Frequently Asked Questions
Please review some of our most frequently asked questions.
An assisted living is a social model of care, essentially an apartment community with supportive services: meals and housekeeping along with available help for non-medical activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and managing medications. Assisted Living communities typically have a more home-like feel as residents rent an apartment or a suite.
Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes, are medical models of care and often feel like more of a clinical setting. Nursing homes support those who need medical care and supervision 24 hour a day. Many nursing homes offer both short-term rehabilitation as well as long-term care.
Because everybody’s situation is different, the factors to consider must also vary. Typically, the first three things to consider are care needs, budget and location.
But there are often other important factors that should be considered including social activities, building amenities, dietary preferences, culture and community size.
There is no magic number, it’s a matter of how comfortable you feel. Some families look at three, others look at fifteen. Some people know right away they’ve found the right place. We recommend that our clients tour at least a few for comparison purposes. We want to make sure you feel good about your choice.
It depends on many variables, such as location, services needed, apartment style and other factors. In Massachusetts, assisted living costs can range from $3,500 to $8,000 per month or more. Memory care assisted living is often more expensive as well. As we discuss different communities with you and, we can outline the costs in more depth and break them down for you.
There’s a range of costs involved depending on your needs and preferences. We will walk you through them step by step. Mainly, you need to look at two things: your monthly income and your assets, while taking into account things you’ll no longer have to pay for, such as homeowner’s insurance, maintenance, and major utilities. We can help you look at the variables and help you understand the financial logistics specific to your situation.
The only insurance that pays for assisted living is private pay Long Term Care Insurance, and those policies can vary widely. If you have purchased a Long Term Care (LTC) insurance policy, let us know and we will tell you what questions to ask when you call your carrier for specifics.
We like to use Noah as an example: he started building the Ark before it began to rain. So, the earlier, the better. When you first begin to notice signs your loved one may not be thriving (not eating well, housework piling up, becoming increasingly forgetful) it’s time to considering options for the future. It’s better to have a plan in place and perhaps not need it, than to need a plan and not have one. If you wait until there’s a crisis, big and important decisions will have to be rushed and made under duress. Giving yourself and your family more time to get used to possibilities for the future makes for less disruption and a more gradual transition.
There are a couple of options depending on the situation. You can bring in additional supportive services such as home health to supplement the care. Or, you may need to consider another move. The thing is, no one has a crystal ball and future needs are difficult to predict. This is why when you work with us, we do such in-depth analysis with you up-front so we can recommend a community that will best meet your long-term needs as well.
Absolutely! Assisted living is just like having your own apartment. You furnish as you please, hang your pictures on the wall, and have your belongings around you. Furniture can be provided by communities for short-term stays or by other arrangement.
Nursing homes do not typically allow pets but most allow pets to visit. Some have pets that belong to the facility. With assisted living, it depends on the community. Most allow for pets with a weight limit. (Most wouldn’t allow a Great Dane racing down the hallway!) Pets offer great comfort and therapeutic benefits. It’s often a key criteria for our clients and we’ve been successful in keeping owners and pets together.
Yes. Although there are usually 3 meals provided, residents can prepare meals if they wish. The apartments usually have a mini-fridge, microwave and some offer a stove top. You can often bring in other items such as a toaster oven and coffee maker. Most places also have a community kitchen that can turn cooking into a social event.
Just like in their current home, in assisted living you can have visitors at any time and are free to come and go as they please. There might be a security system requiring a code or buzzer for nighttime access, but there’s the same level of freedom as you enjoy in your current home. You can have overnight guests, holiday visitors, or even go away for a holiday or weekend if you want.
Memory care neighborhoods are often attached to or integrated within assisted living communities although some are free-standing. Memory care neighborhoods are typically secured and designed to prevent a person with memory impairment from being able to wander. Memory care assisted living is ideal for people who lack safety awareness due to their declining cognitive ability. The staff are specially trained in working with people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. For a person with memory impairment, a memory care assisted living program can greatly enhance their sense of independence and their quality of life.