Retirement Communities are for independent and active seniors. These communities often have age requirements of either 55 and older, or 62 and older. Basic rent includes one to three meals a day, utilities, concierge services, planned activities, transportation to shopping centers and recreational outings. Retirement Communities do not provide assistance with daily living such as bathing, dressing and medication administration. Personal care and assistance in this setting is often provided by outside sources such as home care or home health.
Home care is available for individuals who want care in the comfort of their own home. Home care aides can provide companionship, transportation, meal preparation, and help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and toileting. Home care Agencies screen and hire Nursing Assistants Certified (NACs) and Nursing Assistants Registered (NARs). Some home care agencies provide extensive on-going training for their caregivers and frequently check in with their clients to ensure satisfaction. Home Care is paid for privately or by Medicaid.
Home Health is available for individuals who need help at home from a trained professional such as a Registered Nurse. Home Health is typically covered by Medicare, whereas home care is paid for privately. Home Health is paid for privately, by Medicare, or by long term insurance.
In the Seattle area, Assisted Living communities—which are also called Boarding Homes—range from about 50 to 100 units or apartments consisting of various floor plans. Most apartments are set up with a kitchenette and private bathroom. Apartment sizes range from studios to two and three bedroom suites. Residents are encouraged (most of the time required) to bring their own furniture and hang their own pictures on the wall to make their new place feel like home. Basic rent usually includes: all utilities, 3 meals a day, housekeeping services, an emergency call system, scheduled activities and transportation to outings and appointments. Some places include cable TV. and internet connection in the base rent as well. Assistance with personal care, such as dressing, showering, medication monitoring, or memory support is available for an extra fee. Assistance is provided to residents in their apartments. Some offer specialized care for people in need of memory care or those with mental health disorders. Care in an Assisted Living Community is sometimes covered by Long Term Care insurance, Medicaid or Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits (but not Medicare).
Residential Care Homes—also known as Adult Family Homes—are private homes licensed to care for up to six people. They offer 24-hour supervision, assistance with personal care, medication management, planned activities, and often transportation services. Some offer private rooms with private bathrooms; others have shared rooms and shared bathrooms, or a combination of the above. Some are owned and operated by Registered Nurses others by Nursing Assistants or providers who have taken the minimum required training. There is a tremendous amount of variation with what these homes offer. Typically adult family homes are chosen by individuals who need a higher level of care than what Assisted Living communities can offer, but prefer to be in a home like environment as opposed to a Skilled Nursing Facility. The care provided depends on an individual’s needs and abilities as well as the skill of the provider. Some providers offer specialized care for people with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, mental health conditions, or Developmental Disabilities. Adult family homes are paid for privately or sometimes by Long Term Care Insurance, Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefits or Medicaid *(Not Medicare).
Nursing Homes—also known as Skilled Nursing Facilities—are licensed to provide 24-hour skilled nursing care. Along with nursing care they provide physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapies; as well as end-of-life care with physician oversight. Nursing facilities are most appropriate for those in need of therapy, or those with complex medical needs requiring supervision and services from a licensed nurse. Many residents have medical or behavioral needs that cannot be met in other care settings. Long term care is also provided for those who need more care than what is offered in other settings. Skilled nursing care is covered by Medicare (requires 3 day hospital stay), Medicaid, private pay or long term care insurance.