Perhaps you know nothing about assisted living but know that you are going to need some help in the coming years. You might be worried that it’s too expensive or that you’ll have to give up your independence but that isn’t always the case. New York can offer you a wide range of services and there are care plans to fit every budget.
It’s important that you know everything you can about assisted living before you make any decisions. This guide will address things like the cost of care, how you can save money on your costs, and a few of the different ways that you can pay for your care. It will also give you a few starting questions so that you can begin your search.
The first thing that you should know about assisted living is what does that title include? The term assisted living covers all services for individuals that need help with their daily activities but don’t need to be in the care of a skilled nursing facility. These daily activities usually include things like:
Personal grooming (bathing, getting dressed, or going to the bathroom)
Laundry services such as changing sheets and linens
Light housekeeping or chores you can no longer accomplish on your own
Transportation to appointments or errands around your neighborhood
Many of these services can be offered in your own home and New York has plenty of options when it comes to in-home health care or aides. If it isn’t possible for you to stay in your home, there are also assisted living communities that allow you to live in your own home or apartment while still getting access to these services from staff members.
The Association on Aging in New York has a program called Community Service for the Elderly that provides services like delivered meals, transportation, and in-home care to those who need it most.
This program has served almost 60,000 seniors in New York
Of all the seniors 60 to 85+ receiving personal care in New York, about 42% are 85 or older
Over 55% of seniors who need personal care need help with at least 3 to 5 different services
If you look at the average cost of assisted living in the whole state of New York in 2015, it can seem high compared to the national average. New York came in at $49,200 and the whole U.S. came in at $43,200. However, if you look at the different areas of New York, you can find both lower and higher costs. In Brooklyn, the average was $37,500 and in Long Island, it was $67,500.
In-home health care for the whole state averaged between $48,000 to $52,000. Now keep in mind that these numbers vary greatly depending on your area and will most likely increase over the next five years.
There are many different things that can contribute to your total assisted living cost and you need to know the questions to ask beforehand. Here we have adapted a few questions from the Assisted Living Federation of America. These are just a few questions to get you started but you can find the whole list on their website:
Can I see a whole list of services and their costs?
Are there different costs for different levels of care or services?
Are there more services available if my care needs change?
Are there any programs or private groups that can help cover my care costs?
Can I see the residency agreement before I move in?
Do I need to pay extra for utilities and renter’s insurance?
Make sure you do a thorough research on each facility and meet with the directors, staff, and other residents before you make your final decision. Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions because this will help you get a feel for your new home as well as the amount of money you can expect to spend on your care.
The cost of care is going to be one of the biggest hurdles for most people, but if you do your homework there are a few ways you can cut costs. Decide which type of care, in-home or at a facility, is going to be best and least expensive for you. This will mostly depend on your health and your current home.
If you can’t keep up with the daily chores or still pay a mortgage, moving out could be your best option. If you own your home and it has light upkeep, in-home health care might be a good solution.
Moving to a facility doesn’t have to mean a huge cost, especially if you decide to get a roommate or a semi-private room. You can also talk with the director and see if you qualify for any grants or scholarships or meet the requirements to pay a sliding-scale rate.
Veterans should check their VA benefits to see if they have long-term care coverage or if there are any veteran homes that offer the care they need in their area. Low-income seniors should see if they qualify for Medicaid and use those funds to cover their cost. Long-term insurance policies are another option if you have already purchased them.
You could also look into selling your home or at the least rent it out to cover some of your care costs. A reverse mortgage is also an option but one that comes with long-term ramifications so make sure you meet with a financial advisor first.
Find assisted living in New York near you.