Lincoln is home to some of the best assisted living facilities and services in the state, including three winners of SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Senior Living Award. If you’re noticing you need extra help around the house, these services might be the best option. However, it’s smart to do a little research and know what the cost of assisted living is in your area as well as ways to save money and pay for your care. This guide can help you learn more about Lincoln assisted living costs and how to find the right facility.
Assisted living can mean a few different things, but the general definition is services for seniors that need daily help but not skilled nursing care. That might include services like:
Regular grooming, bathing, or getting dressed.
Getting out of bed and into a wheelchair, or going up and down stairs.
Housekeeping duties like cleaning floors, dusting or doing laundry.
Transportation to medical appointments, errands like grocery shopping, or to worship services.
Planning and preparing healthy meals that fit the dietary needs of the individual.
In-home care includes daily visits from caregivers like a homemaker or home health aide. A homemaker can care for your house and other personal care tasks while a home health aide can attend to your medical needs. Some senior living communities might also offer residential care to the surrounding community.
Assisted living facilities have all these services plus extra amenities like exercise classes, art classes, social events, swimming pools, and on-site salon services. A facility can also offer a continuum of care which means residents can stay in one spot even if their health needs change.
There are 200 assisted living facilities in Nebraska with a maximum bed capacity of 11,300.
53% of the population is over 85 and facilities in the state care for an average of 38 people.
The official definition of an assisted living facility in Nebraska is an entity that offers food, shelter, and care for a fee for at least four people that need care due to their age, illness or physical disability.
Each single unit in a facility must have at least 80 square feet of floor space, and in a double, there must be 60 square feet of space per resident. New buildings must have 100 square feet for a single and 160 square feet per resident in a double.
80% of facilities also offer hospice care, and 55% offer skilled nursing if needed.
The cost of care is high in most places, and in Lincoln, most average prices are just a bit more than national averages. For example, assisted living facilities in Lincoln cost an average of $55,440 per year while national averages are at $43,539 annually. This cost could also increase by 4% over a five-year period according to Genworth Cost of Care.
In-home costs are slightly less in Lincoln but still higher than the national median cost. A homemaker averages about $52,578 compared to the national price of $45,760 per year. Home health aides cost an annual expense of around $54,866 per year in Lincoln and $46,332 nationally. These costs are also expected to increase by 4% in the next five years.
No matter what type of assisted living you choose, you need to ask plenty of questions. During your search, questions can help you decide which facility will best suit your needs but it will also help you determine all the costs included. You don’t need to be surprised by hidden fees or charges which you can avoid with the right questions. Here are a few questions adapted from the Assisted Living Federation of America’s Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Facility:
What does the total cost include? Utilities, cable, housekeeping?
Do you offer additional services for extra money? What are the services and their price?
Do you accept Medicaid?
What is the residency agreement?
May I see the service provider’s disclosure, the detailed fees, procedures, and policies for the facility?
Will I need renter’s insurance?
Is there housekeeping? What services do they offer?
Can I use independent service providers for non-health related needs?
What does the meal plan cover? Are snacks included? Am I allowed to have outside food brought in?
Is there transportation for residents? Where are the scheduled stops?
Are pets allowed? Is there a pet deposit?
Do you offer a continuum of care? How does it work? Will it change my cost?
What services can you offer on-site?
What are the refund and transfer policies?
If you’re worried about the cost, there are ways to save a little bit of money. First, you should decide whether it’s better for you to use in-home services or move to a facility. In-home services might be better for a senior that owns their house and doesn’t have to pay a lot to maintain the house. If you still have a mortgage or your home is no longer conducive to your needs, a facility could be the smarter choice.
Seniors who decide a facility is the better option could save money by getting a roommate. First, check with the community to see if that is allowed. If it is, you can do a trial run to see if both you and your potential roommate live well together. If everything works out at the end of the trial run, have both parties sign an agreement.
If the roommate option doesn’t work and you’re a low-income senior, you might be able to find a facility that operates on a sliding scale rate. This rate is all based on your assets and financial records; the facility will set a price for you that you can pay with your budget. These rates aren’t available at many places, but you can always ask.
Qualified seniors can use Medicaid to pay for both in-home and facility care if all services are approved by Medicaid. Senior veterans can use their VA benefits for assisted living costs. Many seniors have long-term care insurance and can use their policy to pay for assisted living services.
If none of those options apply to you, selling your home or getting a reverse mortgage could help. Sit down with a HUD-certified counselor to go over all your options, so you know the pros and cons of each choice.
Find assisted living in Lincoln near you.