Assisted living communities are on the rise as the aging Baby Boomer generation continues to increase. Central and southern counties, including Fresno County, are estimated to experience an increase up to 150 percent of the older population of seniors age 85 and older by the year 2020 (from the year 1990).
Assisted living facilities allow seniors to retain independence status while not worrying about meal prep or light housekeeping. Some facilities offer a continuum of care so as your needs change, you can remain in the same community, even if you require skilled nursing care at some point.
Assisted living communities are available in a wide range to fit diverse lifestyles and tastes. There are communities resembling condo-style apartments, studio apartments, townhomes, resort-style hotels, and sprawling ranch-style one and two bedroom apartment units. Some offer an on-site beauty salon and/or barber shop.
You can live independently while also socializing with others in shared common areas. Most communities offer indoor and outdoor activities to keep seniors engaged with both physical and cognitive activities.
Assisted living can also take the form of in-home help with activities of daily living (ADL). These daily tasks can include bathing, dressing, cooking, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, and managing medications.
The state is expecting the senior population to double in comparison to the total population.
According to a 2014 Pew Survey of 1,700 adults, 17 percent would move to an assisted living facility in the future if they can no longer live at home.
Assisted living communities reinforce socialization and according to a Harvard School of Public Health study, seniors with an active social life can slow down the rate of memory loss.
Medi-Cal will cover assisted living with a waiver for low-income seniors.
The good news for Fresno residents is that the average cost for assisted living in the city is cheaper than both the state and national averages. A one bedroom, single occupancy apartment in Fresno averages $3500 per month and typically includes utilities and upkeep. The national average is $3600 per month. The rest of the State of California runs $3750 per month.
Facilities vary by location in price and services. Some assisted living communities, like Carrington Pointe, provide respite care, hair salon and barber services, podiatrist and dental services, devotional services, and physical, occupational, and speech therapy. These types of communities may run $1700 per month for a studio apartment or more than $3300 per month for a two bedroom unit.
Home health aides can be hired for full-time ADL services. According to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, a full-time service in Fresno averages $45,760 per year and is expected to increase in the next five years.
Cost compare before choosing a facility and ask the advisor or manager to explain what is included in the fee. Certain services may be automatically included, while others will be an additional fee. Transportation is sometimes included in the monthly rate, but at other facilities you may have to pay a flat round trip charge.
If you and your spouse or close relative will need assisted living care, consider sharing an apartment unit and splitting the cost. This option works great for those couples considering selling their home to pay for care.
Communities offering a wide range of services and continuum care may save you more in the long run with everything at your fingertips. Tour the facilities you are considering and ask the residents about their experiences using these services.
Selling your home is an option to fund assisted living and may be cheaper than trying to maintain the upkeep on your home. If selling is not an option, consider renting. The rental payment can help offset the monthly charge of a community.
If you or your spouse plan to live at home, a reverse mortgage may provide you with the funding needed. Consult an elder-law attorney or financial advisor to make sure you understand all the terms to avoid foreclosure.
Veterans that served during wartime may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance pension that can provide funds for assisted living. Check with the Veterans Administration to see if you qualify and to complete the necessary paperwork.
Other options include cashing out a life insurance policy early for a percentage of the face value, long-term care policies, or using retirement benefits, IRAs, or other investments.
Find assisted living in Fresno near you.