Getting older comes with a lot of change and you may have noticed that some of the things you used to be able to do with ease are more of a challenge. While you don’t want to move into a nursing home, you know that you’re going to need some extra help. Assisted living services can provide you with that help and Minneapolis has plenty of resources.
What do assisted living services include and more importantly, how much do they cost? Assisted living can be classified as services for residents that need help with daily tasks but don’t need the 24-hour supervision of a nursing facility. This can cover a wide range of services like:
Laundry and cleaning services Meal planning as well as preparation Transportation to errands, appointments, and other outings Personal grooming tasks like bathing, getting dressed, and using the bathroom
There are two ways that you can use assisted living services. The first way is to stay in your home and have a health care worker come and assist you with whatever you need. Most people prefer this option, but it isn’t always the best choice. There are also assisted living communities that you can move into that allow you to have your own space while also getting the help that you need.
Communities offer the added benefit of having staff on hand whenever you need them while also providing a social aspect by allowing you to take classes, participate in fitness groups, and other forms of entertainment.
The State of Minnesota has a program called MnCHOICES that provides long-term care consultations to find out which services will work best for you.
This same program can also offer waivers to certain services based on your needs; over 155,000 assessments have been made.
The state also has an alternative care program for those who want to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible.
LeadingAge Minnesota provides long-term care and services to over 63,000 seniors in Minnesota.
Minneapolis assisted living services tend to be a little higher than the national average but still fairly close. In 2015, the average cost for an assisted living facility was $46,140 compared to the $43,200 national average. You can find prices both higher and lower in the Minneapolis area, so don’t get too discouraged yet.
In-home health care services tended to be a little higher here with home health aides costing an average of $60,632, and homemaker services at an average of $58,344. Now all of these numbers are expected to increase over the next five years, some by as much as 3%.
Since costs are so high, you need to do your research on assisted living. One of the best ways to save money or find out the exact cost is to ask as many questions as possible. These questions here are taken from a more extensive guide on the Assisted Living Federation of America website, but they are good ones to get you started:
Is there a process for addressing my needs and will they be done frequently to see if those needs have changed? Do I need to pay extra for utilities? Do I have to purchase renter’s insurance? What are the different sizes of apartments and what does each cost? Can I see a full list of services and their cost? What transportation is provided? What does it cost? Are there beauty salons and service on-site? What does the standard meal plan look like? Can I supplement it with snacks or outside food? Are there any programs available to help me cover the cost?
Along with these questions, you should try to meet with the director, staff, and current residents at each facility. They can help you get a feel for the environment and answer all the questions you may have.
The first thing you should do is decide which type of care is less expensive in your area and will fit your budget. Do you still pay a mortgage or have a house that is in disrepair and requires a lengthy list of chores to maintain? Then you might want to look into moving to an assisted living facility rather than staying at home. If you own your home and it isn’t a burden to you, in-home health care could work best.
If you’ve made the choice to move, you can look into getting a roommate in your new home. As long as you don’t mind living with someone else and you have a written agreement, this can cut your costs in half and make it much more affordable.
Some facilities also offer affordable housing by using a sliding-scale rate that allows you to pay according to your budget. Talk with the director to see if this is an option.
For seniors with a long-term care insurance plan, talk with your agent to see what the policy covers and if you can use it for assisted living. If you don’t have this insurance and are a low-income family, see if you qualify for Medicaid. You could also use Social Security benefits and if you’re a veteran you can use your VA benefits.
Your home could be a potential asset as well. If you own your home and are moving, consider selling or renting it to use those funds for your care. You could possibly do a reverse mortgage as well if you understand all of the consequences of that choice.
Find assisted living in Minneapolis near you.