Assisted living is a practical option if you or your loved one needs some help with daily activities to live independently. There are several options for you to consider in the Baltimore area. Be sure to look into all your options and do your research to make sure you are making the best choice for you and your family. Take into account all your financial responsibilities including how you will pay for your care down the road.
Here is some information to help you make an educated choice for an assisted living facility including how to pay for your expenses, what to ask the facility when looking, selecting services, finding coverage through insurance or other aid programs, and what to expect from assisted living. government support, and questions you need to answer before choosing a facility.
Assisted Living offers these services:
Reminders for prescription medications and assistance with therapy and other appointment scheduling.
Assistance with normal daily grooming including bathing, getting dressed, and other personal care.
Preparation of regular, nutritious meals and snacks.
Transportation to doctor appointments, shopping trips, or worship services.
Housekeeping services including laundry, cleaning residence, and linen service.
Assisted living location options include a person’s home, residential communities, or a large group setting. Seniors can live in their home and employ health aides, housekeepers, or live-in care for daily life help.
Assisted living communities provide a private residence and common areas for all residents including dining room, fitness center, outdoor seating, and sitting rooms. Several assisted living communities offer continuum care with attached skilled nursing facilities for more medical assistance when needed.
There are more than 350 assisted living facilities in Maryland.
Maryland Health Care Commission offers a search for area assisted living facilities along with other information on assisted living.
Maryland has an Assisted Living Unit run by the state that oversees and enhances compliance and regulatory compliance in assisted living facilities.
There are three levels of care with assisted living. Level one is the lowest level of care. Level two is moderate care, and level three is the highest level of care for those with the most health needs.
Assisted living costs in Baltimore are slightly less than the national average of $3,628 monthly. The monthly average for assisted living care in Baltimore is $3,370. In Baltimore, homemaker service averages $3,813 monthly, and home health aide care costs about $4,004 a month.
It’s important to take the time to do your research before deciding on an assisted living facility. The key questions include what your monthly bill charge includes, what services cost additional money, and how does the facility handle a resident’s health care changes. Here are some other important questions you should ask:
What are the different costs for the various levels and categories of personal care?
What level of care does this community provide (i.e. one, two, or three)? What happens when you need additional care?
Do you agree with the billing and payment procedures?
Do they display a resident bill of rights clearly?
What is the complaints process? How are complaints handled?
Is there a plan for each patient’s care? How often are they reviewed?
Does the community have a list of all the services and charges for review?
Can you review the residency agreement?
Do you need to purchase renters insurance for your personal items?
How is medication administered? Can a resident self-administer?
Is housekeeping provided? If so, what is extra?
How much time is needed to make transportation requests?
Are there scheduled transportations or are the requests handled on an individual basis?
What are the sizes of the apartments?
Do the apartments include kitchen equipment such as refrigerators and stoves?
Are residents allowed to keep food in their apartments?
Do all apartments include cable and Internet? What are the fees? How is billing handled?
Are snacks available in the dining room?
Are there set times for meals?
You can find more questions like these in Assisted Living Federation of America’s Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Community.
Saving money on assisted living care does not mean you have to settle for less quality care. First, you need to weigh your options as to what will make the most sense for you financially. If you choose to stay at your home and hire services, you will need to consider all your home expenses including your mortgage, taxes, updates needed to your home, and any improvements you may need to make down the road.
If your home is paid off and needs little maintenance, staying in your home may make the most sense. You can hire a housekeeper, home health aide, or even live-in help. However, if your costs are more at your home, it may make sense to sell and move to an assisted living community.
Another way to save money is to have a roommate and split the costs, whether you are living at home or in a community. If you live at home, you may need to have a written agreement on what services you need and how you will split costs.
Lower income seniors with limited assets should ask assisted living facilities about a sliding scale rate based on their financial situation. There are also non-profit groups that offer assisted living communities to these seniors for a low subsidized cost.
If seniors qualify for Medicaid or VA assistance, these organizations will typically cover assisted living. Long-term care insurance also covers assisted living expenses. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, make sure you know your coverage limits and policy exclusions.
You can sell your home and use the equity to pay for your care. If you wish to keep your home, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage. This loan takes out the equity you have in your home. You should research the reverse mortgage including fees and tax implications. We recommend discussing the details with either your financial advisor or a HUD-certified counselor.
Find assisted living in Baltimore near you.