Portland’s natural beauty is unsurpassable. The city is surrounded by world-famous forests, waterfalls and rock formations that you can enjoy during sun-filled summers and mild winters. Residents can also visit one of the city’s many parks, museums, galleries or restaurants. Portland’s booming popularity has driven up the price of local nursing homes, but residents are still able to enjoy a low cost of living, including zero sales taxes on purchases.
In 2014, there were just 7,079 residents living in Oregon nursing homes.
Between 2007 and 2030, the number of people aged 85+ living in Oregon is expected to increase by 66%, thus increasing the demand for nursing home care.
Medicaid helps over 500,000 Oregon residents access affordable health care, including nursing care for eligible seniors.
In 2009, Oregon spent 44% of its Medicaid long-term care budget on nursing home care and 56% on home and community based care.
Despite the fact that Portland residents enjoy a relatively low cost of living, nursing care costs in the city are generally higher than costs for similar care nationwide. In the U.S., the median price for a semi-private room in 2015 was $6,692 per month, while the median monthly price for a private room was $7,604. Sharing a semi-private room with a roommate cost Portland residents a median monthly total of $8,060 in 2015, while Portland residents that wanted a private room paid a median of $8,486 per month.
There are over three dozen nursing homes in Portland to choose from that fall within different price ranges. Many homes offer tiered pricing options to meet the unique needs of their residents. Seniors that require an advanced level of medical care, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s patients, may end up paying more for nursing care than residents that are able to function independently.
Nursing homes provide the highest level of care that patients can get outside of a hospital. A registered nurse and certified nursing assistants are on staff 24 hours a day to help residents with their healthcare needs, from assistance following medication schedules to rehabilitative therapy sessions. Many nursing facilities also offer hospice care and specialized dementia wards for residents.
Medical care is only a small part of the nursing home experience. Staff members also help residents with daily living activities such as bathing and grooming, and professionally prepared meals are provided throughout the day. Nursing facilities are able to meet the unique dietary restrictions of individual patients, including vegan and vegetarian options, kosher dishes, and much more.
Ideally, you should be prepared to take on the financial burden of long-term care years in advance. Even if you don’t need nursing care right now, it’s a good idea to look into long-term care insurance policies. Traditional insurance plans typically provide limited coverage when it comes to long-term nursing care, if they offer coverage at all. Long-term care insurance, on the other hand, is designed to cover the costs of both medical and personal care services at nursing facilities. When researching long-term care insurance, be sure to speak with an agent to find out more about each plan’s coverage and payout limits.
Insurance can help to cover some of the costs of long-term care, but many seniors still struggle to pay the remainder of the expenses out of their own pocket. Portland residents that are making the move into a nursing care facility may wish to sell their house to help cover monthly care costs. When selling your house isn’t an option, such as when a spouse still lives independently at home, you can take out a reverse mortgage to help pay for long-term care expenses. Taking out a reverse mortgage can help to ease your financial burden, but it also means that once you permanently leave your property, your house belongs to the lender.
Seniors with limited assets may qualify to receive government benefits through the Oregon Medicaid program. Those that meet the program’s strict financial criteria may be eligible to receive help paying for the monthly costs of nursing home care. Veterans and the wives of veterans that struggle to pay for full-time care can apply to receive the VA Aid & Attendance pension. If you are a veteran living in the Portland area, you can contact the local VA benefit office to find out more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
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