Making a big life transition is always stressful. There are probably several questions running through your head as you consider your move to assisted living. How much will it cost? How is daily life? How will I find the right community? How will I pay for the care? You may be surprised that paying your bill is not as complicated as you think. We have outlined some information to get you familiar with Omaha assisted living and what to expect.
Don’t let this $4,000 a month number alarm you. Depending on your location and amenities you want, prices vary widely. Bethany Heights in nearby Council Bluffs offers a studio apartment starting around $1,410. If you want more room and luxury, you can find a two-bedroom apartment at The Waterford at Roxbury Park that can cost you nearly $5,000 a month. There are also several other communities fit in between these two price categories.
You can find an assisted living community that caters to your needs and interests. For faith-based care and living, Hickory Villa offers an intimate community in South Central Omaha. You can also find an assisted living community that permits pets allowing you to bring your dog or cat with you. If you want to live close to the beach, Atlantic Shores Retirement is only 10 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and is right next to Red Wing Lake for scenic views. If you want restaurant style dining and enjoy cooking, Aksarben Village Senior Living Community also offers cooking classes, so you can keep learning to cook. There is an assisted living community in Omaha for every interest. You just need to look for one that suits your needs.
What are your primary interests? Do you want to live in a particular area near downtown or live in a more rural setting? Take time to consider what is essential to you and your life needs. Once you know what criteria you want and what location you want to live, start searching for communities that are a match. Ask your friends, neighbors, relatives, or anyone else you know about their experiences. Be sure to check out online reviews for honest opinions and feedback. For additional assistance, contact a local senior advisor that is familiar with the Omaha area. Nebraska’s Department of Aging is there to assist you with your search, and you can discuss your needs with a representative that is familiar with facilities in Omaha. Take your advisor or family members with you when you visit communities; they can provide valuable insight and help you come up with questions.
Before you leave a community visit, be sure you are aware of all services included in the monthly charge, which services are extra, and how the community handles care when your needs change. SeniorAdvisor’s Assisted Living Guidebook provides an expansive list of questions you should ask including paying for care, residency agreements, social activities, medication and health care, policies, and more.
Seeing the bill for assisted living can be quite shocking. However, when you compare the costs of staying in your home and hiring services, you may notice the price of assisted living isn’t that much different. When you make the comparison, be sure to include all expenses with your home including taxes, homeowners insurance, mortgage, utility bills, and any maintenance or upkeep you need such as landscaping or other home projects that may require updates now or in the near future such as windows or the roof.
You can also pay for assisted living by selling your home. The proceeds after taxes and fees may be enough to pay for your care. If you have a spouse that will still live in your home or you don’t want to sell, there are other options to pay for assisted living.
It’s important to point out that Medicare and health insurance do not cover assisted living costs, which many seniors do not know. Workers’ disability insurance also doesn’t cover assisted living expenses.
For low-income and low-asset seniors, the federal-state program, Medicaid, may be a viable option. Medicaid provides coverage to more than 4.6 million low-income seniors nationwide. To learn more about eligibility and applying, visit Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services website.
If you are a veteran (or a widow of a veteran) that served during a war, you may qualify for VA Aid & Attendance pension to help cover your assisted living expenses. To be eligible, you only needed to be active in time of war not necessarily in combat. Contact your regional Nebraska benefits office for more information or to apply. Please note this process can take several months from start to finish.
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, it will typically cover assisted living costs. However, it is probably best to discuss coverage, limits, and exclusions with your agent before counting on this coverage. Some policies do not cover room and board expenses. It is also critical to stay current on your policy payments, so your coverage does not lapse. To avoid forgetting to pay your bill, you may want to set up automatic bill pay to handle payment for you.
Another option to consider is a reverse mortgage, which uses your home’s equity. If you want to keep your home for your spouse, this allows you to keep your home and still take some of the equity for cash to pay your expenses. You can also look into cashing out your life insurance policy. Both reverse mortgages and cashing in life insurance policies do come with tax and inheritance implications. You should know all the details and fees before making this decision, so you may want to discuss any concerns with your financial planner, an attorney, or a tax advisor.
Now that you know a little more about assisted living in the Omaha area, you may be ready to continue your search. SeniorAdvisor offers you helpful information including links to award-winning care providers, neighborhood information, cost estimates, and more.
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