If you start to notice that you need help doing things that once came easily, you might be interested in using assisted living services. Newark and the surrounding area have plenty of options, but it’s best to learn as much as you can before you make your decision. This guide can help you learn about the cost of this care, how to pay for it, and what to ask before you choose.
Assisted living means any service that helps a person with their daily activities or chores but isn’t as intense as skilled nursing. These services could include:
Grooming tasks like bathing, getting dressed, fixing your hair.
Mobility assistance like getting in or out of bed and wheelchair transfers.
Meal planning and preparation including clean up afterward.
Transportation to necessary appointments, errands, or places of worship.
Housekeeping duties like laundry, dusting, vacuuming, and general tidiness.
You can choose to get assisted living services in your home or a facility setting. In-home care includes homemakers and home health aides, both can help with personal care tasks, but only home health aides can assist with medical needs. There are a few providers that offer live-in caregivers as well as group homes that have residential care services.
If you choose a facility, you might get an apartment or house, but some have shared spaces. There will also be services like a community center with a variety of classes, exercise groups, possible swimming pool, and other social activities.
New Jersey has 200 assisted living communities and a max of 21,300 beds available.
64% of the population in New Jersey is 85 or older, and 38% has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
All facilities in New Jersey are required to provide residents with 24-hour care that includes health and personal services along with meals, social interaction, activities, and support from a social worker.
In New Jersey, each assisted living resident must have their own full bathroom and no more than two people can share a room.
86% of communities are Medicaid certified and 17% of residents rely on Medicaid for their care.
Newark and the surrounding areas in New Jersey have a higher than average cost of long-term care including assisted living services. An assisted living facility in Newark costs about $63,660 per year which is much greater than the national average of $43,539. Genworth does estimate that this cost will decrease by at least 1% over the next five years.
In-home services are a little less expensive in Newark but still higher than the national median costs. Homemakers cost about $49,718 per year here, and home health aides cost about $50,336. National averages for those services are $45,760 and $46,332 respectively. These costs will rise between 1% and 2% over the next five years.
When you do your research on assisted living facilities, it’s important to ask as many questions as possible. These questions can help you learn about the cost of care, what services you get with that price, and any additional costs you might have. You can also learn more about each facility and see which will be the best fit for your needs and budget. Here are a few questions to get you started:
What is the total cost and what does that price include?
Do you have a continuum of care? What does that look like for each resident and how will it affect my total cost?
What is the residency agreement?
May I see the service provider’s consumer disclosure? This document explains all services, procedures, policies, and additional expenses.
Do you accept Medicaid?
Do I have to get renter’s insurance?
Are there any programs that can help me pay for services, public, or nonprofit?
How do you handle billing and payments? What are the rules?
Is there a refund and transfer policy? Is it written down?
Are there transportation services? What is the map and schedule?
What does the meal plan include? Are there snacks? Can guests bring outside meals to residents?
Am I allowed to have overnight guests?
Are pets allowed? Is there a pet deposit? Breed or weight restrictions?
What are the housekeeping services?
Are there extra services available for an additional cost? May I see a list of prices for those services?
What grooming services can I use?
All questions are taken from the Assisted Living Federation of America’s Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Community.
The excessive cost of care in New Jersey might get you worried about paying for long-term care. There are a few ways you can save money and cut costs. The first thing you should do is decide what type of assisted living service works best for you. Homeowners that no longer make payments on their house or have costly repairs might do better with in-home care services. If you still have a mortgage, spend a lot of time and money maintaining your home, or want more supervision, an assisted living community could be the better option.
If you decide to move to a community setting, you might be able to get a roommate and cut your costs in half. Not all facilities will allow roommates but if it’s ok, give it a trial run for a few weeks. If after the few weeks are over, you and your potential roommate still want to live together, sign an agreement.
You might also be able to find a facility that will operate on a sliding scale. This option is for seniors with extremely low-incomes and little to no assets. The facility will assess your budget and choose a rate that you can afford. There aren’t many facilities that offer this, but you can ask to be sure.
If you qualify for Medicaid, they can help cover most of your assisted living costs whether you choose in-home care or a facility. Veterans with VA benefits can check to see which services they have included. Seniors with long-term care insurance should review their policies because often assisted living services are part of their coverage.
You can also consider selling your home and using the money to pay for your care. If you can’t sell your house, you might be able to use a reverse mortgage to tap the equity in your home and cover assisted living. Meet with an HUD-certified counselor first, though, because this option has some financial and legal consequences.
Find assisted living in Newark near you.