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Finding the Right Assisted Living Facility

Elderly surfer dudeFor many seniors, assisted living has become an increasingly common option to remaining in their homes.

An elderly individual can live in a comfortable residence, get the services that he or she requires, such as help with bathing and dressing, as well as avoid the institutionalized setting of a nursing home.  Finding the right residence can be a huge challenge.

Right off the bat, the cost is high. In 2017, the median fee for a private one-bedroom was $45,000 a year, according to Genworth, a long-term care insurer. Most residents pay out of pocket, although some qualify for Medicaid. Medicare generally does not cover long-term care services.

In addition, shortfalls in caregiving can be a problem for assisted living residents. A 2017 survey of state long-term-care ombudsmen conducted for Consumer Reports, which monitors senior living facilities nationwide, found the most common complaints dealt with understaffing and delays in response to calls for assistance. Ombudsman data show that complaints about assisted living have gone up 10% in recent years.

For families looking at into assisted living facilities for a family member, there are ways to find a facility that delivers quality care in a comfortable setting. The key is to conduct thorough research. You should begin by asking these five key questions:

  1. What Kind of Care is Required? Remember that different facilities offer varying levels of care. Is there a registered nurse on staff? Without this basic level of care, your loved one might end up going to the ER more often.
  2. What is the Quality of Care? Look at the residence’s licensing and inspection records, to see if there are any issues. To get a feel for the way things work, make several visits to the facility. Go for meals and during the weekends, when less staff are on duty. You should also talk to residents and their families about their experiences.
  3. Uncover the Real Costs of the Care. Get a written list of fees and charges from the residence and be sure that they’re included in the contract. It is recommended that you hire an elder law attorney, who’s familiar with local facilities to review the terms of the contract.
  4. Can Your Parent or Family Member Age in Place? Find out what scenarios might trigger a discharge, and whether you could hire private aides if more care is required. You should also ask what assistance the facility would be able to provide if a move is needed.
  5. Is There an Advocate? When you’ve selected a residence for your parent, it’s important to have family and friends visit regularly. If you do this, you’ll quickly be able to spot any issues with care. That is critical when your family member is ill or confused and can’t advocate for herself.

Reference: Consumer Reports (April 16, 2018) “5 Steps for Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community”

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The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.