Long-Term Care Planning

Does Assisted Living Beat Nursing Home Living?

You will know the answer to this question if you have had a chance to drive around and visit the medical facilities that are options for your disabled parent’s care.

A nursing home (also called a skilled nursing facility or a convalescent hospital) provides care for people with severe care medical needs. They provide 24 hour around the clock nursing care and medical supervision. You will notice that a nursing home looks a lot like a hospital: Medical wards with two or three patients in a room. Nursing stations with certified nursing assistants (CNA’s).

An assisted living facility, however, feels more like an apartment complex that provides meals and activities. Except the assisted living facility provides assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, help with medication, eating, toileting, etc.).

In my personal experience, I find that assisted living facilities are nicer, “homier” places to live and that residents are often happier in this environment. It’s more like a home. The nursing home is more like a county hospital.

Please don’t take my word for it. Get out in your community and see for yourself.
Nursing homes have an important place in our health care system. When an elder needs 24 hour nursing supervision, they should be placed in such a facility. Unfortunately, sometimes an elder will be placed in a nursing home for mostly financial reasons: They cannot afford to pay for assisted living, so they qualify for Medi-Cal and go to the nursing home. Now, all of their income and Social Security must go to the nursing home as their share of cost, but Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California and MassHealth in Massachusetts) picks up the remainder and their medical care is provided for. But what if the elder does not need 24 hour per day nursing care? What if his medical needs could be provided by an assisted living facility, and what if the additional VA pension could help him pay for his assisted living facility care?

You would have a happier, healthier elder and parent.

Additional info: If you would like more information about your specific needs, please fill out the form and mail back to Gilbert Fleming. Questionnaire Rev. 8-10-12

Long-Term Care Planning:

Planning to protect family assets in the event of nursing home care.

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