pensive elderly woman on the background of autumn leaves

4 Facts About Senior Isolation That Will Surprise You

As your loved one ages, your concern for his or her physical safety and wellness may increase.

Whether it be preventing falls or ensuring that your loved one has a balanced diet, there are plenty of factors that affect his or her health.

One factor that has more impact than you may think is senior isolation and loneliness.

Aside from negatively affecting one’s mental well-being, senior isolation has also been linked to a decline in physical health.

Unfortunately, as people age, their likelihood of living alone only increases.

Whether it be the passing of friends and spouses, retirement, or an increasing lack of mobility, there are a variety of reasons why your parent may be at risk for loneliness.

Here are four surprising facts about senior isolation that demonstrate how detrimental living alone can be–even with hired help or family members that make regular visits.

#1: Suffering from loneliness elevates one’s risk of developing dementia.

From quickly recalling the names of friends from college to remembering where we’ve placed our reading glasses, losing long- and short-term memory is often a natural part of aging.

However, there’s a point where memory loss becomes more of a serious matter.

According to a Dutch study that appears in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, those who suffer from loneliness have a 64% greater risk of developing dementia.

A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s often results in a higher safety risk and lower quality of life in general.

Being in the company of others is critical when it comes to preserving life memories, personality, and other important characteristics that dementia can deteriorate.

#2: Illnesses and conditions that increase mortality are linked to senior isolation.

Taking vitamins, following a healthy diet, and incorporating a healthy dose of physical exercise in a daily routine may not be enough if your loved one is living alone.

Environment and opportunities for social engagement are just as important when it comes to preventing disease and illness.

According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, social isolation has been linked to a higher risk of mortality in adults ages 52 and up.

Often, this is due to a correlation between social isolation and serious illnesses–such as chronic lung disease, arthritis, impaired mobility, and depression.

In the interest of maintaining optimal health and a longer lifespan, it’s important to create conditions for social engagement and interactions.

Living among others and having easy opportunities to participate in social activities make it easy to ward off loneliness and stay healthy.

#3: People who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to report risky health behaviors.

older lady smoking

Preparing meals and conducting other activities of daily living are an important aspect of living a high-quality and healthy life.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that people who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to engage in behaviors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking.

On the other hand, when people live in a community with lots of activity, they are more likely to follow healthy habits–especially when meals are prepared by others and exercise programs are just a few steps away.

#4: Socially isolated seniors are more pessimistic about the future.

Friends, family members, and acquaintances we interact with on a regular basis can easily be taken for granted.

When our social interactions are diminished, our quality of life decreases, and so does our outlook on life.

The National Council on Aging has found that seniors experiencing social isolation are “More likely to predict their quality of life will get worse over the next 5-10 years, are more concerned about needing help from community programs as they get older, and are more likely to express concerns about aging in place.”

Finding aging solutions that enable seniors to easily access a social community of peers ensures that their quality of life will only improve as time passes.

One may think that regular visits from family or caregivers at home will suffice and an assisted living community isn’t necessary, but evidence suggests otherwise.

According to T. Byram Karasu, MD, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, even when a senior is being taken care of by family caregivers, there is often little attention paid to deep, engaging communication between a senior and the rest of the family.

Caregivers are often so busy and overwhelmed from their daily responsibilities that they don’t have the capacity to meet a senior’s emotional and social needs.

At The Ashford communities, residents have numerous opportunities to engage with others.

Whether it be joining their fellow residents for an exercise class or engaging in meaningful conversation with his or her caregiver over lunch, there’s minimized risk of senior isolation.

Contact us today to schedule a tour for you and/or your loved one!

Veteran holding up a photo of himself in uniform

This Financial Benefit Can Help Your Veteran Loved One Afford Assisted Living

Our servicemen and women give so much time and energy to protect and serve our country.

Ensuring dignity, ease, and care for veterans as they age is an important part of expressing our gratitude for their service.

However, navigating care in one’s later years can be complicated–from selecting the right care situation to navigating which care options are financially viable.

If you have an aging loved one who is a United States veteran (or is the spouse of a veteran), you may find yourself wondering “How can veterans get help with assisted living costs?”

Fortunately, the Aid & Attendance Benefit can be used to cover assisted living costs for wartime veterans and their spouses–though many families aren’t clear on the details or how to go about securing the benefit.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the Aid & Attendance Benefit, who qualifies for it, and how to apply to use it for assisted living services.

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit is available to honorably discharged wartime veterans over the age of 65 with 90 days of active duty, and is also available to their surviving spouses.

The exact amount of yearly support depends on the situation. See below for more details provided by Paying for Senior Care

  • $21,531 per year for a veteran with no dependents.
  • $25,525 per year for a veteran with a spouse.
  • $13,836 per year for a surviving spouse.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, one of the qualifying criteria for eligibility for the Aid & Attendance Benefit is that he or she requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, going to the bathroom, etc.

If your loved one requires assistance with activities of daily living–there’s likely a case to be made for him or her to receive the A&A Benefit.

How to Apply for the A&A Benefit

Dept of veterans affairs

(Source)

If it sounds as if your loved one may qualify for the A&A Benefit, he or she can apply by writing to the Pension Management Center in the state of residence.

Additionally, you and your loved one can visit your local regional benefit office to file a request. Use the VA Facility Locator to find the local regional benefit office closest to you.

In the application, make sure to include evidence (such as a report from an attending physician) that validates the need for Aid and Attendance.

This way, your loved one can receive the necessary rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs to use the Aid & Attendance Benefit toward assisted living costs.

More specifically, the application for the benefit should…

  • Be detailed enough to, as the Department of Veteran Affairs states, “determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.”
  • Indicate how well he or she gets around and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.

Utilizing these financial benefits can make assisted living an option for your loved one–so don’t hesitate to begin the application process as soon as possible.

If you’re worried your parent can’t afford assisted living, even with the Aid & Attendance Benefit, we have a helpful resource to share. Download our free checklist today to discover how affordable assisted living can be!

smiling older man with cane

4 Reasons Not to Wait to Move Your Loved One to an Assisted Living Community

When it comes to helping a loved one make the move to an assisted living community, it’s not uncommon to put the move off “until it’s absolutely necessary.”

Often, this conclusion is preceded by your Dad insisting that he is fine on his own, or Mom promising she can manage and doesn’t want to leave her home.

The idea of moving to a new location and changing one’s lifestyle can be daunting for anyone, and attempting to convince your parent otherwise can be a trying task.

Therefore, the decision is put off to be reanalyzed at a later date.

However, many residents at assisted living communities and their families realize, in retrospect, that they wish they had made the move sooner–and there are several reasons for this.

Read on to learn about four downsides, or unintended consequences, of waiting too long to move into an assisted living community…

#1: There’s an increased likelihood of falls and other accidents while living at home.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every eleven seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every nineteen minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

Falls are one of the biggest threats to safety in seniors, and once a fall has occurred, quality of life can rapidly decline.

It’s important to note that when tasks such as bathing, dressing, or maintaining the house become more difficult, the likelihood of a fall occurring increases.

It goes without saying, waiting until a fall has happened to make the move to assisted living is not the ideal strategy.

If you can start thinking of the move to an assisted senior living community as a preventative measure, you can take steps to ensure your loved one’s safety.

#2: There can be increased difficulty for family members who attempt to provide at-home care.

In many cases, families will either hire in-home care or attempt to provide the needed care themselves.

Many soon realize that the time and energy investment is more than they can handle, and the quality of time spent with their aging parent decreases as they attempt to assist with a variety of daily tasks.

On the other hand, professional caregivers at assisted living communities can provide compassionate assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing–enabling adult children to spend more quality social time with their loved ones.

#3: Seniors have an increased likelihood of experiencing loneliness and not enough opportunities for socialization.

lonely older man with his head in his hand

Social isolation is a real threat to the well-being of seniors in the United States.

In addition to increasing the risk of long-term illness, both “social isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older,” according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sitting home alone and watching television is a recipe for a decline in both physical and mental health.

Even if the children and grandchildren make regular visits, it may not be enough.

On the other hand, assisted living communities offer many instances for healthy social interaction and activities with fellow residents. It’s highly recommended to take advantage of these socialization opportunities while still in optimal mental and physical health.

#4: Making a move when the resident is less mobile and physically able is more difficult.

Regardless of age, moving to a new home can take up a certain amount of both physical and mental energy.

Making the move while one is in better shape makes for a smoother transition, with minimized exhaustion.

Assisted living communities offer a range of exciting activities and opportunities that are better enjoyed when in optimal physical and mental health.

If your parent moves to a community but can’t participate in the aerobics classes or bingo games, he or she may live with the regret of not having made the move sooner.

Although it can initially be difficult to talk to your parent about making the move, once settled at an assisted living community, you will likely find that it was the best decision your family could have made.

If you’re looking for a safe, engaging, and warm assisted living community option for your loved one, we invite you to schedule a tour of The Ashford on Broad or The Ashford of Mt. Washington.

We look forward to meeting you!  

Assisted Living 101: Activities of Daily Living

Younger, more able-bodied people often take for granted the ease at which they are able to perform daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and food preparation.

As we age, not only do these tasks become more difficult–they can pose a threat to our safety.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four adults over age 65 fall each year, and “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.”

These worrisome statistics, among others, make a strong case to utilize assisted living services offered at various senior living communities.

Although your mother or father may desire to continue living at home, at the end of the day, it’s important to prioritize his or her safety.

At assisted living communities, professional and friendly team members can provide your parent with the necessary help with ADLs, or “Activities of Daily Living.”

In this post, we’ll cover five areas of assistance for ADLs so you can better understand the value that assisted living communities provide.

Personal Hygiene

From clean skin to brushed or styled hair, having good hygiene and feeling groomed is essential in maintaining both confidence and optimum health.

If your parent needs help with personal hygiene, team members at assisted living communities can help with oral, nail, and hair care.

In addition to assisting with confidence-boosting and hygiene-preserving activities, team members help residents maintain a regular and safe bathing regimen.

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 80 percent of falls occurring in the senior population are in the bathroom–a statistic that makes a strong case for professional bathing assistance.

Continence Management

Although using the bathroom is a private matter, the fact is that emptying one’s bladder becomes more difficult as mobility declines. After a certain point, a grab bar doesn’t provide the necessary level of safety needed.

Continence management includes both one’s mental and physical ability to use a toilet successfully, and assisted living staff can respectfully assist your parent in using the bathroom seamlessly.

Dressing

Whether young or old, what one wears for both casual and formal occasions is important when it comes to comfort or purposes of self-expression.

However, hanging up clothes or dressing for the day ahead can be difficult and dangerous tasks to accomplish as one ages.

Team members at assisted living communities can ensure that putting clothes on and keeping a clean closet are manageable tasks for your loved one.

Meals

The consumption of balanced meals is an essential part of maintaining proper nutrition.

With the social nature of mealtime at assisted living communities, the last thing residents need to worry about is the struggle to feed themselves.

At assisted living communities, professional chefs and helpful team members work hard to make sure that mealtime is smooth and easy for residents.

With these resources at hand, your parent can focus on sumptuous flavors and engaging conversation, instead of struggling to prepare or eat food.

Ambulating

(Source)

According to Kindly Care, ambulating is defined as “the extent of a person’s ability to change from one position to the other and to walk independently.”

Not all residents enter assisted living needing this kind of assistance, but when their situation changes, team members are there to make moving from one location to another comfortable and possible.

Assistance with Activities of Daily Living significantly decreases the likelihood of falls and other at-home accidents that are common for aging seniors.

However, beyond increased safety, another valuable aspect of assisted living communities is that they provide residents with compassionate and dignified support in accomplishing these activities.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mount Washington, we assess each resident’s level of ability and craft an assisted living care plan tailored to his or her needs.

Have any questions regarding how our team members can support your parent in his or her activities of daily living at The Ashford? Contact us today!

Explore Assisted Living Housing Options at The Ashford Communities

 

Home. It’s a concept that almost every one of us, despite our background, language, or nationality, can understand.

Think for a few minutes about what comes to mind when you think of a home.

Perhaps it’s a place you can relax and feel safe?

Or a space where you practice the necessary rituals in order to start and end each day?

Maybe it’s a space where you can reflect on the past and feel inspired about the future?

However you choose to define “a home,” more often than not people seek a space where they can relax, feel comfortable, and feel like they belong.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington, we’ve put careful thought and attention into designing resident living spaces so residents can seamlessly embrace it as their home.

Prior to moving in, your parent will have the opportunity to select his or her private senior housing accommodations from a variety of floor plans.

In this post, we’re providing an overview of the various housing options our communities offer, their associated amenities, and how to select the best fit for your parent before a move to one of our dynamic communities.

The Ashford of Mt. Washington Housing Options

Studio Suite: With walk-in showers in the bathroom and mini-fridge and microwave in the kitchenette, our studio suites provide residents with a manageable yet spacious living space. The suite is also cable-ready for those times throughout the day when mom or dad wants to consume the news or watch a favorite show.

One-Bedroom Suite: For residents who would like a larger space and the option to cook full meals, our one-bedroom suites are the perfect choice. The full kitchens include a stove and oven, and the living room provides a desirable space for socializing with visiting family or fellow resident neighbors. As with the studio suites, the one-bedroom suites are cable-ready and include energy-efficient lighting.

To view suite floor plans for our Ashford of Mt. Washington community, click here.

The Ashford on Broad Housing Options

Studio Suite: Our smallest housing option at The Ashford on Broad, the studio suites are for residents that prefer to have a patio or balcony (complete with large French doors) versus a more spacious indoor living space. The kitchenette includes a mini-fridge with enough space for basic food items, making it a good fit for residents who would like to more heavily rely on our meal plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Deluxe Studio Suite: Our deluxe studio option is a good choice for residents who want more indoor space than the studio suites, but aren’t interested in our one-bedroom options. A large picture window provides outdoor views and natural lighting, and the bathroom includes a walk-in shower. The deluxe studio suites also include a full refrigerator in the kitchenette, versus the mini-fridge that comes with our basic studio suites.

One-Bedroom Suite: As with our studio suites, our one-bedroom suites include a patio or balcony. The difference is that these suites include a separate living room from the bedroom, perfect for entertaining and hosting visitors.

Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite: The deluxe one-bedroom suites at The Ashford on Broad are an excellent choice for residents who prioritize maximum indoor space complete with large picture windows. As with our one-bedroom suites, the deluxe suite also includes a bathroom with walk-in shower and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator.

To view suite floor plans for The Ashford on Broad community, click here.

Whether your parent selects a studio suite or a one-bedroom suite, he or she will be able to decorate the apartment in whatever way he or she chooses–making it feel like home.

If you have questions regarding pricing, layout, and beyond, our team members at The Ashford communities are here to provide answers. Contact us today.

Worried your parent can’t afford assisted living? Check out our free checklist and discover just how affordable it can be.

 

Help! Mom Doesn’t Think She Needs Assisted Living

Assisted living communities can provide dynamic settings to truly thrive as one ages up.

However, making a shift in one’s life can be challenging–even if the shift will be rewarding and beneficial in the long term.

As an adult child of an aging parent, you may find that your mother or father will insist that assisted living isn’t needed, and that he or she is perfectly safe, happy, and comfortable living at home.

You may be wondering what you can do to help your loved one begin to see eye-to-eye with you when it comes to making a move to assisted living.

If your parent doesn’t think he or she needs assisted living, here are some helpful tips for addressing the challenge…

Ask your Mom why she thinks assisted living isn’t necessary.

Sometimes your mother simply wants to feel heard, and her opinion on the matter affirmed.

Giving your parent a chance to voice concerns provides you an opportunity to constructively address and work through any issues or fears she may have regarding the concept of moving to an assisted living community.

Oftentimes, these fears can be addressed and you can have the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions she may have about the concept of an assisted living community.

Simply giving your parent the chance to explain why he or she doesn’t think it’s needed can open up the conversation to potentially see things in a new light.

Evaluate your parent’s safety.

Perhaps your father has experienced one or more falls in recent months.

Or he’s left the stove on one too many times.

Gently addressing your father’s lack of safety in his current living situation can help him realize that a move to an assisted living community can grant him greater peace of mind.

No need to make your parent feel less independent or dignified.

Instead, remind him that assisted living communities make daily tasks such as bathing and dressing easier and safer, enabling him to continue living an enriched life.

Evaluate your parent’s social interaction.


(Source)

Research has found that socialization for seniors is essential when it comes to their quality of life.

In fact, the University of Miami’s Global Business Forum conducted a study that concluded that for seniors, strong social ties are more influential in preventing illnesses than genetic backgrounds.

Therefore, ensuring your parent is surrounded with engagement opportunities is critical.

When discussing assisted living with your parent, be sure to highlight the positive aspects of having a community of fellow residents and team members just a few steps away.

If your mother realizes she won’t have to drive 15 minutes away to meet up with friends for a game of bridge, or play phone tag with that friend she’s been meaning to meet for lunch, she may end up changing her mind.

Evaluate your ability to provide care, or evaluate current caregivers.

If your loved one expects that you or other at-home caregivers can provide sufficient assistance, it’s important to openly weigh the pros and cons with him or her.

Oftentimes, family members don’t have the time or training to assist on a daily basis with tasks like bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Moving to a senior living community can ensure that time your loved one spends with family members is higher quality and more focused on engagement and conversation versus caregiving.

Additionally, although at-home professional caregivers are trained to assist with important tasks, this solution still lacks the significant socialization opportunities and easy access to enriching activities that assisted living communities provide.

Bring in other family members.

A chorus of voices can at times be more effective than a single voice.

Although you don’t want your mother or father to feel overly pressured, it can be helpful to bring in other family members to provide gentle encouragement in considering assisted living.

From highlighting the social opportunities to emphasizing the benefits of help with activities of daily living (ADLs), ask your family members to engage your parent in a conversation about the benefits of such communities. 

Have multiple conversations with your parent; don’t just make an executive decision.

Changing one’s mind and being open to change take time—give your parent the time and space to come around to the idea.

Making a quick executive decision can backfire and cause more issues than you want.

Instead, you may be surprised by your loved one’s thought process and decision after given the chance to contemplate the pros and cons a bit further.

Sometimes simply seeing an assisted living community in action can turn the wheels in your loved one’s mind and help him or her see how wonderful the option could be.

We’d love to host you and your parent for a tour of The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington—schedule your tour today!

8 Areas to Evaluate When Researching Assisted Living Options

(Source)

According to Statista, in 2015, there were over 15,000 assisted living communities in the United States alone–and given recent growth, that number has only increased.

Therefore, saying that families have a range of assisted living options for their aging loved ones is an understatement.

In the same way that each person is unique, each assisted living community has its own offerings, values, and character.

From the style of apartments to the caregiving philosophy, your parent has a variety of options to choose from.  

To make the search and selection process easier for you and your loved one, here are some guidelines to use when evaluating assisted living options.

When vetting and considering each community, be sure to take note of the following…

#1: Values

From social engagement and security to comfort and faith, each community holds a set of values that are expressed in the way the community operates and what’s specifically offered to residents.

If ensuring that your father maintains a sense of independence despite a recent fall is of the utmost importance, perhaps seek assisted living options that value both independence and safety.

If enabling your mother to continue to participate in church services and attend Bible study is a priority, we suggest searching for a faith-based assisted living community.

Whatever you’re searching for, finding an assisted living community that aligns with your and your loved one’s values is essential when selecting a place your parent can call home.

#2: Caregiving philosophy

Care can be delivered in a variety of ways based upon the community’s caregiving philosophy.

While some communities take a more personalized approach, others may aim to treat each resident similarly.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington, our approach to caregiving helps us deeply understand—and adapt—to your parent’s needs.

For example, we utilize a unique assessment process to craft a care plan for your parent.

(Source)

When it comes to a new home, the physical environment is everything.

A beautiful natural surrounding and well-designed buildings that enable easy and seamless mobility provide your loved one with a higher quality of experience within the assisted living community.

On the other hand, if a community’s building and grounds have little lighting, limited access to green and natural spaces, and are difficult to navigate—you may want to consider another location.

#6: Apartments

(Source)

Similar to the last category, the apartments themselves play a key role in your parent’s experience within an assisted living community.

Finding options that feel like home—whether that means a large kitchen, side patio, or high ceilings—will make the transition easier and life more enjoyable for your loved one.

#7: Team members & leadership

Just as other residents in the community contribute to the experience of a place, the team members and leadership are essential components to making your parent feel welcome and genuinely cared for.

Whether it be assisting your mother in activities of daily living (ADLs) or encouraging your father to join the community choir, team members work hard to ensure residents such as your loved one live life to the fullest.

When vetting assisted living options, be sure to converse with and learn about the people that work for and represent the community—they can reveal a lot about whether or not it will be the right match.

#8: Prices

According to after55.com, the national median average for an assisted living facility in 2017 was $45,000 a year.

This can be cost-prohibitive to many families, and taking an honest look at what’s financially viable for your parent will be important to do upfront in your search.

At The Ashford of Mt. Washington and The Ashford on Broad, affordable assisted living is made possible to our residents.

In fact, our communities are typically around 10{66428b7e0c8aff20c6fe525529a828ba776cb26d03e1544c2af380e334db2dbd} to 50{66428b7e0c8aff20c6fe525529a828ba776cb26d03e1544c2af380e334db2dbd} more affordable than other assisted living options in their local areas.  

If you’re worried about how your parent will be able to pay for assisted living, download our FREE checklist “3 Ways to Make Assisted Living Affordable for Your Parent” today!

Assisted Living Services—Understanding Levels of Care

As your mother or father ages, various elements of his or her lifestyle will evolve and change.

From a growing collection of adorable grandchildren to more time to invest in hobbies and interests, there’s a range of exciting aspects about the next phase of life.  

No matter what stage of life your loved one is experiencing, there are a few variables that should always stay the same—his or her safety, dignity, and quality of life.

Assisted living services are a popular option for many families with aging parents and grandparents who could benefit from a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment.

However, delving into the exploration process can be daunting if you don’t feel as if you have a basic understanding of the services and care levels offered within assisted living communities.

In this post, we’ll provide you with a helpful overview of the levels of care in senior living and how to determine the best fit for your loved one.

Levels of Care in Assisted Living

First things first–if your loved one needs intensive medical care, consider choosing a nursing home.

With 24-hour supervision and skilled medical services, skilled nursing delivers the necessary care for individuals who need an elevated level of consistent care.

Nursing homes are also an option for those who seek short-term rehabilitation after a hospital stay or a decline in health.  

On the other hand, assisted living services are ideal if your parent doesn’t have quite as many medical needs or require 24-hour supervision.

Each assisted living community has a way of structuring and determining the appropriate level of care for residents.

It does this by creating levels of care.

Certain residents may be extremely independent and simply wish to live in a community with exciting activities and social opportunities available just a few steps away from their home.

Others will require a higher level of care within the offered assisted living services, including help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and moving from one room to another.

In addition, memory care is another common offering for residents who struggle with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Determining the Best Fit

You may not know where your mother or father falls on the spectrum of care.

Not to worry! There’s no need to wonder how to pinpoint the best option for your loved one.

Most assisted living communities offer an assessment to help you determine the appropriate level of care for your loved one.

At The Ashford, we use the following process to help you make the best care level decision and craft a care plan for your parent…

  1. First, we collaborate with you and your loved one’s doctors to identify key needs, such as medication management or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
  2. From there, we work with you to identify which care level your parent needs and craft a plan of care that addresses the unique needs of your mother or father.
  3. Finally, using the plan of care, our staff complements your parent’s day with corresponding care. As our staff of nursing team members and personal caregivers discovers more about your loved one’s preferences, we’ll continue to refine and adapt how we support your loved one.

In the process of crafting the plan of care, we use a point system to determine which level of care your parent requires.

While we offer four levels of care, this point system allows us to flexibly tailor our care to your loved one’s needs—whether Mom requires assistance with medication management or help getting ready for the day.

To pinpoint which level of care is best, we’ll give your loved one an assessment. (To learn more simply contact The Ashford on Broad in Columbus, Ohio, or The Ashford of Mt. Washington in Cincinnati, Ohio.)

When exploring various senior living care levels, you may be worried by the prices of various communities—some of which can easily creep into the $4,000 to $5,000 monthly range.

Not to worry—read our previous post What Is Affordable Assisted Living? to learn more about quality care options that fall in line with your parent’s budget.

Will Medicare Pay for Assisted Living?

When making assisted living care decisions for your parent or loved one, there are a range of questions you’ll be seeking answers to.

For example…

What level of care will be the best fit for his or her needs?

How will his or her medications be handled?

What kinds of activities will provide enough physical and mental engagement?

Which location works best for family members and friends to easily visit?

Will Medicare pay for assisted living?

As the last question suggests, one of the most common concerns for families is how to pay for assisted living.

Medicare often covers expenses such as doctors’ services, medically necessary hospital visits, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care for individuals ages 65 and up.

However, what many people don’t realize is that Medicare won’t cover assisted living expenses.

Why Medicare Doesn’t Cover Assisted Living

If you wondered “Will Medicare pay for assisted living?”, it’s only natural to be surprised that it won’t cover your parent’s care needs at a senior living community.

You may be wondering why assisted living isn’t covered under Medicare, while services like skilled nursing and home health care are.

You’ll find that Medicare coverage is great for medically oriented care services, such as hospital care or prescription drugs.

However, assisted living is classified as long-term care—and Medicare explains that “[most long-term care isn’t medical care,” stating that long-term care coverage is not included. (To learn more, visit Medicare’s website.)

It’s easy to see why Part A and Part B of Medicare coverage doesn’t encompass long-term care, given that assisted living communities provide non medical care such as assistance with daily activities in order to prevent accidents and social events to keep residents engaged and happy.

However, when Mom isn’t ready for a nursing home…but does need help with non medical tasks…you can feel as if you’ve reached a dead end for assisted living payment options.

The Medicaid Alternative

(Source)

Though the answer to the question “Will Medicare pay for assisted living?” may not be what you wanted to hear–don’t feel discouraged.

While your loved one won’t find assistance with Medicare, there is an alternative solution to paying for assisted living expenses.

In fact, currently 43 states–including Ohio–offer some level of assistance for individuals in assisted living or other forms of residential care through their Assisted Living Waiver through Medicaid.

This program covers the costs of care for certain individuals with Medicaid, while the individuals pay for their room and board expenses.

In order to qualify for the program, your mother or father will need to meet certain service and care needs, as well as established financial criteria.

If your parent is an Ohio resident and you’d like to find out if he or she would be eligible for this Medicaid program, visit Ohio Benefits and the Ohio Department of Aging. 

There’s no need for Mom to live alone at home and risk an accident…or move prematurely into a nursing home.

At The Ashford, we provide seniors and their families with an affordable and high-quality long-term care option.

Both of our assisted living locations–The Ashford of Mt. Washington and The Ashford on Broad–accept the Assisted Living Waiver through Medicaid, and are on average 10{66428b7e0c8aff20c6fe525529a828ba776cb26d03e1544c2af380e334db2dbd}-50{66428b7e0c8aff20c6fe525529a828ba776cb26d03e1544c2af380e334db2dbd} more affordable than a number of assisted living locations in their surrounding areas. 

Knowing that your parent is in good hands within a financially accessible community will give you and your family peace of mind.

We invite you and your parent to see our communities for yourselves–schedule a tour of our Cincinnati and Columbus locations

Home Health vs. Assisted Living: Making the Right Choice

At one time, your monthly visits to Dad were enough to help him maintain independence.

But now…mowing the lawn and doing small repairs around the house can’t provide the care he needs.

If you recognize your parent requires more involved support, such as medication management or prepared meals, you may be debating between home health vs. assisted living.   

Before you make a decision, it’s important to understand what each option offers and how they differ. Even if your parent has already applied for home health services, you’ll want to keep on reading to ensure you’ve made the right choice.

In this article, we’re going to dive into home health vs. assisted living so you can make an informed decision for your loved one.

What Home Health Provides

To put it simply, home health agencies offer scheduled appointments at your loved one’s home.

Staff members hired by the company will visit your parent, providing the caregiving services you’ve agreed upon.

Home health agencies can give your parent…

  • Assistance for bathing, dressing, or other activities.
  • Meal preparation and housekeeping.
  • Medication management, therapy, and medical support.
  • Transportation and other services.

What Assisted Living Provides

When considering home health vs. assisted living, you may be surprised to learn that assisted living provides many of the same services as home health agencies.

While assisted living isn’t designed for seniors who need skilled nursing care, it does provide comprehensive support services such as…  

  • Assistance with the activities of daily living (such as dressing, grooming, and more).  
  • Daily meals, laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance.  
  • Medication management and therapy services.

Assisted living communities usually include on-site amenities, such as a beauty salon or library.

Most significantly, assisted living can transform your loved one’s daily routine with regular social events and outings to enjoy with friends.

Home Health vs. Assisted Living

Given the similarities between home health and assisted living, you may wonder what distinguishes the two from each other.

However, there’s a clear difference between home health vs. assisted living. Here are a few important facts you should know…

  1. Home health can be unpredictable compared to assisted living.

It’s a fact.

Relying on home health agencies can create unpredictability and instability for your loved one. As Home Care Pulse explains, your parent may experience multiple caregivers or visits that start late, end early, or simply never happen.  

With assisted living, your loved one’s care won’t be affected by factors like road traffic, ensuring greater predictability for your parent.

  1. With home health, strangers will visit your loved one’s home compared to the familiarity of assisted living caregivers.

In 2015, Forbes reported that for temporary jobs with “a median wage less than $15 per hour, Home Health Aide…is expected to see the greatest growth, 15{66428b7e0c8aff20c6fe525529a828ba776cb26d03e1544c2af380e334db2dbd}.”

However, temporary workers can mean unfamiliar faces for your parent and increased risk.

In contrast, the structure of an assisted living community can provide your loved one with a greater sense of stability and better quality care.

  1. Home health visits temporarily relieve isolation while assisted living care provides consistent social interaction.

Home health visits are a form of social interaction for your parent.

The problem is…a few hours from an aide isn’t enough to remove your parent’s social isolation, much less provide the same benefit as a lively lunch with friends.

Thanks to community meals, events, and activities, assisted living gives Mom the continuous interaction she needs to avoid loneliness and enjoy her golden years.  

  1. Home health workers aren’t around 24/7 while assisted living caregivers are.  

Let’s face it. Your loved one’s needs don’t always follow the home health agency’s schedule.

When Mom suddenly requires immediate help for safety, there’s no guarantee the home health worker will be at her house.

The good news is, with assisted living, help is nearby…every hour of every day.  

Deciding between the Two

When it comes to choosing between home health vs. assisted living, there are a variety of factors to consider.

However, you can simplify your decision by analyzing your parent’s current state of independence.

If your parent is primarily independent—but needs some occasional assistance—look further into your home health options. If a few visits a week won’t provide the level of physical safety and emotional support your parent needs, consider assisted living.  

But perhaps the real reason it’s difficult to choose between home health services and assisted living care comes down to a different factor—the cost of assisted living.

There’s no reason to let expensive assisted living rates pressure you into choosing a senior care option that doesn’t fit your parent’s needs.  

At The Ashford, we offer affordable assisted living, providing your loved one with high-quality care at a price that reflects his or her financial resources.

To learn more and experience our communities, schedule a time to visit today.