There are a few purchases that make a huge impact in your life; buying a car, your first home, or a wedding. There is one other life changing purchase that is almost never considered though: moving into a nursing home facility.
As expensive and important as any of the other items on the list is, your choice of nursing home will influence how you live the last years of your life. The cost of nursing home care comes, unfortunately, after you’ve ended your working years and are living on a fixed income and savings.
Continue reading to learn about what you can expect from nursing home care, what to look for in a quality St. Petersburg nursing home, and how much you can anticipate paying for your nursing facility stay.
The average monthly cost of a private nursing home room in St. Petersburg is not entirely affordable at $8,973 per month on average while a semi-private room will “only” set you back about $7,574.
Almost 10% of seniors over age 85 reside in a nursing home, and women constitute close to two-thirds of nursing home residents.
A little more than 1.4 million seniors live in a nursing home facility as of 2014.
Almost 3% of the over 65 population live in a nursing home.
While nursing home care isn’t cheap anywhere, the median cost of care in St. Petersburg stands out for being well north of the median national cost of nursing home care.
The average monthly cost of a private room in a U.S. nursing facility is about $7,400, or roughly $88,000 per year. As stated earlier, that cost is close to $9,000 per month in St. Petersburg for an eye-watering $108,000 per year.
Keep in mind that these figures are the average cost of care in a nursing facility; half of the nursing homes will be above or below that amount. The actual monthly cost will depend on the size of resident accommodations, the comparative luxury of the facility, amenities, and the location of the nursing home.
Careful consideration of what features and services are most important for your comfort and particular medical situation can help you realize significant savings. For many nursing home residents, the presence of an Olympic pool or gorgeously landscaped grounds aren’t important amenities compared to high-quality memory disease or cardiac care. Which brings us to the next important thing you need to know about St. Petersburg nursing homes: what services do they provide?
Regardless of anything else, all nursing home facilities in St. Petersburg have to provide certain services to all residents.
Nursing home patients will, first off, have the services of geriatric trained registered nurses to see to the range of medical concerns that must be addressed.
The nursing staff will ensure that medication schedules are rigorously adhered to, doctor’s instructions are followed, and perform routine medical care such as:
Changing wound dressings
Checking and maintaining IVs
Checking and recording vital signs like temperature, weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Preventing bedsores by regularly moving bedridden seniors, and treating existing bedsores.
All nursing homes will have a food services department that’s responsible for preparing nutritionally appropriate meals for residents and meals that meet the special dietary requirements of nursing home patients suffering from conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
Seniors will usually have the assistance of aides to help with dressing, grooming, bathing, and eating where it’s necessary.
Each nursing home will have its own special offerings, amenities, or luxuries to distinguish it from the competition and make patient’s lives more enjoyable.
Frequently, nursing home facilities will maintain a schedule of classes or seminars in art, crafts, and topics of interest. Some nursing homes may provide special services such as barber or beauty shops, shopping, and medical transport on-site.
Many nursing homes will also make provisions for day trips or excursions to give nursing home patients something to look forward to and prevent boredom from setting in.
Choosing the right nursing home is a momentous decision, since you’ll probably spend the rest of your life there, and you need to make sure that your new home is the right one.
Visit every facility on your “short list” of nursing facilities that meet the minimum requirements you’ve decided on and use this list of important questions from the AARP website when you speak to the home’s management.
Next, examine the cleanliness of the home and how well it’s been maintained; a clean, orderly, and well-maintained facility means that the management cares takes pride in the service they provide.
Sample the menu and see if the food is to your liking, find out what the visitor policy is and if your family can easily park when they arrive.
Unfortunately, the most effective way to control the cost of nursing home care is by sharing a room with another resident, although this does have its advantages. A roommate can raise the alarm if you experience a medical emergency, and provide friendly company.
Long-term care insurance will go far to relieve financial pressures, so make sure your policy is up to date and familiarize yourself with its provisions.
VA benefits can help U.S. vets to cover much of the cost of nursing home care; make sure to contact your local VA and check your eligibility.
Finally, Medicaid will help low-income seniors to get the nursing home care that they need and educate you about other programs or grants that may be available to help cover costs.
Seniors who own homes can sell or rent their property and use the money to help subsidize much of the cost of nursing home care. A reverse mortgage is another way to realize a monthly income that will defray some of the monthly costs of nursing home care.
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