Caring for an elderly loved one can be a challenging and expensive responsibility. It can be overwhelming and stressful trying to find a place that meets your loved one’s assisted living facility requirements and is within your budget. Many nursing homes and other assisted living facilities are very expensive. However, the good news is that there are many ways to finance senior care and community-based services to help you pay for it.
This post is for you if you are considering an assisted living Indiana facility.
What is Assisted Living?
Seniors who live in assisted living facilities retain much of their independence, but receive assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the bathroom. An assisted living situation also usually provides social and recreational activities as well.
Assisted living facilities can be single buildings with private rooms and communal areas, or they can be part of a larger retirement community and more spread out. Those residing in assisted living typically need more help than those in independent living, but do not require the constant medical care of a nursing home or adult foster care home.
A Brief History of Assisted Living
Park Place in Portland, Oregon was established in 1981 and was the first contemporary assisted living facility. It was the first of its kind in that it provided residents with individual rooms which had locked doors, 24-hour medical staffing, and communal areas for social interaction. Prior to Park Place, aging adults had fewer options and were depended on family members for their care or were forced to go into a nursing home.
Park Place was designed for seniors who were able to live independently, but needed some assistance with activities of daily living.
The assisted living industry has grown rapidly since Park Place opened its doors. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, there are around 28,900 assisted living institutions in the United States today, with nearly 1 million licensed beds. An average assisted living community has 33 licensed beds. However, you can find both larger and smaller communities if you prefer.
Types of Assisted Living Facilities
There are different kinds of assisted living facilities available to choose from, each with unique features and benefits. Here is a look at some of the most popular options:
Nursing Home (Skilled Nursing Facility)
A nursing home or skilled nursing facility provides around-the-clock nursing care for residents who need constant supervision and medical assistance in a more clinical setting. Residents in these facilities typically have a wide range of health needs, including chronic illness, mobility issues, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
These homes are smaller and provide a family-like atmosphere. They typically offer a more intimate setting. Residents in these facilities generally have private rooms and retain some independence, but receive assistance with activities of daily living like meal preparation, help with personal grooming, medication reminders, and so on. There are communal areas where the residents can dine together and socially interact.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC or Life Plan Communities)
CCRCs are a long-term care option for aging adults who want to stay in the same place as they get older, but will need increasing levels of care. Generally, residents start by living in an individual apartment and do not need much help. As things progress, they can get more and more assistance, like being routinely checked in on, have their shopping done for them, get rides to and from appointments, and other simple tasks. Eventually, they may move into a private room in a larger assisted living facility with shared living areas where they can receive more attention while remaining in the community.
A range of services are available in these communities, including assistance with activities of daily living, skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation. In addition, residents in these facilities have access to various amenities, such as fitness centers, swimming pools, and social activities.
Independent Living Apartments
These apartments offer various services and amenities to residents, such as housekeeping, laundry, and transportation. Residents in these facilities are typically able to live independently, but may need some assistance with things like shopping errands and meal preparation.
Adult Homes and Enriched Housing
Adult homes or enriched housing offer a variety of services to residents, such as assistance with activities of daily living, laundry, and transportation. Residents in these facilities typically have some cognitive impairments, but can still live independently.
There is no one “right” type of assisted living facility. The best way to choose a facility for your loved one is to consult with their primary care provider to discover what level of assistance they might need. Then you can visit several different facilities and see which one provides the best environment and services to meet their needs.
Determining When It’s The Right Time to Transition to Assisted Living
As nature takes its course, it can be difficult to know when it’s the right time to start seeking assisted living. Everyone’s aging process is different, and there is no set age when people should consider transitioning to assisted living.
However, some general signs may indicate it’s time to start thinking about making a move. Here are a few:
Having Difficulty Keeping Up With the Current Living Situation
If you’re finding it hard to keep up with your home’s physical demands, it may be time to consider assisted living. Living alone can be particularly challenging if you don’t have anyone to help you with chores such as cooking, cleaning, and yard work.
Struggling to Care for Yourself
When you start to have trouble taking care of yourself, you may want to consider assisted living. This includes not being able to bathe, dress, cook, and eat without assistance. It also includes not being able to remember to take medications as prescribed and keep up with doctor’s appointments.
Feeling Isolated and Lonely
If you’re feeling isolated and lonely, it may be time to consider assisted living. In particular, if you don’t have many friends or family nearby, you might not be getting much social interaction. Assisted living communities can provide social activities and daily opportunities to interact with other residents.
Worrying About Your Safety
If you’re worried about your safety, it may be time to consider assisted living. You might be finding it hard to go up and down stairs and worry about falling and injuring yourself. You might be afraid of being unable to get help in an emergency like a fire. It also includes concerns about being able to protect yourself from crime.
Having Difficulty in Managing Your Finances
Are you struggling to manage your finances? Perhaps it’s time to consider assisted living. If you can’t afford groceries or have trouble making payments on time, it may make more sense to consolidate some expenses into one assisted living bill. Maybe it’s become too expensive to maintain a whole house. Or maybe you can afford the expenses of having a car and you need to be somewhere you don’t have to travel much.
Having Specific Care Needs
If you have specific care needs, like mobility issues or memory problems, you might want to consider an assisted living facility. You can easily find assisted living in Indiana that cater to specific care needs. These communities are designed and built to meet the physical needs of residents with various levels of mobility. They also have staff specially trained to help with distinct cognitive and behavioral issues.
As we age, we must stay aware of how our bodies and minds change. If you notice any of the above signs, it may be time to consider assisted living services. Residential care facilities can provide the assistance you need while still allowing you to live independently.
Transitioning to Assisted Living for Your Loved One
Opting to move a loved one to assisted living can be a difficult decision. In addition to costs, location, and care level, there are many other factors to consider. But with the right research and support, the transition can be smooth and successful.
Here are some tips for transitioning to assisted living:
Do your research
Before making any decisions, it’s important to do your research:
- Learn about different types of assisted living facilities and what each offers.
- Consider factors like cost, location, and level of care.
- Find out if there is a waiting list for the facility and put your name down early.
Deciding to transition a loved one to assisted living is often difficult. It’s important to have a support system to help you both through the process. Talk to friends and family about your decision. Consult your loved one’s primary care provider. If you’re loved one is having medical issues, find a local support group for families dealing with dementia or other age-related conditions.
Make a plan
Once you’ve decided on assisted living, making a plan is important. You should have a set timeline to make sure everyone has time to adjust. This plan should also include packing and moving belongings, canceling utilities, and transferring prescriptions.
Just because your loved one is transitioning to assisted living doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye. There are many ways to stay involved in their life, such as often visiting, participating in social events, sending cards and letters, and staying in touch by phone or email.
Be prepared for bumps in the road
The transition to assisted living is not always smooth. There may be bumps along the way, such as adjusting to a new environment or dealing with unexpected medical issues. It’s important to be prepared for these challenges and have a support system to help you through them.
Legal and Financial Obligations and Arrangements
Competency and Your Loved One’s Rights
When transitioning to assisted living, it’s important to consider your loved one’s competency. This is the legal term for their ability to make decisions for themselves. If your loved one is not competent, you may need to get a guardianship or conservatorship arrangement.
This will give you the legal authority to make legal decisions on behalf of your loved one. You should talk to an attorney about your options and what’s best for your situation.
Power of Attorney, Custodianship and Your Loved One’s Finances
In transitioning to assisted living, there are many financial considerations to consider. For example, you may need to get power of attorney or set up a custodianship arrangement. You’ll also need to consider you and your loved one’s income and expenses and how you will pay for their care.
Talking to a financial advisor about your options and what’s best for your situation is important.
Medical Power of Attorney and Medical Directives
One of the first things you’ll need to do when transitioning to assisted living is getting a medical power of attorney. This will give you the legal authority to make medical decisions on behalf of your loved one. You’ll also need to create a medical directive, which outlines your loved one’s wishes for their care.
These documents are important to have in place if your loved ones cannot make medical decisions for themselves.
Social Security and Medicare and Their Role in Paying for Your Loved One’s Cares
Social security and Medicare are government programs that can help pay for your loved one’s care. Social security is a retirement and disability program that provides benefits to qualifying individuals. Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 and older or with certain disabilities.
Social security and Medicare have income and asset limits, so you’ll need to talk to a financial advisor to see if your loved one qualifies for any assistance.
Ideas on Effective Use of Your Loved One’s Assets to Pay for Care
There are a few ways to use your loved one’s assets to pay for their care. For example, you can sell their property, use their life insurance policy, or set up a trust.
You’ll need to talk to a financial advisor about what’s best for your situation. Each option has different tax implications, so you’ll want to ensure you understand the pros and cons before deciding.
Making a Plan
Making a plan for your loved one’s care can be overwhelming, but it’s important to take the time to consider all of your options. Make sure to talk to a doctor, a financial advisor and an attorney to get started. They can help you navigate the process and ensure you’re taking all necessary steps.
Working with Your Loved One to Make Arrangements
In some cases, your loved one may be able to help with the transition to assisted living. They can make their own decisions about their care if they are competent. If not, you may need to get a guardianship or conservatorship arrangement so you can legally make decisions.
Talking to your loved ones about their wishes for their care is important. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important to ensure you are on the same page. You may also want to talk to their doctor to get their input.
Legal Frameworks – Wills and Trusts
When transitioning to assisted living, it’s important to have a legal framework. This can include a will or trust. A will is a legal document that outlines your loved one’s wishes for their care. A trust is a legal arrangement that can be used to hold and manage assets.
You’ll need to talk to an attorney to see what’s best for your situation. Each option has different tax implications, so you’ll want to ensure you understand the pros and cons before deciding.
Getting the Best Information and Advice
You can get information and advice about transitioning to assisted living from various sources. Talk to your loved one’s doctor, a financial advisor, and an attorney. You can also get information from government programs like social security and Medicare.
There is a wealth of information online and plenty of articles about the topic. Just make sure you are getting reliable information from a reputable source.
Two Hearts Home for Seniors
Making the transition to assisted living can be a difficult process. But with some planning and preparation, you can make it a smooth transition for your loved one.
If you are ready to move your aging loved one into an assisted living facility where they can get the care and attention they deserve, consider Two Hearts Home for Seniors in Indiana. Our facility is designed to be more like a home where your senior can have a private living space, but also share communal areas with other residents. Our staff is dedicated to creating a familial atmosphere and giving each senior the level of care they need. We can assist with the tasks of daily living, like meal preparation, personal grooming, medication reminders, and more. Our team also plans daily group activities to make sure our residents have social interaction and physical activity.
Would you like help with choosing between senior living solutions? Are you interested in touring Two Hearts Home? Give us a call at 219-600-2200 or reach out to us online and we’d be happy to answer any questions!