Seattle is not one of the cheaper places to live in the United States. It’s no surprise to think that nursing home care won’t be that inexpensive either. Seattle is known for being hip and living life to the fullest, and you can do that in a nursing home in Seattle whether your budget is a Starbucks coffee or McDonald’s coffee. There are options to fit your lifestyle and have affordable, quality care.
Currently, there are around 17,000 Washington residents who live in skilled nursing facilities.
Washington ranks 28th in the US for the number of residents in skilled care facilities.
Washington recently passed a bill to improve staffing at nursing homes, which would ensure residents receive 3.2 hours of direct care daily.
The cost of skilled nursing care varies significantly over geographic locations. According to a recent survey by Genworth Financial, the 2016 national median rate for a semi-private nursing home room was $82,128 per year in 2016, and the price for a private room was $92,376.
The Pacific Northwest is notoriously expensive, and you may get sticker shock when you see Seattle’s average nursing home cost compared to the nation. In Seattle, the average rate for a private room nursing averaged $126,336 per year, while the semi-private rate was around $114,684.
It is wise to shop around, and you will find there are a variety of prices available depending on the location and amenities of the home. Also, consider looking outside of the Seattle city limits.
Nursing home care provides medical monitoring by a registered nurse 24/7 to help with medication, caring for a wound, ensuring doctor’s orders are followed, and scheduling physical and occupational therapies.
In addition to nurses, there are certified nurse assistants (CNA) who work directly with the patients providing care and support. The RN supervises the CNA, and the CNA will also monitor and report patient’s progress.
In addition to concentrating on long-term care for residents, some communities provide a memory care unit for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Queen Anne Manor specializes in memory care and is one of SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2017 Best of Assisted Living winners.
If you were just in the hospital or had surgery, you will most likely need short term or rehab care, which is offered at facilities like Avamere Transitional Care & Rehab. Most nursing homes provide hospice care for end of life stages to assist families and keep patients comfortable.
Meals are prepared to follow each individual’s diet restrictions that include diabetic, kosher, low-sodium, vegetarian, and more. All meals are nutritionally balanced to provide the proper nutrients. Residents can either eat in the community dining room or their rooms. Staff members can also assist patients who need help eating.
Nursing homes are more than just medical facilities; they also offer activities. The nursing home activities director ensures that the days are packed with fun including holiday parties, therapy animal visits, local performers, music and dances, games, movies, and more. Most nursing homes have a chaplain on staff to work on the spiritual health of patients and families. Nursing homes typically have religious services and study groups for residents.
For those residents who wish to have a pet, some nursing homes that permit pets include Ida Culver House Broadview and Mirabella. For those who want more, some communities provide day outings, transportation, onsite salon care, and onsite dentist care. For those who enjoy the finer things in life, there are luxurious nursing homes and assisted living, including Parkshore who offers private upscale dining, moorage for a boat, 360 views of the water, and a solarium on every floor.
It is important to visit each facility you plan to consider at least once. Spend time there – have a meal, partake in an activity, and get the feel. Talk to current residents and get their opinions. Be sure to ask about licensing, how many hours of care are provided each day, amenities available, and what is included in the price versus what are extras.
Contact the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. They can help you access reports on the nursing facilities.
If you are looking to cut costs, look into having a semi-private room with a roommate. You will notice tremendous savings. Based on the Genworth median rates for Seattle, you could save nearly $11,700 a year, which could really help for one of the nation’s most expensive nursing home care locations. A roommate could help your loved one get acclimated quickly and could provide friendship when you aren’t able to visit.
You are probably wondering if there are any other ways to pay for nursing home care. If your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy, they typically cover skilled nursing. Be sure to ask your agent to look for your coverage, limits, and see if there are stipulations in the policy.
Avoid lapse in coverage by paying on time, which automatic payments would ensure timely payments. There are other options if you do not have long-term care insurance.
Low-income seniors may be eligible for the government program, Medicaid. Veterans who served in the war along with their widows may be eligible for the Veteran Affair’s Aid & Attendance pension. To learn more about this program and eligibility, contact Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs.
For seniors who own homes, they may be able to use a reverse mortgage to pay for their bills. Reverse mortgages use the equity you have in your home. The US Housing and Urban Development Department gives more information and guidance. There are some life insurance policies that allow you to cash out your policy early. Be sure to discuss implications of a reverse mortgage or cashing out a life insurance policy with your tax advisor, lawyer, or estate planner because there are fees, taxes, and other conditions involved.
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