I self-administer medication?
What are the different apartment sizes?
If you can, take a tour of the facility as well because you will probably find more questions to ask. Don’t hesitate to ask the director everything so you have as much information as possible when you make your choice.
Care costs are only going to get more expensive as the years pass, so these money-saving tips will come even more in handy. The first thing to do is assess your situation and find out whether in-home care is a possibility or if it would be more beneficial to move into a facility.
In-home care is best if you own your own home and it doesn’t require a lot of daily upkeep. On the other hand, if you find your house in disrepair, you still pay a mortgage, and your daily chores are just too much, it might be a better financial decision to move.
If you do decide to move, you can further cut your costs by getting a semi-private room or look for a roommate. This will quickly make your total cost half of what it could be. Also, talk with the director to see if there are any non-profit programs that will help to cover your care costs.
One option for low-income seniors is to see if they qualify for Medicaid and use that for their care costs. Veterans can take advantage of their VA benefits and if you or your family has purchased a long-term care insurance policy, talk to your agent to see if that will cover assisted living.
For those of you who own your own home, you can think about selling it and using the funds to cover your care. If you still pay a mortgage, you can look into a reverse mortgage to pay for assisted living. Talk with a financial advisor first as this option could have long-term ramifications.
Find assisted living in Atlanta near you.