Though arguably the most well-known, nursing homes are only one of several kinds of long-term care facilities offered to seniors. Facilities vary by degree of services. Assisted living houses and adult foster care homes are at the low end of required help, while nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are at the high end. Facilities also differ in atmosphere and cost. Read on to learn about each sort of long-term care facility Barrie and how they’re different from one other. And for assistance figuring out how you’re going to pay for eldercare, utilize SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool.
Skilled Nursing Facility
As its name indicates, a skilled nursing facility (SNF) offers medical treatment by qualified experts, including physical, speech, other therapists, and nurses. This care is available 24 hours a day. Staff members also aid patients, who are typically bed-bound, with everyday routines such as getting dressed, eating, and bathing.
Potential residents must be declared qualified to attend an SNF and be eligible, and one must have a hospital-related medical condition. This sort of hospital will commonly care for individuals after a significant health incident, such as a stroke or a surgery when they no longer require acute care. Though it is a long-term care facility, an SNF usually is utilised for a brief period. (Medicare Part A covers all or part of the first 100 days, and the resident foots the price afterwards.)
According to Senior Living.org, this may explain why roughly 30 per cent of individuals remain at SNFs for less than 100 days, according to Senior Living.org. Another reason individuals don’t remain long: SNFs tend to be the most costly sort of long-term care institution. This is, of course, because of the competent medical services and depth of care involved.
Nursing homes are probably what first comes to mind when thinking of long-term care facilities. Unlike SNFs, they are for actual long-term residency. Another point of differentiation is that they provide custodial care (assistance with daily living and low-level nursing) rather than intensive medical services and therapies.
That said, people who live in nursing homes tend to need 24-hour supervision due to physical or mental limitations. In other words, most residents can’t live independently.
People sometimes use the terms “skilled-nursing facilities” and “nursing homes” interchangeably. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies them as two separate entities under the umbrella of long-term care facilities. As noted earlier, Medicare may cover expenses at the former, but it does not cover the bill for nursing homes.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities (ALFs) are a step down from nursing homes in hands-on care. They can regulate at the state level, so definitions vary. But generally, ALFs are group environments designed to give residents a home-like atmosphere that promotes independence. Services may include:
- One to three meals a day
- Medication monitoring
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Social and recreational activities
- Limited medical care
The cost of ALFs depends on the size of the apartment or room, services rendered, and geographic location. As residents’ ability to take care of themselves declines, the level of care – and costs – goes up until the level of care needed is beyond the ALF’s capability. The resident will need to move to a nursing home. According to a recent Genworth survey, the national median cost of assisted living is around $4,000 a month or $48,000 a year.
Medicare and Medicaid do not pay for the cost of residency (room and board), but they may cover some care costs, depending on the state. Similarly, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Optional State Supplements (OSS) may cover part of assisted living expenses, depending on the state.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are tiered-based long-term care facilities. The idea is for seniors to age in place. So typically, residents are active and independent when they first move in and gradually move up in level of care – and to other sections of the complex or campus where the needed level of care.
In other words, CCRCs are all-in-one senior living communities that are ALFs, nursing homes, and SNFs in one place. Some of the best retirement communities offer in-door gyms, ballrooms, and game halls for active and mostly self-sufficient residents.
Compared to the other kinds of long-term care facilities, CCRCs are relatively new – and they tend to cater to wealthy seniors. (The CCRC’s on-site medical centre must be Medicare-certified for Medicare to cover skilled nursing care.) Typically, CCRCs charge entrance fees that range from $10,000 to $500,000 and maintenance fees that can be upwards of $2,000 monthly.
Adult Foster Care
Again, adult foster care can mean different things in different states. Generally, though, it is used for smaller homes than ALFs and in less populated areas (in other words, rural locales) (in other words, rural locales).
The services, though, are similar to those at ALFs:
- Meal preparation and assistance with eating cent centreii.
- Cleaning tasks, including laundry
- Bathing and personal grooming
- Walking and climbing stairs
- Shopping and running errands
- Traveling to and from appointments
- Managing medications
Residents don’t receive 24-hour supervision. Instead, they have 24-hour access to assistance, which means the staff may or may not be awake.
Tips on Paying for Long-Term Care Facilities
Make sure your investment portfolio is adequately diversified. A high-yield savings account or a certificate of deposit may be a better option if you’re on the verge of entering a long-term care facility. However, if you’re far away, you have the luxury of taking on more risks. Use our asset allocation calculator if you’re not familiar with it. Depending on your risk tolerance, you can see what a good portfolio might look like.
Hire a qualified financial advisor. These professionals can help you manage money and investments properly to fund a long-term care facility that meets your needs or those of a loved one.