If you have a loved one who has recently developed the need for a little or a lot of help caring for themselves, then you are likely making the tough decision as to how you will help them stay healthy and happy. You may be trying to decide between having them move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, and maybe considering home care as well. To help you make the best decision for your loved one, it is important to understand all of the facts about each type of care and forget any myths you have heard.
Read on to learn three myths about assisted living and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: Medicaid Will Not Pay for Assisted Living
Of course, if your loved one needs help paying for their senior care, you want to be sure to help them obtain all of the funds they can and choose a senior care option that accepts the type of financial aid they receive. Many people have the misconception that Medicaid will not pay for a senior's assisted living expenses, but the truth is that in many states, Medicaid funds can be used to pay for assisted living, just as they can be used to pay for nursing home care.
In fact, in 2016, 46 states in total, along with Washington D.C., allowed their Medicaid long-term care vouchers to be used to fund a senior's assisted living housing and care.
Myth #2: Seniors Must Be Relatively Young and Healthy to Enter Assisted Living
Many people have misconceptions about how the care provided by the staff of an assisted living facility differs from the care provided at a nursing home. A common belief is that a senior must be relatively healthy and in their early "golden years" to qualify to stay at an assisted living facility and, if they are too old and have health problems, they must stay at a nursing home.
However, this is a myth, and the average age of a person first entering an assisted living facility today is actually 85. In addition, the average resident of an assisted living facility needs help with at least 2 to 3 activities of daily living, or ADLs, and 40 percent need help with three or more. ADLs can include bathing, using the toilet, eating, or any other task that the average person must complete daily or several times each day.
Assisted living facilities are also housing more and more people with complex medical problems or a large number of them. This has led many to increase the number of healthcare providers on staff and decrease the number of new residents they turn away due to medical complexity.
Myth #3: Assisted Living Facilities Aren't Very Different from Nursing Homes
If you were not under the impression that assisted living facilities were filled seniors that are younger and healthier than those in nursing homes, then you may have instead had the reverse common misconception that assisted living facilities differ very little from nursing homes. However, this is also a myth and while today's assisted living facilities are often providing more medical and ADL care than they did in the past, there are still several key differences between assisted living and nursing home facilities.
First, seniors in assisted living facilities still enjoy more freedom than many seniors in nursing homes—although nursing home rules and guidelines vary from state to state. In most assisted living facilities, seniors are provided their own apartments or even small houses, while seniors staying in nursing homes typically only have their own bedrooms and bathrooms. In addition, assisted living facilities are often equipped with more amenities than nursing homes, and seniors are free to enjoy them any time they desire.
Amenities at assisted living facilities vary, but it is not uncommon for them to have extensive outdoor grounds with walking trails and areas dedicated to playing sports, multiple dining rooms where seniors can choose the food they would like to enjoy at any time, and indoor activity rooms where seniors can play games or enjoy arts and crafts.
If you are deciding what type of care your elderly loved one needs, then be sure you know how nursing homes and assisted living facilities vary, along with what they do have in common. Forget these three myths about assisted living when deciding where your loved one is likely to thrive.Share
10 May 2017
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