Washington, D.C. Assisted Living
The nation’s capital has a higher rate of living than of that found in the lower 48. If you or a loved one live in the Washington, D.C. area and value independent living, but are beginning to see signs of needing a little extra help, an assisted living community may be the ideal option for you. A wide range of facilities are available that offer continuum of care and other services.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Washington, D.C.
Due to the higher cost of living, assisted living facilities found in Washington, D.C. are much higher than the national average. A one-bedroom, single occupancy room in the District of Columbia averages $7,838 per month, according to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey for Washington, D.C. In comparison, the national average is $3,600 per month and $4,010 per month in nearby Arlington.
Monthly rates vary depending on location with facilities found in Arlington and Alexandria at a lower cost than those found in Washington, D.C. A studio apartment averages at the starting price of $3,700 per month in the District of Columbia, while a two-bedroom apartment in a residential setting in Northwest Washington, D.C. can average more than $10,000 per month. If you are looking for a dedicated Alzheimer’s and dementia care residential community, these average between $8,137 per month and $9,785 per month for a studio and one bedroom apartment, respectively.
Services You Can Expect From Assisted Living
More than just meeting your needs, a high quality assisted living community provides a sense of well-being through services. Many offer meal preparation and luxurious dining. Some communities allow small dogs and provide private outdoor areas, such as patios or safe balconies. Choosing the best assisted living community for you or a loved one is easier now more than ever with all the options available.
Committing to an Assisted Living Community in the District of Columbia
Before committing to an assisted living community, discuss the range of services and options offered with close friends and family. Some services will be a priority for you and your quality of life. Seek out recommendations from friends and family members. Read online reviews of facilities featured on senior directories that were written by the residents or their immediate family.
Many of the communities in Washington, D.C. offer health and wellness programs to keep you actively engaged as well as provide continuum care with a long-term care team. Before making any final decisions, tour the facility with a family member and speak to a few of the residents. Moving into an assisted living facility is a big decision and you will want honest opinions. The following are a list of services many top-rated facilities offer:
On-site medical care
Toileting and incontinence
Bathing and dressing
Alzheimer’s and other dementia care
24-hour staff and security
Meals and dining
Social and recreational activities
Payment Options for Assisted Living in Washington, D.C.
There are several options available, including private pay. Medicare will not cover assisted living, but life insurance policies can be used to pay for care. The insurance company may buy back the policy. If the company refuses, the policyholder can turn to a third-party company that will take over the payment on the premiums and become the beneficiary. In either scenario, the policyholder receives 50 to 75 percent of the face value.
Long-term care insurance policies should cover care if it is listed as “home care” or “facility only”. Seek counsel and review the policy carefully to determine if it covers assisted living.
If you served in the armed forces for at least one day during wartime and/or 90 days active duty, you may qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance pension through the Veterans Administration. Your medical condition does not need to be service related and spouses may qualify for the additional benefit.
Assisted living is covered through the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program. The program offers the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Waiver and residents can apply at the Washington, D.C. Aging and Disability Resource Center.
The independence, security, and care that a high-quality assisted living community can offer makes it one of the most important long-term decisions you will make for yourself or a loved one. Take the time to tour several facilities and speak to residents and staff before making a financial commitment.
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