Chula Vista is a wonderful place for seniors to live and many who retire here enjoy the gorgeous views and weather. But if you find you need some extra help doing things around the house or with your health, you might want to think about assisted living services. Luckily, Chula Vista is home to some of the best assisted living facilities and services in the area. Here you can learn more about the costs in the area as well as how to save money and pay for your care.
Assisted living can mean a few different things, but the primary definition is a set of services to help those with daily tasks and who don’t need skilled nursing. This can include:
Planning and preparing meals to suit dietary needs.
Personal care assistance with getting dressed or bathing.
Helping patients get in bed, up or down stairs, and into wheelchairs.
Transportation to errands around town or medical appointments.
Medication and therapy reminders as needed.
Light housekeeping including dusting, mopping, vacuuming, and laundry.
If you want to stay in your house, homemakers and in-home health aides can come to your house to provide these services. They might stop in daily, but depending on your needs, they might provide live-in services. There are also senior living groups that provide residential care to the surrounding community.
In a facility, assisted living services might be the same, but you would live in an apartment, small house, or private room with a central gathering place for meals, art classes, community events, fitness, and other services. A facility can also provide a continuum of care which are services that adapt to you when your health changes.
There are 5,900 assisted living communities in California with a bed capacity of 127,000 and an average of 17 people served.
Only 3% of residents rely on Medicaid to pay for their care.
California calls their assisted living facilities Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly and before acceptance, all residents must undergo an assessment to see if their needs meet the facilities ability.
58% of facilities also offer hospice care, and 43% have skilled nursing services available.
The Department of Health Care Services offers both a home and community service waiver through Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid system.
California is notorious for an increased cost of living, and that remains true for long-term care options. All assisted living costs in the area are higher than national averages. Assisted living facilities are about $48,000 annually in Chula Vista while the national median cost is $43, 539. The Genworth Cost of Care Survey also estimates that this cost could rise 3% over five years.
In-home services are more expensive than a facility with homemakers costing $53,768 per year and home health aides costing $54,912 annually. The national average for homemakers is $45,760, and for home health aides it’s $46,332. Seniors can expect both costs to increase by about 4% over the next five years.
The best way to learn as much as you can about each facility you look at is to ask plenty of questions. Not only will questions help you find out if the facility is right for your needs, but it will also give you a better idea of all the costs and fees. This eliminates any surprise charges you might encounter. Here is a list of questions to get you started.
What is the total cost? What does that cost include?
What are the extra services? What are the prices for those services?
Is there a written residency agreement?
Can I see the service provider’s disclosure form?
What are the return and transfer policies and is it written down somewhere?
Should I get renter’s insurance? Is it required?
Do you accept Medicaid?
What does the basic meal plan include? Are there snacks?
Can guests bring outside food to residents?
Am I allowed to use independent service providers for things like grocery delivery or dog walking?
Are pets allowed? Is there a separate pet fee?
Do residents have access to a transportation service? What is the route?
What are available on-site services?
What chores does housekeeping do?
Can I have overnight guests?
You can find these questions and more in the Assisted Living Federation of America’s Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Facility.
The high price of care might be enough to turn away some seniors but don’t let it shock you too much. There are ways to cut costs and programs that might be able to help cover your expenses. You need to determine which services best suit your lifestyle and budget. If you paid off your house and have minimal maintenance, you could do better with in-home services, financially. On the other hand, if your home is costly and you still have a mortgage, moving to a facility might make better financial sense.
For seniors that choose to live in a facility, you might be able to get a roommate to help share the costs. Keep in mind, not every facility allows roommates, but if they do you can give it a try. If both residents can live well together, go ahead and sign an agreement.
Another option for low-income seniors who want to live in a facility is to find a community that offers a sliding scale rate. Some non-profit facilities will do this, and it allows you to pay what you can based on your income and budget. Not many places do this but never be afraid to ask.
Seniors who meet income levels and other eligibility requirements can use Medicaid to fund approved services and facilities. Veterans have the option of using their VA benefits to cover their care. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, chances are you have assisted living coverage. Check the policy to see for sure what services you can use.
If you are a homeowner and want to move, you could use the profits to fund your care. If moving isn’t a viable option, you could use a reverse mortgage to free up some equity from your house. It’s important you meet with a HUD-certified advisor first because there are some consequences to that decision.
Find assisted living in Chula Vista near you.