If you have done any research on assisted living or long-term care, you have probably noticed the high costs. Yes, long-term care costs are not cheap and across the country the costs keep increasing. Assisted living isn’t a one size fits all care plan and you can find plenty of affordable options here in Philadelphia that also fit your health needs.
Assisted living can mean many different things and it can look very different in each city or facility. The term assisted living generally means services for senior residents that need help with daily tasks and chores without requiring around the clock supervision or care in a skilled nursing facility. While every person is different, basic services you can find are:
Light housekeeping like washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, and changing linens
Help with personal grooming tasks like taking a bath or getting dressed in the morning
Transportation services to medical appointments
Meal planning and preparation
Many seniors want to be able to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and that’s fine because you can get these services taken care of in your home. If for some reason you can’t stay in your house, assisted living facilities often give you a certain level of independence and privacy by allowing you to live in your own home or apartment or private room. You will get access to the services mentioned above as well as be able to participate in group activities like art classes or entertainment that the facility provides to all its residents.
Pennsylvania has over 1,200 personal care services and they serve over 46,000 residents.
Medicaid pays for about 66% of residents stays in assisted living facilities in Pennsylvania.
There are approximately 193,000 employees in long-term care in Pennsylvania, which generated over $11.8 billion in activity over the last year.
About 70% of seniors who are 65 or older will need some type of long-term care in their lifetime.
Assisted living costs in Philadelphia tend to be a little higher than the national average of $43,200. In 2015, the average annual cost in Philadelphia was $58,626, but keep in mind this average is between Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington so the price can be higher or lower. It’s also important to note that this cost will most likely increase over the next five years by about 3%.
If you want to receive in-home health care, you can expect to pay between $48,000 and $51,000. This cost includes homemaker services as well as in-home health aides.
It is a good idea to ask as many questions as possible when you are looking at assisted living services and facilities. Often times there are a few extra costs that you might not know about or a few ways that you can save extra money just by asking. Here we have just a few questions to get you started but you can always look at a full list of questions at the Assisted Living Federation of America.
Do you accept long-term care insurance? Do you accept Medicaid? Are there government or private programs that can help me cover the cost? Can I see a list of all services and their cost? Will I need to pay extra for utilities? Do I need to buy renter’s insurance? Can I hire certain outside services if they aren’t provided? What does the meal plan look like? Can I decorate my own apartment? What is the policy on guests or pets?
Don’t worry if you feel like you’re asking too many questions because you want to be able to feel comfortable with your care. It’s also a good idea to take a tour of the facility and meet with the director, staff, and current residents, so you can get a feel for the community.
This is probably one of the biggest questions you have at this point. First, figure out which type of assisted living services suit your needs best and are least expensive in your area. Maybe in-home care is better and cheaper for you than moving to a new home in a community. Only you can decide which is better and will work for your budget.
If a move is in your future, think about getting a semi-private room or finding a roommate. This can make a very expensive situation much more manageable by cutting your cost in half. You can also see if the facility you have chosen works on a sliding-scale rate. If you meet the income requirements, you might be able to pay a lower price.
There are a few ways that can save you from paying for everything out of pocket. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, this is the time to call your agent and see what’s covered. Low-income seniors should apply for Medicaid and see if they can get benefits to cover their cost. Veterans should check with their local VA office to see if they have any long-term care coverage.
Finally, your home could be an asset and could help you pay for some of your care costs. If you own your home, you have the option of selling it or renting it out to use those funds for your care. If you’re still paying a mortgage you could possibly get a reverse mortgage but that can have long-term ramifications and should only be done under financial advisement.
Find assisted living in Philadelphia near you.