Everything might be bigger in Texas, but your nursing home costs don’t have to be. Moving from your own home into a nursing facility can be a stressful and big transition. The last thing you want to worry about is not being able to afford the bill. Nursing home costs here in Houston are actually not as bad as you might think and care can be very affordable.
77% of Texans believe that it is important to increase the quality of care in nursing homes as well as increase the wages of long-term care providers.
Over 90,000 people were residents of nursing homes in Texas in 2014. That’s over 6% of the U.S. population.
About 2.4 million people 65 and over call Texas home. The state has the 3rd highest nursing home population.
The Department of Health conducts thousands of surveys each year on nursing homes to make sure they are meeting rigorous standards.
Finding an affordable nursing home is not as difficult as you might think and Houston actually offers many options for a wide price range. In 2015, the national average for a semi-private room in a nursing home was $80,300 and in Houston, the average cost was $54,933. If you wanted to get a private room in Houston, that price would go up to $83,038. Both of those averages are much lower than the national average and show that it is possible to find an affordable home in your area.
There are other factors that can change the total cost of a nursing home as well. The type of home you decide on as well as the different types of care you might need are going to affect the cost. To find better rates, you could also look at different neighborhoods like The Woodlands and Sugarland.
There are dozens of different kinds of nursing homes that can handle different medical conditions. The main thing about a nursing home is that there is going to be a medical team on staff. This team can include doctors, nurses, and nurse aides, as well as any health specialists you might need based on your condition. These people will handle your day-to-day care and can provide therapy, schedule appointments out of the facility, give wound care, and administer prescriptions and other medications.
Nursing homes are also equipped for long-term care, especially towards the end of a person’s life. They can make sure that chronic conditions are cared for as well as give hospice care to patients and their family members. There are also nursing homes that specialize in certain conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and will give the residents exactly what they need to care for that condition. Other basic needs that will be met in a nursing home are proper nutrition with carefully planned and prepared menus, exercises that can help keep patients mobile and strong, and mental health services.
Not only are nursing homes focused on your medical conditions and health, they also want to make sure that you enjoy your time there as much as possible. Many facilities will have an activity director that will organize and plan entertainment for the residents. This can include theme events like bingo or movie night, live entertainment such as local music groups or theater troupe, and if you’re mobile and can leave the facility, there might even be field trips to local locations.
The most important thing to do when you are choosing a nursing home is to go and visit the facility. Meet with the director and ask any and all questions you might have as well as ask to see the latest state inspection report. Nursing homes are required to show you these reports and you can ask any questions about deficiencies or any other issues that might be reported.
Also, try to talk with a current residence and get a tour of the building. This way you can start to get a feel for your possible new home and see how other people like that particular nursing home. If you can, stay for a meal and interact with as many staff members as possible. This will help you choose the right place for you.
Paying for a nursing home might feel like a stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember, you can lower your total care cost by choosing a semi-private room over a private room. This can add up to thousands of dollars in savings over the course of a year. Another way to lower your cost is to make sure you only receive the care that you need, so talk with the medical staff before you enter the nursing home.
As far as funding, if you have a long-term care insurance policy now is the time to use it because it could cover most, if not all of your care costs. Talk with your agent to see what is covered in your policy. If you are planning to move into the nursing home permanently, you could sell your home or rent it out and use the profit to pay for your care.
If you’re a low-income family and don’t have long-term care insurance, you can look into Medicaid. If you meet the eligibility requirements for your state, you might get a large portion of your costs covered under Medicaid. Veterans also have the option of VA benefits to cover their long-term care. Check with your local office to see if you meet the requirements.
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