Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Assisted Living, Dementia Care, Independent Living, and Nursing Homes?
Assisted Living - Assisted living communities are an excellent option for seniors who may require more day-to-day assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) but wish to remain as independent for as long as possible. Your loved one will receive support with daily living and basic care in a homelike or apartment setting. They have access to many services, including up to three meals a day; assistance with personal care; help with medications; housekeeping and laundry; transportation; 24-hour supervision; security; on-site staff; and social/recreational activities. Assisted living communities are licensed facilities that offer all of the benefits of an apartment-style home with the care required to keep your senior healthy and safe and without the responsibility of daily chores or upkeep.
Memory Care - is a specific type of long-term care designed to meet the needs of individuals that have Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other types of memory problems and is provided in a secured environment by specially trained staff in a shared or private room. It's also common that the early stages of memory support can be provided as an additional service at assisted living communities. Depending on the community, memory care includes: 24-hour supervised care; medical monitoring and medication management; an environment that is easy for residents to navigate; skilled staff trained to assist those with dementia or impaired cognitive abilities; assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming; activities geared toward their cognitive abilities; three meals a day and frequent snacks; and secured environment. These are in addition to the other services that the community already provides for their base care.
Independent Living - Independent living communities are housing designed for seniors 55 and older. Individuals live in their own apartment or house, but have access to amenities such as housekeeping, social activities, dining, transportation, and more. Independent living does not typically provide supervision or medical care, although individual communities may offer those services at an additional cost. Independent living situations vary based on the lifestyle options that are important to your senior, so it is important to compare actual costs before deciding. Some require an up-front fee, with monthly service fees and others are simply month-to-month.
Comparing Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities - The key difference between a skilled nursing facility and a nursing home is the required medical attention and the length of stay. A skilled nursing facility is usually used following a short hospital stay when the patient requires specific medical services to fully recover. They have specialized staff such as speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation specialists, and audiologists who are not typically staffed in a nursing home. Following a short skilled nursing rehabilitation stay, a patient assessment will be done to decide if the patient is able to return home. A nursing home, on the other hand, provides permanent custodial care—not medical care. These locations offer certified health professionals, meal preparation, and assistance with non-medical, everyday living tasks such as bathing, grooming, bathroom use, medication monitoring, and more. Nursing homes offer 24-hour care as well as room and board. Many nursing homes also have special wings for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Short-term skilled nursing is generally covered by Medicare or an individual’s private insurance. Long-term care is also predominantly covered by Medicaid.
What is life like for seniors in Assisted Living Communities?
There are many Communities on Long Island, and each is a bit different. To provide some general guidance, the Communities provide a private apartment for each senior within the building. The apartments range from mutli-bedroom, ‘high end’ apartments to modest one room studios. In almost every Community, though, the apartments are not intended for 24/7 occupancy. Rather, meals, snacks, and all activities are provided in common spaces, for all residents. This common delivery of meals and services serves several goals - the two most important being 1. Socialization, and 2. The opportunity for the staff to observe and potentially support residents. The days can be as busy as a resident wants - it is not uncommon for a Community to schedule 10 or more activities each day for residents.
What “Assistance” is provided to residents?
Assisted Living and Dementia Care communities provide assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL). These include dressing, showering, toileting, transferring, escorting, and other day to day activities we all need to do. Some people need little or no help with these activities, and others need very routine and regular help. Most Communities include some amount of time dedicated to these ADLs with the monthly rent, with additional charges applicable as the time needed to support these ADLs increases. Of course, meals, room cleaning, and laundry are also provided as part of the monthly rent charge.
Some residents in Assisted Living and Dementia Care Communities require a very high level of support with ADLs. In particular, residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions may require total assistance, including feeding, complete continence management, and ambulation via wheelchairs. Some people without cognitive difficulties but with multiple physical challenges require this higher level of support, too. This level of care is not available in every Community. We can be particularly helpful in matching seniors with the right Community for these high need activities.
What does Assisted Living, Dementia Care, and Independent Living cost on Long Island?
The basic costs, often referred to as ‘rent’ range from about $3,500 per month and can go over $12,000 per month. The differences in cost are based on the type of Community, the services required by each resident, and the overall environment of the Community. Some communities also charge extra to support medicine management, and others charge extra if the ADL support exceeds certain time thresholds. This is an area where a skilled and local Assisted Living Advisor can really help.
How do people pay for Assisted Living, Dementia Care, and Independent Living?
Most Communities present to the senior or family a monthly bill. The senior/family pays the bill and manages their own finances. There is little acceptance of any benefits directly by the Community. The payment sources often utilized by seniors and families include Social Security retirement payments, Veteran’s cash benefits, pensions, long term care insurance, management of the resident’s savings, money from the sale of a primary residence, life settlement and other income sources.
Does Medicare pay for Assisted Living, Dementia Care, or Independent Living?
Medicare does not pay for any of these three types of Communities.
Are pets allowed in Assisted Living Communities?
More and more communities are now accepting residents with pets. Some charge a fee at move-in to cover the cleaning and carpet replacement they will do at the end of the rental period, and others collect a deposit or charge a monthly fee. Some communities only allow either cats or dogs, while others allow both. Most communities have a weight limit for dogs. All communities require that residents be able to completely care for their pets or employ outside services to do so.
What can a Senior Living Advisor Help Me With?
At Assisted Living Locators of Long Island, we can help you find the best match for Assisted Living, Dementia Care, and Independent Senior Living Communities. There are over 70 of these Communities on Long Island, and we can help you find the best fit relative to location, cost, care, activities, and overall environment. We know each of these communities very well - we can tell you what’s not in the glossy brochure, and in many cases, we can give you responses from previous placements. Because we live here on Long Island, we can also make referrals for other professionals like Eldercare Attorneys, Senior Certified Real Estate agents, Home Care Agencies, and Senior Financial Experts.
Who pays for the services of a Senior Living Advisor?
Assisted Living Locators of Long Island is compensated by the various Communities when we help make a successful match between a senior and a Community. There is never any charge to a family or a senior for any advice or other service provided by Assisted Living Locators. Even when there is no placement, there is no charge or cost to families and seniors.
Do the Communities charge extra to accommodate the fees they pay to Assisted Living Resources?
No, they are contractually obligated to charge the same, regardless of how the referral came to the Community. In fact, the Communities rely on Assisted Living Locators to bring them qualified potential residents. It is often the case that you might get access to special financial accommodations because you are working with us. We know all the right questions to ask and the special deals that might sometimes be available.
What areas do Assisted Living Locators cover?
We have the privilege to serve Northeastern Queens and Nassau & Suffolk Counties on Long Island. We are part of a larger network of placement agents who can help outside of your immediate area as well.