When you think of Detroit, you might think of Motown. The good news is, “Motor City” has some great nursing home options as well. Detroit has average annual rates being above the national median, but nearly 50 properties to choose from throughout the city. You’ll find whether you’re looking for the assisted living equivalent of an affordable Ford Fiesta, or a luxury Shelby GT, there’s an option that’s right for you.
39,447 seniors were residents in a nursing home in 2014.
In 2014, Michigan had the 10th highest nursing home population in the nation.
The number of seniors over the age of 85 will grow 60 percent by 2030. These are the seniors who traditionally need nursing home care.
Michigan spends around 80 percent of their annual Medicare funding on nursing home care.
Nursing home care is rarely thought of as being affordable. The average rates in Detroit are near to the median rates throughout the nation. On average as a nation, seniors annually pay $80,300 to live in a semi-private and $91,250 for a private room in a nursing home in 2015. However, in Detroit, median costs are $96,725 and $105,850 annually for the same room type.
Annual costs can fluctuate both above and below the median based on the location of the property in the city, amenities offered, and other factors.
Nursing homes are designed for seniors who need constant access to care. They are staffed around the clock by a registered nurse as well as certified nurse assistants to help with daily tasks. Residents can expect assistance with things like taking their medication, following their physician prescribed care regimen, wound care, and scheduling appointments for physical or occupational therapy as prescribed. The CNA works directly under the RN and will report observations and changes to the nurse in charge and the family.
Many nursing homes are combined with memory care facilities and dementia care is offered in another building or wing on the property. Outpatient or short-term nursing homes exist to assist patients who have been discharged from the hospital but are not yet ready to return home after an illness, accident or surgery. Hospice is commonly on hand to provide care to seniors and loved ones if they are faced with life-ending illness.
Meals are included in the cost of nursing home care. Kitchens have the resources to prepare meals for many different dietary needs including vegetarians, kosher, diabetics, and low-sodium options. Residents eat meals as a group in a dining hall and are assisted by CNA’s if needed during mealtimes. It’s possible that meals can be delivered to individual resident rooms as well.
Most nursing homes look to enhance the quality of life for their residents and will employ an activities director to schedule daily programming. Activities like movies, games, performances from local schools, aromatherapy, presentations, and holiday parties are common in nursing homes. For religious residents, a chaplain is typically available for consultations and to lead services or study groups.
Some nursing homes, like Oakpointe Villa Nursing Center, offer on-site barber and beauty services to residents. Many facilities will provide off-site excursions for seniors who are able to leave the property, and some will also allow pets at the nursing home.
The best way to find the right nursing home for your needs is to take a tour of the properties you’re most interested in. During the tour, obtain information about licensing, typical meals, the activity schedule, the nursing staff, and if spiritual support is provided. Ask for a copy of the current state inspection and check for any irregularities. If anything was noted on the report, ask a manager what has been done to fix the problems and improve the facility.
Taking the tour during a mealtime will allow you to have a meal in the dining hall with other residents. Not only will you have a chance to experience the food, but you can also observe interactions between the nursing staff and seniors they are there to support. If it’s acceptable, take a few moments to speak with current residents, their visitors, or available staff. Leave having collected all the information you need, including the monthly fees, a description of what is included in those fees, and any additional amenities you could add on if desired.
Equipped with this knowledge, visit the Michigan Aging and Adult Services Agency for links to do more research on the nursing home. This portal can direct you to information on any history of complaints, their annual inspection reports, and other helpful regulatory information.
One cost-saving step many seniors take is to live in a semi-private room in a nursing home. In the Detroit area, this can save over $9,000 annually on average. Living with a roommate can also help promote day to day socialization in the community.
Even utilizing the option of having a roommate, you might still be trying to find room in the budget to pay for nursing home care. For those who had the foresight to purchase a long-term care insurance policy, your care will be covered by the policy. Contact your agent or the insurance company directly to ensure you understand your coverage and any limitations or exclusions that may exist. Don’t forget to continue to make payments so that you continue to receive the monthly benefits of the policy. If you do not have long-term care insurance to draw from, here are some other possibilities to assist you.
Over 80 percent of Michigan’s Medicaid funding is spent on nursing home care for seniors annually. You may qualify for assistance if you are a low-income senior with limited assets. Another government program for veterans who were active duty during a federally declared wartime and their widows is the VA Aid & Attendance pension. Contact the regional benefits office in Detroit for an application and a complete list of eligibility requirements.
Taking out a reverse mortgage on your home or cashing in a life insurance policy are two other options that can be used to pay for long-term care. It’s important to speak with a professional like a tax advisor, financial planner, or an attorney to understand the impact this will have on your taxes and financial situation. Read more about reverse mortgages for seniors on the US Department of Urban Development website, and check out this handy reference guide from the Michigan Department of Insurance to understand your options with your life insurance policy.
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