How Do Retirement Communities Work?
When the time comes to choose a retirement community, it’s a big decision to make. The choice that you make will not only affect you, but it will also have an impact on your loved ones as well. Other things that are impacted by your decision include your finances, your quality of life, as well as your health and longevity. With the help of Hermitage Richmond, a Richmond, VA retirement community, we’ll explain the main types of retirement communities and give an overview of how each one works and the costs that are associated with each type of community. There are four main types of retirement communities: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, and Continuing Care.
All About Independent Living
Independent Living is also considered to be senior apartments or 55+ communities. These are mainly for seniors who don’t require any special medical care or attention and also are able to do things independently, meaning they don’t need assistance with everyday tasks.
They are basically regular apartments. They are private and include a kitchen, and range in size from studios, one bedroom and two bedroom units. The rent can be a bit on the higher side, but again this all depends on the cost of living in your area. But typically, the cost can range from $1,500 to $3,500 a month. You should also note that sometimes these 55+ communities have high buy-in fees, but not all places are like that some have small fees while others have no entrance fees at all.
While researching independent living facilities you may be interested in, know that there are different types of amenities you should be on the lookout for. Some places include utilities in the rent, while other places may also include housekeeping, basic maintenance and even meals.
Some may also have transportation available for those needing to run light errands or need to go to the doctor. All these will be included with the monthly rent; less typically, these may be charged as outside fees in addition to rent.
Overall, for an independent living facility, it would be much like living in your own home. You have your independence and can move around freely, but there are a few bonuses, such as not having to worry about maintenance, and you will have more opportunities to socialize.
What Exactly Is Assisted Living?
Another option for retirees is an assisted living facility. This type of community is for seniors who don’t need quite as much care as they would in a nursing home, but they need help with daily activities.
These vary from person to person, but could include getting dressed, bathing, and needing assistance to go to the bathroom. Assisted living facilities are also an option from those seniors who are beginning to experience memory loss, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, and who need extra help and supervision.
The cost of an assisted living facility is again dependent on where you are living. The rates vary from state to state, but the average for everything (which includes your private room, board, housekeeping and personal assistance) is about $3,550.
What About Nursing Homes?
Nursing homes are for seniors/patients who need medical care and is the closest thing to hospital care. They aid seniors with daily living activities, which include eating, bathing and getting dressed. Depending on the type of environment you would like, some nursing homes are set up to feel more like a home, while others feel like a hospital.
Nursing homes can be pricey. On average, the yearly cost of a private room in a nursing home is around $90,500 and a semi-private room is around $81,000. Due to the high costs of nursing homes, you may want to think about getting long-term care insurance before you may need it. It’s just another step to investigate before making your final decisions.
Another consideration when it comes to nursing homes is to know that you may not get the nursing home you want when the time comes for you to need it. There are waiting lists for nursing homes, and always be sure to check that they take your insurance, as some nursing homes do not take Medicare.
Another thing you may want to consider is the type of treatment you will be needing, as there are nursing homes who only take a certain type of patient. Another thing you may want to consider is the type of care you will be receiving.
According to Investopedia, “Nursing homes also have somewhat of a bad reputation for elder abuse and other problems.” So be sure to do your research on nursing homes because you will want to know their reputation, how much the cost will be and that you will be receiving the best care.
What’s Continuing Care?
This type of retirement community provides a long-term home for retirees. Typically, residents start out in Independent Living and then have the option to move onto assisted living or nursing care when it becomes needed, but they don’t have to relocate to a new facility.
To put it more simply, Tech-Enhanced Life describes Continuing Care Retirement Communities as “a community where a person can enter the community as an independent adult, and then as health deteriorates move within the community to higher acuity settings, first to assisted living and then to a skilled nursing facility, all on the same campus.”
Out of all the types of retirement communities, this is the most expensive. They have high entrance fees that range from $100,000 to $1 million. And then they have high monthly fees that are dependent on the care level and the housing choice and can range in price from $3,000 to $5,000 per month.
It can be a difficult choice to choose the right retirement community. It’s best to understand your options and know which facilities offer what type of care. You want to be sure to consider your financial stability, as this will be a huge factor in deciding your steps for retirement.
The best way to know which care is right for you may be to arrange a short-term stay, sort of like a trial period, just so that you know it’s the best fit for you and your needs and that you will be given the proper care you need.
The New York Post suggests that you “ask to talk to the facility’s top executive, and take it as a bad sign if a brief meeting is cancelled. The community is only as good as its administration.” No matter which community you choose, make sure to do your research and confirm that it will be a good fit for you and your needs.