It can be tough to realize that you need extra help as you get older. You might worry that you have to lose all of your independence and give up the lifestyle you enjoy. Fortunately, this isn’t true and there are a variety of ways that you can receive care and still maintain your quality of life. Los Angeles offers plenty of options when it comes to senior care and depending on the type you choose, they don’t have to be extremely costly.
Since there are so many choices when it comes to senior care, there is a wide range of price options. The average cost in Los Angeles tends to be slightly higher than the national average, especially when it comes to places like assisted living communities and nursing homes. In 2015, the national average for a private room in a nursing home in the U.S. was $91,250 and in Los Angeles, it was $97,368. If you wanted to get a semi-private room the cost decreases to $74,460, which is almost $10,000 less than the national average.
In-home care and adult day care programs are also an option and each of those costs in Los Angeles are fairly in line with national averages. Assisted living communities in 2015 in Los Angeles cost about $45,600 compared to the national average of $43,200. Keep in mind that over the next five years or so these numbers are expected to increase by at least 1%. With some shopping around, though, you can find a care option that works with your budget.
There are so many different choices for seniors, it can be a little confusing to decide what’s right for you. The best way to make your decision is to look at all the options and figure out which one meshes best with your needs. Here we have a list of both in-home care as well as the different kinds of assisted living facilities.
Homemaker- This is a great choice for people that wish to stay in their home but still need some extra help with daily chores and tasks. A homemaker service like Right at Home in Los Angeles will have someone come to your house and help with cooking, cleaning, and companionship.
Home Health Care- This is a lot like a homemaker service but more tailored to medical needs. Trained nurses and healthcare workers will come into your home to help provide the medical attention you need. Those services can range from wound care to diabetes management to administering the right medication. In Los Angeles, you can look to places like Hollywood Home Health and Hospice Services to find a wide range of health services all provided in the comfort of your home.
Adult Day Care- If you still want to be able to stay in your home, but need a place to go during the day while your normal caretaker is at work, adult day care programs like those offered at OPICA are a good choice. In these kinds of programs, you can interact with other seniors in exercise classes or special programs, get a nutritious meal, and make new friends all while being supervised. You can even find programs that will offer specialized care for dementia patients.
Independent Services- Perhaps you don’t need a caretaker with you all day long but just need help cutting the lawn, walking the dog, or picking up your groceries. If you’re savvy with online websites, you can find almost any job you need fulfilled there. Places like Amazon Home Services, Angie’s List, and TaskRabbit can help you find the person you need for each job.
Anytime that you have someone you don’t know come into your home, you want to make sure you ask a few important questions. This not only protects you, but the business and their employees as well.
Find out if the homemaker service you use insures and bonds their employees. Make sure you can get transportation to and from adult day care programs. Ask to see all health care workers licensing and make sure they have the proper qualifications for the type of care they provide. Come up with a backup or emergency plan, if for some reason you can’t receive your normal care.
It might be easier for you to move into an assisted living community where all the help and services you need are included in your cost and your home.
Independent Living- If you don’t like the idea of totally giving up your independence or not having your own home, an independent living community might be the best choice. These communities are set up sort of like resorts where you get your own house or apartment and can enjoy an active lifestyle.
Assisted Living- In the same category as independent living, these communities allow you to have your own personal space while getting help with things like home maintenance, transportation, and having staff on-call 24/7.
Nursing Homes- After a surgery or a diagnosis of a chronic medical condition, it might be recommended that you stay in a nursing home even if it’s just for a few weeks. Doctors and nurses can monitor your condition as well as handle any medical emergencies that may occur.
Dementia Care- If you have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you can find facilities that specialize in this type of care. You will still receive medical attention but in a calm environment that is highly guarded to stop wandering patients and confusion.
It’s crucial to do your research when you are looking for a new place to call your home. Here are just a few things to ask:
Ask for the yearly state inspection report. Facilities are required to show it to you and this can give you a good baseline for the facility. Go on a tour of the building and try to interact with the staff and current residents. Make sure you are aware of all fees and services offered so there are no surprises on the bill. Ask about rules and regulations for the facility and if they allow things like overnight guests or pets.
Paying for all of these services can feel like a money pit, but you have options. Many people can rely on Social Security benefits or insurance to cover these costs. If you don’t have insurance but are a low-income family, look into Medicaid to see if you meet the requirements. Veterans can use some of their VA benefits to cover the cost of their long-term care, just check with your local office. You can also try cashing out life insurance policies or getting a reverse mortgage but talk with a trusted financial advisor first.
A great way to spend your retirement years is by giving back to your community. The City of Los Angeles has a lot of opportunities for seniors to volunteer and be involved in their community. You could be a foster grandparent, read to children, be a tutor, or even lead tours around historic sites. You can also check with the Senior Corps for more opportunities.
Find assisted living in Los Angeles near you.