Tips & Advice
Is assisted living the same as a nursing home?
An assisted living facility is not the same as a nursing home. Nursing homes provide skilled nursing care for those who suffer from conditions or disabilities that call for intensive, ongoing medical assistance. Assisted living facilities typically cater to seniors who need less medical care and who require a living situation that provides more independence than is typical at a nursing home.
However, some assisted living facilities also provide skilled nursing care for residents who need it. At several locations around the country, you can find independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities all on the same campus, allowing residents to make a smoother transition from one to the other.
How much does it cost to live in an assisted living facility?
The cost of residing in an assisted living facility can vary based on location and the size of the unit being rented. The national median average for renting a one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility comes in at around $3,500 per month.
If you have long-term care insurance, this coverage will usually assist with the costs associated with residing in an assisted living facility. Some seniors who don't have long-term care insurance cover the costs associated with assisted living by selling their homes. In cases where a couple owns property and only one person in a couple requires assisted living, the partner who is remaining at home will sometimes take out a reverse mortgage on the property to cover costs.
What services are provided in assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities provide a wide range of services that can help seniors who have trouble handling tasks related to basic self-care. These facilities can provide daily meals, and assist with bathing, grooming, and toileting. They can help with basic housekeeping and laundry, and they also provide 24-hour security that creates a safe environment for seniors. Assisted living facilities can also provide seniors with easy access to transportation, and offer social programs that can help give seniors a sense of community.
Is assisted living covered by Medicare?
Medicare doesn't typically cover costs directly associated with assisted living. However, Medicare might be used to pay qualified healthcare costs for someone who is staying at an assisted living facility. These costs may include expenses associated with doctor visits and prescriptions.
While Medicare doesn't usually cover assisted living, it typically covers the costs directly associated with staying in a skilled nursing facility (also known as a nursing home). Medicare also commonly covers the cost of hiring a professional to provide home health care.
What is an assisted living facility?
An assisted living facility is a residence that provides long-term care and support for seniors, while allowing them to live more independently than they would if they were residing in a nursing home. These facilities can provide seniors with regular meals and assist with tasks such as bathing, medication management, basic housekeeping, laundry, and getting dressed. Assisted living facilities also provide round-the-clock security and assistance with transportation. Some assisted living facilities provide access to skilled nursing care for those who need more intensive medical support.
What are some questions to ask a daycare as part of the selection process?
In addition to questions about cost, ask any potential daycare provider about licensing or accreditations and qualifications. Other questions to consider:
- What is the staff-to-child ratio?
- How long have they been in business? (Longevity and stability are highly desirable)
- Can you get references?
- How safe is the center?
- What plans are in place if a child gets sick?
- What (if any) is the curriculum?
- If transportation is necessary to get a child to or from the facility, what is the vehicle arrangement?
- What are the visitation rules?
- Are you closed during holidays?
- What is your cancellation policy if we leave?
- What if my child gets hurt while in your care?
What is a good caregiver-to-child ratio?
Having enough staff may be the most important part of any daycare provider. Having a staff-to-child ratio of 1:3 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers, and 1:9 for preschool-aged children is considered ideal. Generally the rule is, the younger the children the higher the caregiver-to-child ratio. Having more than that can be fine, but less than that is not.
How much does daycare cost?
The typical cost of full-time daycare is around $1,000 a month. That’s the average – you can spend more or less depending on your location, the type of daycare your child is attending, and if it is full or part-time. Also be sure to ask if it’s a year-round daycare. If it’s not, or they are closed for certain holidays, you will need to arrange for additional childcare coverage.
What steps do daycares take to keep children safe?
Daycare safety should start with:
Daycares should maintain a clean and sanitary environment to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses, including confirming with parents that kids are properly immunized, and having parents keep sick kids at home to prevent spreading illnesses. Many daycares also have stringent sign-in and sign-out procedures to make sure they know who is picking up (and dropping off) your child.
- Adequate supervision of the children – having an appropriate staff-to-child ratio (1:3 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers, and 1:9 for preschool-aged children).
- A regular training plan in place for health and safety issues, including pediatric CPR and having first-aid certified staff present at all times, and that procedures are in place for handling medications and dosages carefully and accurately.
- Making sure all poisons, drugs, and medications, as well as all toxic substances are safely removed from children’s reach.
- Ensuring all toys and playground products are safe (and regularly cleaned) and age-appropriate.
What is the difference between a licensed vs. an accredited daycare provider?
Licensed means the daycare program meets the minimum licensing standards that are set forth by the state – and licensing laws vary state-to-state. Accredited means the program meets the standards set forth by national groups like the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) or the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Usually the standards set forth by accreditation are higher than state-licensing regulations.