Assisted living has become a popular option for Florida seniors that may need a little help with activities of daily living (ADLs). These tasks can include grocery shopping, dressing, bathing, grooming, light housework, or medication management and administration. Assisted living falls in the middle between independent living and intensive skilled nursing care, although many assisted living communities provide aging in place, also known as continuum care.
Communities in the Sunshine State can be located in a mansion-style building or a resort-style hotel. The communities provide social engagement and indoor and outdoor activities. Whether you choose the Terracina Grand with its pool or the restaurant-style dining found at the Brookdale North Naples, you can expect an assisted living facility to meet your needs and match your personality.
Assisted living doesn’t have to only occur in a community setting. In-home care is available through companies that provide trained, insured, and bonded home health aides. These aides can work part-time or full-time.
Florida ranks second in the country in the number of assisted living options.
Florida Medicaid will cover certain aspects of assisted living.
Low-income seniors that are not eligible for Medicaid can still be eligible for a grant to pay for room and board.
Due to the various locations and services offered, local communities differ in price range. Some of the common services offered include:
Doctor and nurse on call Podiatrist and dentist available Respite care Hospice On-site and off-site activities Devotional services Meals and dining Physical, occupational, and speech therapy Transportation Indoor and outdoor common areas Beauty salon and barber shop Small pets allowed Housekeeping services Utilities and maintenance included
The majority of what you need is covered in the monthly rate. Tour several facilities before choosing one and question the manager about additional services that may incur extra fees. Local assisted living units can run as low as $1700 per month for a studio or as much as $5200 for a two bedroom apartment.
The Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey for Florida lists the median monthly rates for one bedroom, single occupancy apartment units in the Naples – Immokalee – Marco Island area. The average rate is $4274 per month or $51,285 per year. This is more than the national average of $3600 per month or $43,200 per year. The state average is $3150 per month or $37,800 per year; of course this rate does not include Naples’ view of the Gulf of Mexico.
Employing a full-time home health aide can run the average of $53,196 per year and you are responsible for the utilities, upkeep and maintenance of your home. Hiring a home health aide may be the better option for you if you rent, live in an area with low living expenses, or only need help with ADLs on a part-time basis.
You can lower your monthly assisted living expenses by looking into local programs or organizations. Speak with a senior care advisor to learn more about these programs.
If you choose an assisted living community, consider one with as many services as you need included in the cost. Complimentary transportation to appointments and the grocery stores may save you from having to pay for a taxi. Some communities may be located close to shopping areas if walking isn’t an issue for you.
Consider splitting your monthly bill with a roommate to make the rate more affordable to both of you. Several communities offer two bedroom apartments.
Florida’s Medicaid Program covers assisted living through its Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program. This program replaced all previous Medicaid waivers as of 2014. To qualify, you must be a Florida resident, be age 65 or older, and require nursing home level care, plus meet all income requirements. Contact your local office to apply.
Low-income seniors who are not eligible for Medicaid can still qualify for assistance through the Optional State Supplement (OSS). This grant is paid in cash to eligible residents to pay for room and board. To qualify, you must be a resident of the state and age 65 or older. You must meet income and medical need requirements. You can apply at the Florida Department of Children and Families website.
Veterans and their surviving spouses can contact the Veterans Administration about the VA Aid and Attendance pension. This benefit covers a portion of assisted living for wartime vets.
Other options to offset the monthly rate include selling or renting your home, taking out a reverse mortgage, cashing in life insurance policies or long-term care policies, and liquidating trusts, IRAs, and other investments and assets. Consult an elder-law attorney to see what your options are to pay for assisted living.
Find assisted living in Naples near you.