It’s common for seniors to find that they need extra assistance with daily needs or their medical care. For some, it’s as simple as needing a hand around the house with transportation or housekeeping, and for others more hands-on personal or nursing care may be required. In Pittsburgh, there are care providers for every level to choose from, and here we go over common options to help you determine what might be the right fit for your everyday needs.
Retirees in the Pittsburgh area will pay, on average, more than the annual national median for care. According to the 2015 Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth, national medians for nursing home care annually were $80,300 for semi-private and $91,250 for private care. In Pittsburgh, residents paid a median annually of $92,325 and $110,960 respectively for the same care. Homemaker services and home health care were also slightly over the national median, however, assisted living costs were actually less. Nationally seniors paid, on average, $43,200 annually while in Pittsburgh the annual rate was $36,900 on average. Assisted living proved to be more affordable and could save as much as $12,000 per year over home-based options.
Over 10,000 baby boomers retire every day in the nation, which means there are more senior living services than ever before at your disposal. Services can range from in-home assistance to facility-based skilled nursing care, depending on your individual needs. Here we explore common options in the Pittsburgh area.
Seniors who want to stay at home through retirement can hire a combination of providers to have access to services and care that meet their needs.
Homemaker services provide assistance with non-medical daily needs like light housekeeping, personal care or grooming and can be contracted through a local agency.
Home health services are designed to allow medical professionals like a registered nurse to administer care in your home. Seniors with chronic conditions like cancer or heart disease, or who need physical therapy or wound care use these services.
Adult day programs give seniors a safe, supervised setting while caregivers are out of the home. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has resources to help you find a reputable center in your area.
Concierge services provide assistance with a number of tasks like local transportation, running errands, shopping, home maintenance or dog walking, and can be hired through independent agencies in the area.
Do a bit of research on service providers in your area including asking friends and family for recommendations and reading online reviews. To find the best fit, contact agencies and providers and ask questions like the ones listed below.
Does the provider have a current license (if required by the state of Pennsylvania)? Is the provider insured and bonded? As an employer, do they require new staff to have a clean background check and participate in new-hire training? Can they describe their contingency plan if a staff member is unable to make their scheduled appointment with you? If they are an Adult Day Center, is there an option for transportation to and from the site?
If living outside of a home setting in a community specifically for seniors appeals to you, Pittsburgh has dozens of resources to assist you. Properties can range in levels of care from independent living all the way to skilled nursing, and many will offer a continuum of care to allow you to stay in the same facility should your care needs progress over time.
Independent living communities provide seniors the freedom to live on their own in individual apartments but free them from the burden of property maintenance.
Assisted living communities also allow for independent living quarters but offer daily help with things like transportation, housekeeping, and grooming as needed by residents.
Nursing homes provide skilled medical care to seniors in either short-term or long-term settings depending on their needs. Care is available any hour of the day or night and includes housing and meals in these high-touch residences.
Dementia care is a specialized form of nursing home care that takes extra precautions to prevent wandering from seniors with memory diseases.
Are there advanced care options and, if I need them, how do I progress through that continuum of care? How much does monthly care cost and what is the list of amenities included in those fees? Are there services not included in the monthly fee and what are their costs? Do you allow independent concierge services on the premises? Most properties will not, but if you need assistance with things not provided by the facility like transportation or housekeeping, it’s important to ask.
Most seniors begin by examining their social security benefits and retirement savings to fund their care. Resources for low-income seniors include Medicaid and the VA Aid & Attendance pensions. Each has criteria and an application process to qualify. A reverse mortgage may be an option for homeowners who want to leverage their home equity to pay for care.
There’s no shortage of sporting events, shopping centers, dining options, festivals and museums in the city to make retirement fun for everyone. Annually don’t miss famous events like the St. Patrick’s Day parade every March and the Blues Festival in July. Seniors interested in volunteering for local businesses who need assistance should visit volunteermatch.org to find a cause you’re passionate about.
If this general information guide has prompted you to seek out more information on senior living in Pittsburgh be sure to check out our guides to neighborhoods, veteran support, assisted living, and respite care in your area.
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