Long Term Care Facts

Long Term Care Facts

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living communities are designed for seniors 55 and older. Individuals live in their own apartment/house and can access amenities such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, dining, transportation, and much more. Independent living communities typically don’t provide medical care, although some of them may offer such services at an additional cost. Some offer a full kitchen and others have kitchenettes. Many have a beauty shop on-site with those services at an extra cost to the residents.

Most independent living communities lease month-to-month with prices ranging from $1500 to $4500. Apartment sizes may include studios, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and occasionally 3 bedroom.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities are an excellent option for seniors who may require day-to-day assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) but want to remain independent for as long as possible. They provide basic care in a homelike or apartment setting. These communities typically provide three meals a day, assistance with personal care, medication management, housekeeping and laundry, transportation (usually within a 10-mile radius), 24-hour staff; security, and social/recreational activities. Most have a beauty shop in the building and bill the resident for services. Assisted living communities in Texas are licensed by the State of Texas and offer the benefits of an apartment-style home with the care that your senior needs to stay healthy and safe with none of the responsibility of daily chores or maintenance. Most apartments have a kitchenette. The cost of an assisted living apartment in our area ranges from $2700 per month to $10,000+ per month and apartment sizes most often are studio and 1 bedroom. Care costs are added to the monthly rent and start at $100 per month, going up as high as $2500.

What is Memory Care?

Memory care is designed to meet the needs of individuals who have Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other types of memory problems. Care is provided in a secured environment by staff specifically trained in caring for those with memory issues. Memory care communities typically provide 24-hour supervised care, medication management, an environment that is easy for residents to navigate, assistance with all the activities of daily living, activities that are tailored to the resident’s cognitive abilities, three meals a day and frequent snacks. These services are in addition to the other services that the community provides for their base care such as housekeeping and laundry service. Memory care communities typically range from $4,500 per month up to $13,000.

What is a Residential Care Home?

Care homes—also called adult family homes, board and care homes, or personal care homes—offer services similar to an assisted living community in a smaller, home-like setting in a residential neighborhood. Some are licensed by the State of Texas and often have caregivers that live on-site, providing 24-hour care. Care homes are a great option for more fragile residents or those who like a more intimate setting, higher staff-to-resident ratio, and home-cooked meals. Monthly rates range between $1800 and $6,000 per month.

What Are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)?

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), sometimes called life care communities, offer different types of housing and care levels based on a senior’s needs. Many of them offer independent housing (houses or apartments), assisted living, and skilled nursing care all on one campus. Healthcare services and social activities are also provided.

Many CCRCs charge an upfront entry fee. The average initial payment is over $300,000. Residents then pay monthly maintenance or service fees that typically run $2,500 to $5,000. Some continuing care communities operate on a rental model with no up-front fee. Rent for an independent living unit is usually around $3,500 to $7,000 a month.

What is the difference between a Skilled Nursing Facility and a Nursing Home?

The key difference between a skilled nursing facility and a nursing home is the type of medical attention needed by the patient and the length of stay. A stay in a skilled nursing facility usually follows a hospital stay if a patient requires services such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy in order to make a full recovery. A nursing home offers long-term custodial care—not medical care. These facilities employ certified health professionals and help with activities of daily living. Nursing homes offer both 24-hour care and room and board. Nursing homes often have special areas for the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Short-term skilled nursing is generally paid by the patient’s Medicare coverage or health insurance. Long-term care is most often covered by Medicaid. The average cost for nursing homes for self-pay patients is $6,800 per month for a semi-private room.

Paying for Long Term Care

The cost of living in Independent Living Communities, Assisted Living Facilities, Care Homes and CCRCs is “self-pay,” most often paid by personal funds. Veterans benefits, life settlements, and long-term care insurance can also help pay for these facilities. Assisted living or nursing care is expensive and some older adults qualify for Medicaid to cover the cost. Texas’ Medicaid program has specific eligibility requirements for qualification for long-term care coverage. Generally speaking, an applicant can have no more than $2,000/month in assets. The rules are complex. We recommend that you seek the assistance of an elder law attorney or company that specializes in helping qualify and apply for the program.