What is an assisted living facility (ALF)?
Assisted living is often viewed as the best of both worlds. Residents have as much independence as they want with the knowledge that personal care and support services are available if or when needed. Many assisted living communities are designed to provide residents with assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, medication management, and more.
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?
Assisted living communities differ from nursing homes in that they don’t offer complex medical services. A nursing home environment tends to be more clinical or hospital-like in nature whereas an assisted living facility typically is designed to be more home-like. Assisted living has more of a psychosocial model and nursing homes tend to be more of a medical model.
How does someone decide whether to go to assisted living or a nursing home?
Both settings are regulated by State, for example, the Agency for Health Care Administration. Therefore, there are admission criteria that must be met at the time of admission. However, at our facility, A Banyan Residence Assisted Living Resort, we have an “Age in Place” philosophy. Our goal is to help the elderly stay out of nursing homes. Assuming that the prospective resident applying to come to assisted living meet the basic admission criteria, then the facility can become and remain their home forever and they won’t have to make another move, which can be stressful. We are able to embrace this philosophy because as the individual ages in place or begins to decline, we involve home health and/or hospice care services. This is not the philosophy of all ALF’s so the prospective resident and/or family representative need to do their homework. There are typically individuals living in a nursing home that could also meet the admission criteria for assisted living.
What type of payments are accepted to cover the cost of assisted living?
The most common form of payment for assisted living is “private pay.” This means that the resident and/or family representative pays us a monthly check to cover the monthly cost of room and board, and care services if and as needed. The resident therefore uses their own financial resources, such as their social security check, pension check, along with other potential financial assets. The resident provides us with a personal check from their checking account. Some seniors have Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits which can help tremendously with covering this cost. There is also the Medicaid-funded Long Term Care Diversion Program that provides financial assistance to cover the cost of assisted living. We are proficient in facilitating an individual’s access to these resources. Finally, for some fortunate seniors, they have purchased Long-term Health Care Insurance, which will substantially or entirely cover the cost of assisted living, room and board and care services.
What is covered by the cost of room and board?
All rooms come completely furnished, including two 32 inch LCD flat screen, wall-mounted televisions: one in the living room and one in the bedroom. We have included the cost of installation and the monthly recurring payment of limited basic cable. All three meals are provided, along with snacks and beverages throughout the day. Housekeeping, maintenance and utilities are included. We also have a full time activities-based “Enrichment Program.” We provide direct assistance in coordinating your health care appointments should you need to leave the facility.
What are the other services provided should a resident need assistance with activities of daily living?
We provide an ala carte menu of care services for your convenience. There is a separate monthly charge for each of these special care services that would be added to your monthly rate. These elective services include assistance with: dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting, ambulation, eating, medication management, and Dementia/Alzheimer’s/mental illness care. Again, these care services are offered to allow any resident the opportunity to remain living at their “home” and not have to move again.
What if I need to see a doctor or therapist?
We are very fortunate to have a host of “Independent Providers” who frequent the facility on a regular and as needed basis: this includes a primary care physician specializing in gerontology; occupational and physical therapy; lab work; portable X-rays; psychiatric and psychotherapy services; skilled nursing via home health care; hospice care services if needed, and more. All these providers are independent and bill what ever the resident’s health insurance is, as this service is deemed to be an outpatient (or home visit) appointment. Co-payments, if any, are consistent with the resident’s insurance plan for outpatient services, and the same is true with prescription medication coverage. It is truly a convenience that many seniors have come to appreciate as have their family members.
What if I need assistance during the night?
We provide staff coverage 24 hours a day, seven nights a week. We will check on residents every two hours throughout the night, or more often upon request, all at no additional cost as part of your room and board. We also have a 24-hour emergency response pull cord system in all room and bathrooms should this need arise.