Retiring in California is many people’s dream. The warm weather, beautiful beaches, and laid back lifestyle is perfect for retirement. San Diego offers a lot of options when it comes to senior care so it’s easy to enjoy the area while having all needs met. Since there are so many choices to make, we’ve created this simple guide to get you started on your search and help you pick the option that is right for you and your lifestyle.
California does have the reputation of a higher cost of living and that is certainly true when it comes to long-term care costs. Keep in mind that these prices are just averages for the area, and within San Diego you can find a wide range of prices to fit your needs.
In 2015, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home in the U.S. was $91,250 and in San Diego that cost was $127,750. A semi-private room in San Diego cost $93,805. If you wanted to look at assisted living costs, the national average was $43,200 and the average was $42,000. In-home care costs in San Diego are generally in line with the national averages, and using a mixture of these options can help manage and even lower your total cost.
You have two categories of care that you can choose from, in-home and assisted living. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, and you have to decide which is best for you.
Homemaker Services- Staying in your home might be important to you and if you want help with the daily chores, check out homemaker services. In San Diego, companies like Senior Home Care Services will help you with those chores like cleaning or meal preparation so you can stay in your home.
In-Home Health Care- You can still stay in your home if you need medical care. Places like Adult Home Health Care can provide you with nurses and other medical specialists who will come into your home to take care of things like medication, therapy, and wound care.
Adult Day Care Programs- If your regular caretaker works during the day and you need a place to go, check out adult day care programs like the ones at Glenner Memory Care Centers. These places provide supervision along with mental and physical stimulation to keep you healthy and active.
Independent Services- You can find help for almost any task around your house online at websites like TaskRabbit or Angie’s List. If you need a little extra help around the house but don’t need a full-time worker, look into these options.
Ask as many questions as you can before you have someone come into your home to provide care. Here are a few to get you started.
Are all employees bonded and insured? Do health care workers have the proper certifications? How will you get to your adult day care program? Is there a backup plan if a caregiver fails to show up for work or there is an emergency?
If living in your home is no longer an option or you’re ready for a new community, you have a few different choices.
Independent Living- This type of community is kind of like resort living for seniors. You can have your own house or apartment and don’t have to have someone in your space every day. This gives you the freedom to live an active lifestyle.
Assisted Living- If you still want your own space but do need a little extra help around your house, assisted living offers the best of both worlds. You can enjoy nice amenities while receiving help with laundry, housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, and on-call staff.
Nursing Homes- A nursing home will be more along the lines of a hospital stay, but you can still have the option of a private room. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff can monitor your condition and provide care as needed.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care- Alzheimer’s patients and those that suffer from various forms of dementia need specialized care. You can find facilities that cater to these needs and they will often have trained specialists on hand along with extra security and relaxing environments.
There is a long list of questions you should ask so that you find a community you feel comfortable with, but here are a few to get you started.
What are all services offered and the costs that go along with them? Is it possible to eat a meal in the cafeteria and take a tour of the facility? Can you bring in independent specialists for treatment? What are all rules and regulations i.e. pets and overnight guests?
Paying for any type of care can seem like a financial burden, but you should know that you have a few options. Social Security benefits can help cover a few long-term care costs and some insurance policies, like long-term care insurance, can help lower the cost of your care. Medicaid is a good option for low-income families who might not be able to afford senior care. Veterans can check with their local office to find out if their VA benefits can help. You can also look at cashing in life insurance policies and getting a reverse mortgage, but make sure you understand all the risks with these options.
Another option for your free time is to give back to your community by volunteering. San Diego County has its own Retired and Senior Volunteer Program that allows seniors to volunteer to deliver meals, assist with office work, teach kids and adults how to read, and so much more. You can also visit Senior Corps to find even more chances to volunteer on a national scale.
Find assisted living in San Diego near you.