Your CarePatrol Senior Advisors share their knowledge and experience when considering placement in an Assisted Living home. Learn more about Assisted Living care to help you make the right decisions for you and your loved ones.

What Does Assisted Living Cost in Utah and How to Pay For it?

The most common question we get from families is “how much does assisted living cost?” Many people are surprised at how affordable it is when given some specific information about what’s included. Below is some information on what assisted living communities cost in Utah and some ideas on paying for care.

What does Assisted Living cost in Utah?
Cost for assisted living varies greatly in the state of Utah. We see communities charge anywhere from $2,000 a month to as much as $6,000, but the average is $3,350*. This amount largely depends on 3 factors.

  1. How much care does the resident require? For individuals that need help with lot of activities of daily living (ADL’s), the cost will go up. This is important to keep in mind and understand that the cost may increase over time as care needs increase.
  2. Location. As will any real estate, location effects the cost of assisted living. Utah County can be $500-$1000 cheaper then Salt Lake County.
  3. Size of the room. Most communities have different size rooms from small studio apartments to 2 bedroom suites. Most individuals are completely comfortable in a studio or 1 bedroom.

In addition to the monthly cost for assisted living, most communities charge a “move-in” or “community” fee for new residents. Make sure you understand all the costs associated with moving before you sign the agreement and move in.

Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for it?
Traditionally medicare does NOT pay for assisted living. It can, in some cases, pay for a nursing home stay or for in-home care.

Medicaid can be used to pay for some of the costs associated with assisted living. In Utah the medicaid program that helps pay for some assisted living charges is called the New Choices Waiver. The qualification process and requirements for this waiver can be challenging to understand and apply for. It’s recommended to work with somebody that specializes in the waiver. (Pro tip – Call us)

Long Term Care Insurance
Long term care insurance is a great way to help pay for some or all of assisting living costs. Some life insurance policies have a long term care rider. As with any insurance policy, reading and understanding what is covered or not can require a law degree. We recommend having a professional look at your policy.

VA Aid and Attendance
The VA aid and Attendance Pension is a great benefit to many veterans to help pay for long-term care costs. This benefit can be used to pay for independent living, assisted living, memory care and even in-home care.

When considering the cost of assisted living its important to know what’s included. Here is a worksheet to help compare the costs of living in assisted living to living at home.

If you have any questions, CarePatrol’s Certified Senior Advisors can help. Please call; 866-560-5656.

*2018 figure as reported, monthly rate, private on bedroom.

Four Steps to Determining What you Can Afford for Assisted Living

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When we first start working with families and seniors, the first thing we hear is “We can’t afford assisted living”, but when we start putting things into perspective, they realize just how much they can afford it.

Before we start touring with our clients, we look at doing an analysis to determine what you can afford. This is something you can easily do on your own. Here’s how!

 

Step 1: What are my housing costs?

Gather together your housing costs for the month. Include expenses like your utility costs, what you spend on maintenance such as snow removal, landscaping and yard care, etc. Don’t forget about preventative maintenance costs such as your furnace inspections. Also take your property tax and divide that by 12 for a monthly average.

 

Step 2: What are your monthly utility costs?

Every month you are paying utility bills for heat, electric, water, sewer and even in some cases garbage pick-up. Get those bills together and figure out how much you are spending every month.

 

Step 3: How much are you spending on groceries?

Most of the time you don’t consider this an expense to factor in, but most assisted livings offer a meal plan. Some you can opt out as well, but it’s important to consider those costs when determining what’s all included in your monthly assisted living expenses.

 

Step 4: What are your income sources?

The reason we suggest looking at each source is that you might be bringing in more income than you realized when you factor in such things as pensions, 401(k), investments, social security, long-term care insurance. If you are selling home, how much are you anticipating getting, how long will you need it to supplement your income?

 

Once you’ve got all of your numbers, add together steps 1-3. This will give you a total on what you’re currently spending on housing costs. Reviewing your income sources, taking into consideration other factors such as health and age, you’ll be able to use that information to determine what you can afford each month. If you’re still unsure, reach out to a Certified Senior Advisor for assistance. Some charge, others, like CarePatrol are a free service. Together we can find you an option that fits within your income while meeting your care needs.

5 Questions to Ask to know if Senior Living is Right for You

Senior people in a retirement home

In my business, I hear it all the time. I’m not old enough for a nursing home; I’m not sick enough. That is a misperception that the Senior Living industry has been overcoming for years. While it’s true, Senior Living isn’t right for everyone, before you opt out of it, ask yourself these five questions to learn if senior living is right for you.

1. Do I still want to take care of my own home?

Home is where you raised your children, lived with your family, there’s a sentimental attachment to it. But caring for a home can get overwhelming. It costs money and time, especially when you would much rather be enjoying life and the experiences it has to offer.

2.   Am I old enough?

There are so many levels of senior living available to you including Independent Senior Apartments, Assisted Living Apartments, Assisted Living Communities, and more. Many newer properties are like vacation resorts and are geared towards active professionals 55 years and older. They offer a host of amenities and provide an active lifestyle.

3. Do I spend too much time alone?

Social isolation affects the body just as much as illnesses do. It causes depression and anxiety. If you are socially isolated because of location or you need more motivation to interact with peers, then moving to a senior living community might be right for you.

4. How much space do I need?

Senior apartments range in size. Some start at 1500 square foot or more and others go as small as 700 square feet. Depending upon your budget and how much down-sizing you are comfortable with will all factor into your decision.

5. How long can I afford it?

People are living longer. And while there are affordable options for everyone, you still want to be good financial stewards when it comes to your care. Understanding your finances and the amount you need to expend every month will help you determine when it would make economic sense to move.

 

Even if you aren’t ready to move into a Senior Living community at this present moment, working with a Certified Senior Advisor can help. They will be able to educate you on how to pay for your Senior Living and health care needs, as well as understand what your options are. By pre-planning, you will know when Senior Living is right for you!

Senior Living and Pets

Recently, I’ve had a few families reach out with concerns about a senior loved one who needs care, but who refuses to move to an assisted living community because they have a pet (or 2 or 3) that they simply cannot leave behind. This is understandable given that so many of us consider our pets to be family members, and pets are wonderful companions for seniors, helping to keep them engaged, busy and connected with the world around them.

The good news is that more communities are allowing seniors to bring along Fido or Tabby. These communities will typically require a non-refundable pet deposit between $300-500. They also generally will require that the senior have the ability to provide the necessary care for the pet. This requirement can be tricky for some, so we have found a few communities that are able to assist with pet care, if necessary.

If you’re having trouble finding a pet-friendly assisted living community, call your CarePatrol Senior Care Advisor for assistance.

Determining When a Loved One Requires Assisted Care

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Suggesting moving into an assisted living to an aging parent, family member or even your spouse can be a very stressful and difficult thing to do. In some cases, medical situations makes the transition into an assisted care community necessary such as a heart attack, stroke or Alzheimer’s Disease. No matter what the situation is it can be very challenging to know when the timing is right to make the move or even bring it up.

Your loved one may need the highest levels of care that assisted living can offer if they need assistance in most of their ADL’s or activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, feeding, showering, grooming and tolieting.

Vision and hearing loss could also be reasons to look into a safer environment like assisted living or independent living with some supervisory assistance. Depression is another situation which may require increase socialization such as in the case of a death of a spouse.

Safety is the key factor in determining the need for senior housing. If your loved one has a history or has been falling lately a higher level of care is highly recommended. Confusion is another factor to seriously consider a supervised living environment. Alzheimer’s and Dementia are devastating diseases which make seniors extremely unsafe living alone.

Searching for care alone can be an emotional process if you do not know where to start or who to call for assistance. The best thing to do when determining the need for assisted living, independent living and memory is to give the professionals at CarePatrol a call. Our Senior Care Advisors are nationally certified in senior care issues and can be a tremendous help in this difficult and confusing time. Our advisors can assess the individual needs of your loved one and “match” them to care options near you that fit your budget. Our advisors also pre-screen and preview the care and violation record of every care option in our network. Call us at +1 877-654-0344 or complete our online form to have one of our advisors give you a quick call. Did we forget to mention that we are a free service also?

Helping Your Loved One Adjust To Assisted Living

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Moving a parent or loved one into an assisted living residence or an adult care home is a stressor even under the best of circumstances. Recognize that your loved one will need extra support as they make the transition; plan to be in close contact for the first weeks and months.

If you live out of town, try to schedule a visit not long after the move is made. You might also enlist friends or family in the area to drop in to see your loved one. If you’re the family contact for the assisted care facility, you don’t have to wait for them to call. Reach out in the first few weeks to get an outside opinion on how your loved one is adjusting.

Of course, this transition takes its toll on family members as well. Take care of yourself by asking for help from friends and family, making time for activities you enjoy, even seeking out a support group.

Why Choose CarePatrol?

Several months ago, I was given the daunting task of finding an assisted living facility for my elderly Aunt who was diagnosed with depression and could no longer take care of herself. She was living with my Mom and Stepdad for the past year, and it was not getting any better. It was time to get professional help.

Not knowing how to start my search, I contacted an on-line assisted living company. I spent at least 40 minutes describing in detail my Aunts specific needs and issues and what was important for her in a care home. The next day, I received an email with three facilities they thought matched my Aunt’s needs. I proceeded to contact each community by phone, not knowing what I was supposed to ask them and retelling my Aunts story over and over again with each call. Unbeknown to me, this on-line company had faxed over 15 communities my contact information.

Turned out, none of the recommended facilities were right for my Aunt. I then had to spend countless hours researching facilities on my own, interviewing each one by phone, telling my Aunt’s story over again, and then visiting every community to ensure they were safe, clean and provided the appropriate level of care that she needed and deserved. This process not only took a lot of time, but was very stressful, confusing and heartbreaking. I finally found a home that I felt comfortable with and moved her in, but I still questioned if I made the right decision for her.

It was through this challenging experience that I realized that I wanted to help family members navigate through this very emotional time, and give families the reassurance and confidence that their loved one would be living in a safe and caring environment. After extensive research I found CarePatrol.

With CarePatrol, you speak with a highly trained Senior Care Consultant who listens to your needs and conducts a confidential in depth interview with you about your loved one. Your CarePatrol Consultant has personally inspected each community, will set up and accompany you on your tour, and ensure that your questions are all answered. Once a community is selected, you can be confident that your loved one is in a safe and loving home. CarePatrol will give you peace of mind.

Assisted Living Residence vs Nursing Home

Many times we get calls telling us that a family member or an individual senior needs to move into a “Nursing Home”. After speaking with them and delving more into a Care Discovery, we find that they actually do not need a nursing home and would be fine at an assisted living residence. Let’s see the differences between the two and see why an Assisted Living community may be a better choice.

Most people know what a Nursing Home is. That is, when a senior requires extensive medical care such as a ventilator, or any condition requiring 24 hour nursing care that cannot be provided at home for any reason, a nursing home is the appropriate choice. Another reason one might want or need for a nursing home is finance. Nursing homes accept Medicaid and Medicare. If one does not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare runs out, the cost of private pay in a nursing home can be as high as $10000 per month or more.

Assisted Living communities in contrast, are mainly private pay. They provide much of the care of a nursing home. In most cases, as long as the resident does not need serious medical care, they can live a comfortable high quality life. They are normally apartment type living with organized acitivities, events for the seniors, meals, and transportation. They also provide everyday neccessities such as salons, banking and a convenience store on the premises. In summary, they are like an all-inclusive resort. Along with the above, it is a very social setting allowing the residents to be a part of a community as much as they like or they may prefer to live a more private life.

For those residents that require help, caregivers are provided for Activities of Daily Living such as bathing, getting dressed, medical reminders and anything else that may be needed. In most cases, a resident can live a fruitful comfortable life, in a Assisted Living community, until the end. A final point is that in general the cost for private pay is a lot less than a Nursing Home.

Assisted Living Residence and Pets: Can I Bring Fido?

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As we get older, we often lose friends who have passed away, or have moved into assisted- living accommodation that are out of town, or even out of state. And with the hectic lives of people with a full-time jobs and/or family on the rise, we are often unable to spend as much quality time with our elderly family members as we would like.

To cope with the loneliness, some care facilities allow patients to bring pets into the facility, and many have found that elderly people benefit a great deal from having an animal friend at their side. Some assisted living residences allow animals such as birds, cats, dogs, and even rabbits, fish, and other small animals. However small dogs-fewer than 25 pounds- and occasionally cats are usually what the assisted living contracts allow.

Studies have revealed that interaction with animals may lower risk of heart disease. Individuals that owned pets had lower bad cholesterol levels and higher ‘good’ cholesterol levels than non-pet owners. The differences could not be attributed to diet or lifestyle in most cases.’[Assisted Living Facilities.2013]

Over the years, animal therapy has been used for people with disabilities. Most notably, people with autism develop bonds with their pets that they do not develop with their family or friends. This effect is also evident in elderly people, who sometimes find it difficult to remain connected to their families. Some residents who feel abandoned by their families when they move into care facilities regain a sense of happiness and hope and are able to come out of their shell while interacting with an animal.

Paying for an Assisted Living Residence or Community

When you have a loved one in need of Assisted Living, or if this is something you need for yourself, the decisions you have to make can be intimidating and overwhelming. Changing your living situation involves numerous changes and decisions, but before you even consider these changes, most people want to know how they can afford this change in lifestyle. There are several options available to pay for assisted living for seniors.

Some people have purchased long-term care insurance. If you or your loved one has this insurance, it may pay for most or all of the care that is needed. If you do not have long-term care insurance, and do not have an immediate need for long-term care, it may be something you want to look into purchasing. CarePatrol has information available about long-term care insurance, and we can help you figure out what your policy covers.

Another great potential to help pay for care is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Program. If you or your spouse served in the armed forces during wartime you may qualify for this benefit. There are other requirements that need to be met to get this benefit, and CarePatrol has experts who can determine if you qualify, and then help you get your benefits as quickly as possible.

Many people who need to move into an Assisted Living residence will pay from their own budget. We can help you plan a budget to determine what you can afford. One of the things that can be an option is for family members to help their loved one with the increased cost of their care. There are also a variety of Assisted Living communities that have a range of costs. There are other money saving alternatives.

There are other options to pay for care, including a reverse mortgage, cash value of life insurance, or even Medicaid, among others. What is important to remember is that there are options for Assisted Living in many budget ranges, and there are ways to pay that you may not be aware of. Let us help you figure out which of these ways would work best for you. To find out what all your options are, please call your CarePatrol senior advisor or complete online form and one will call you shortly.

Common Assisted Living Community Violations

Residents at assisted living facilities expect to receive world-class care from staff members. In some cases, however, organizations are not as reliable as they should be. While some of the shortcomings are minor, others can induce psychological trauma that may take years to heal. Here are the most common violations associated with assisted living communities.

1) Administration of Medication

One of the more frequent violations is a failure to get rid of medications that have expired. In some other cases, administrative staff may also fail to order prescription refills at the right time. Dispensing the wrong kind of medication to patients, on the other hand, is much less common. Expired medicine can be particularly troublesome for residents who suffer from chronic illnesses.

2) Daily Care

Violations might also occur within the general daily routine. In nearly all cases, staff members are assigned to help residents bathe, brush their teeth, and complete a number of other hygienic tasks. In some instances, staff members might also be charged with changing the bedding regularly. A lapse in basic hygiene can lead to discomfort, infection, and other maladies.

3) Food Quality

As with most other businesses that serve meals, assisted living centers can also be cited for a failure to store and serve food at the proper temperatures. Some residents must also adhere to specific diets. Diabetic men and women, for example, must be served food that keeps their blood sugar at the proper level. Any deviation from the approved menu items will be a serious violation.

4) Employee Health

In a community where many of the residents are suffering from weakened immune systems, employees can also be cited for failing to get inoculated against certain diseases. Tuberculosis can be especially problematic, which is why vaccinations are so important. In most facilities, staff members will also be required to get flu shots each year to protect the residents they are caring for. Lax oversight in this regard can get the facility in trouble with the higher authorities.

5) Emergency Plans

Lackluster emergency plans will also lead to citations. Because fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters can all crop up without warning, management teams need to have a viable evacuation plan in place. A failure to conduct readiness drills is generally frowned upon by state watchdog agencies. Facilities that have received even one citation will be expected to bring their operations up to code within the mandated timeframe.

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