If you need some help to make the flow of your daily life easier, you may want to consider assisted living. These communities and services give seniors the extra help they need and are not medical facilities like nursing homes. To find the right community, you will need to do your research and know your expectations. Below you will find some information to assist you with your search including what questions to ask, how to pay for your care, how to save money, and what assisted living facilities offer for services.
Assisted living facilities make life easier for residents by providing these services:
Cooking and serving of well-balanced and nutritious meals and snacks.
Transporting residents to appointments, personal errands, and religious services.
Cleaning and laundry services.
Reminding residents to follow medicine schedules and assisting residents with appointments such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy sessions.
Assisting with personal care if needed such as bathing, putting on clothes, using the toilet, and other hygiene tasks.
You also have options for types of assisted living including a larger group-style home, residential neighborhoods, or living at home with the assistance of services such as visiting nurses and housekeeping.
The larger group-style home provides each resident an apartment and shared areas such a fitness center, a dining hall, sitting rooms, and outdoor gathering areas. If you want to choose one facility for the long term, several assisted living communities offer residents continuum care with attached or affiliated skilled nursing facilities. When a resident needs more skilled nursing care than the assisted living community offers, the resident will transfer to the skilled nursing home.
There are 558 licensed assisted living facilities in Virginia.
The Virginia Assisted Living Association (VALA) is a non-profit organization to help you with your search for care.
You can also view inspections and other information on the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Assisted living care in Virginia Beach is higher than the national monthly average of $3,628. In 2016, the average cost of assisted living facilities was $4,402 monthly. For those considering home services, the average health aide service cost $3,527 a month in Virginia Beach.
Looking at assisted living facilities can be a daunting task if you don’t know what to expect. You probably have several questions running through your head. Don’t be intimidated. If you can determine what you are paying for in each bill, what services are extra, and how the community handles residents’ health changes, you are off to a great start. Here are other questions to help you with your search:
Can you view the residency agreement?
Is there a consumer disclosure form that outlines all the personal care services, all fees, and living provisions?
Does the facility have a refund and transfer policy?
Are there any government, private, or corporate programs available to help you pay for services?
What are additional services available if you need more assistance?
Are there various levels of care? If so, what are the different costs?
Do you need to purchase renters’ insurance for your personal property?
How is medication stored and administered? Are you allowed to self-administer?
How does the community handle a resident’s medical emergency?
Is there a nurse on staff?
What are the training requirements for the staff?
Does the community offer cleaning, laundry, and services? Are there any extra fees?
Do all apartments cable, phone, and Internet access? How will you be billed for these services?
Are you allowed to bring your own furnishings? What is provided?
Are there refrigerators and stoves in each apartment?
Are you allowed to keep food in your room? Are you allowed to eat in your room?
May residents decorate their apartment?
Are there organized activities? Do these activities have fees?
Are loved ones allowed to spend the night?
Does the community have pets? Are residents allowed to have their own pets?
What are the fees?
May you view the state inspection record?
Assisted Living Federation of America’s Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Community provides these great questions and more as you begin your search.
Don’t lower your quality of care to save money. There are ways to save money. First, you will need to examine your financial situation to decide what assisted living option is best for you.
To determine if you can live at home, evaluate all your home expenses (including mortgage, utilities, and taxes) and any updates and maintenance you need on your home. If these costs are lower than an assisted living community, you may want to stay in your home and hire services to aid you with daily living. If you still have a mortgage and your home needs numerous updates, it probably makes more financial sense to sell and reside in an assisted living community.
Getting a roommate will help you save lots of money. Some assisted living communities will allow you to have a roommate to help split costs, but make sure you are okay with living with someone. You can also have a roommate in your home and split living expenses and services. Have a written agreement of each person’s responsibilities, so the expectations are clear.
For those seniors with low income and limited assets, some assisted living communities provide a sliding scale rate program based on your financial situation. Non-profit organizations and charities also offer low-cost or subsidized housing for low-income seniors.
Medicaid or the VA will most likely pay for assisted living expenses for those seniors who qualify. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, this policy will cover assisted living expenses. You may want to sit down and discuss coverage limits and policy exclusions with your agent before you begin your assisted living search.
You can also sell your home and use those proceeds for your assisted living expenses. For those who want to keep their homes for spouses or other reasons, reverse mortgages may be an option. Be sure you completely understand the reverse mortgage program including all the fees and tax implications. We recommend discussing the details with an HUD-certified counselor or your financial advisor.
Find assisted living in Virginia Beach near you.