Even the most active senior has to admit at some point they need help doing a few things that they used to do easily. There is no shame in that, but it does open up a few questions about senior care. There are more options than just a nursing home as care has expanded as more people age and retire. Philadelphia offers a wide range of choices and while prices might be a little higher than national averages, you can find a price to fit your budget.
Senior care costs are high everywhere, and yes Philadelphia does have higher than national average costs, but that doesn’t mean care is out of reach. First, let’s look a few of the average costs.
In 2015, a private room in a nursing home in Philadelphia was $127,750 and a semi-private room was $114,610. Assisted living costs were about $58,626 per year as well. Now, you can also look at in-home care and those cost an average of $48,000 to $50,000. These numbers are high but they don’t tell the whole story. Depending on the type of care you choose and the facility you decide on, there is a range of prices that can cost more or less than the average.
Before you make a final decision, you need to look at all the choices out there and Philadelphia has plenty. Here is a short guide to the in-home care and assisted living options that you can find.
Homemaker Services- Many seniors could stay in their homes if they had a little extra help around the house. Homemaker services like Homemaker Services of the Metropolitan Area send in employees to take care of tasks like cleaning, light cooking, transportation, and even companionship.
In-Home Health Care- This service is a lot like homemaker services but with medical professionals. If you have a chronic medical condition that needs care and supervision you can have nurses come into your home to take care of you.
Adult Day Care- Adult day care programs can not only offer supervision and care but help increase seniors mental and physical abilities. Places like Grace Adult Day Health Care provide a wide range of programs to help seniors interact with others as well as receive care and attention.
Independent Services- You might not need help 24/7, but every once in awhile there is a chore or task that you can’t do anymore. You can turn to the internet and search online sites like Amazon Home services to find people who will pick up your groceries, walk your dog, and even fix a leaky faucet.
You want to make sure you feel comfortable with the people who are going to be coming into your home, so here are just a few questions to ask.
Go over all charges and fees before the services are rendered so there are no surprises. Ask if all employees are insured and bonded in case of a problem or accident. Find out if you need to transport yourself to a daycare or if that is provided. Make an emergency plan in case your normal routine has to change for whatever reason.
You don’t have to stay in your home if you would prefer to move to a senior living community. Here are a few options you can look into.
Independent living- If you would like to be surrounded by people your own age and have resort-like conditions but still remain active and have your own home, look into independent living communities.
Assisted living- You can still have a great deal of independence in assisted living, but you also get the benefits of having a staff on hand to help you with anything you need. This can include transportation, personal care, meal preparation, and laundry services.
Nursing homes- This option provides the highest level of medical care outside of a hospital. Nurses and doctors can monitor your condition and make sure all medical issues are cared for.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Facilities- Just like a nursing home, patients will receive medical care but it will be tailored to their mental condition. These places often have higher levels of security to minimize wandering and getting lost.
Ask as many questions as possible so that you can find the place that makes you feel safe and comfortable while meeting all of your needs.
Meet with the director and go over all charges, services, and fees. Ask to take a tour and talk with current residents to see how they like the facility. Ask to see the yearly state inspection report and find out about any deficiencies. Make sure you understand all rules and regulations before you move in.
Just like you have care options, you also have payment options. Long-term care insurance policies are a good way to cover these costs if you already have them. If you don’t have any insurance and are a low-income family, look over Medicaid’s requirements to see if you qualify. Homeowners can look into reverse mortgages or possibly selling their house as long as you understand all the risks. If you’re a veteran, check with your local office to see if VA benefits are able to cover costs.
Giving back to your community is a great way to spend your extra free time and can have the added benefit of making yourself feel better. Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has a lot of volunteer opportunities for seniors and you can do things like tutor children, give tours, be an oral historian, and even be a foster grandparent. You can also check out the Senior Corps for more opportunities.
Find assisted living in Philadelphia near you.