Pittsburgh Assisted Living
Assisted living can be a great living option for retirees looking for a change. When you’re considering a move, chances are you’ll have many questions. What does assisted living cost? How do you find the best place for you? What is life like in assisted living? How will you pay for the community? Luckily, Pittsburgh has over 85 properties sprinkled throughout the city, each with their own character and flare, and the city enjoys a lower monthly average cost than the national median. Here are a few facts about assisted living in Pittsburgh.
What will I pay for assisted living in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh residents pay, on average, less per month than the national average for assisted living care. Across the country the average monthly rate is $3,600, but in Pittsburgh the average is $3,075.
However, what you will pay for a particular facility can range depending on what you’re looking for. As an example, at Chartiers Manor Bldg II – McKees Rocks, they have a listing on SeniorAdvisor.com for a semi-private room at $1,500 monthly. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sunrise Senior Living of McCandless offers a two-bedroom apartment option in their plush facility at $5,250 monthly. No matter what your budget, you’ll find options at every price in between those two extremes.
What are assisted living facilities like?
With so many options to choose from in the Pittsburgh area, you’re sure to find a community with the right fit for you. Take for example the SeniorAdvisor Best of 2016 award recipient Juniper Village at Forest Hills. The pet-friendly facility also offers a life-enhancement program for their residents. Other communities offer different amenities, like a pool, wellness programs, personal care options and more. Consider the things that are most important to you in your new home and make a short list, this will help you narrow down your search to find the right community for you.
How to find assisted living in Pittsburgh
After you’ve decided what area you’re interested in and the qualities you want in a facility, it’s time to start your search. Begin by asking for recommendations from people you trust, like friends, family, and neighbors. Browse the internet for properties that interest you, and pay attention to things like their customer reviews and star ratings. If you want additional assistance, contact a senior living advisor in your area. They are able to take your requests and help match you to properties that meet your budget, as well as accompany you on tours of the facilities to assist you with making your decision.
With your list of prospects in hand, plan to take a tour of your top choices. Be sure to bring along a notebook with questions that you want to be answered. Some examples could include: what are the monthly costs? What is included in those costs? Are there other amenities available for an additional fee? What types of other care options does the facility offer so that, as you age and your needs change, you can be provided for? SeniorAdvisor has a comprehensive checklist that you can use on your visits to make sure you don’t miss any important details.
How to fund monthly assisted living payments
Assisted living may seem like an expensive choice when you’re first gathering information on the costs. Remember to take into account the monthly expenses of living in your current home that may be replaced, including your mortgage, home maintenance, property taxes, monthly utilities, caregivers in your home, and possibly groceries and meals. Many people will sell their home when moving into assisted living, and can use that funding to pay for the new assisted living community. If you still have a spouse or dependents who will continue living in your home and selling isn’t an option, there are other opportunities for financing available.
One option for low-income seniors with limited assets who need assisted living care is to apply for Medicaid. The program, administered on a federal-state level, is available to those who qualify and complete the application. Across the nation, two-thirds of nursing home care is funded by the program. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website for full application criteria, and to apply for the program.
Veterans and their widows who have a low income and an assisted living need may be eligible for the VA Aid & Attendance program. To qualify, you will need to have served at least one day during an active duty wartime, though it’s not required that you served in combat. The Pittsburgh regional benefits office can provide you with the complete eligibility requirements and the forms to apply. While it could take a few months for your application to process, once approved the benefits will post-date back to the day you originally applied and be retroactively granted.
One of the best ways to pay for assisted living is through long-term care insurance. If you have an active policy, check with your insurance agent for a full summary of your benefits and coverage. In addition, it’s valuable to have a plan to continually make monthly payments even in the case of an illness or cognitive issues that could develop over time.
Other options for funding a move to assisted living and the monthly costs could be a reverse mortgage on your home, or cashing in a life insurance policy. Enlist the help of a trusted financial planner, a tax professional, or an attorney specializing in senior law or estate planning for advice when making this decision as both of these options can impact your taxes and overall long-term financial plan. No matter how you choose to fund assisted living, keep in mind that Medicare, traditional health insurance, or worker’s compensation insurance will not assist with the costs.
There are many questions that need to be answered when you’re planning for your move into assisted living, and this article just scratches the surface. Utilize great online resources like SeniorAdvisor.com for even more information on listings in the Pittsburgh area, and commonly asked questions to help you find the right living fit for you.
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