Understanding Assisted Living and Health Care Myths & Facts

1) Myth: Assisted Living is the same as a nursing home.

Fact: Assisted living is for those who need some help in their daily lives, but don’t require the medical care provided by a nursing home or other institutional setting. It provides housing and services when it is no longer safe or practical for an older adult to live alone in his or her home. Most assisted living communities offer individualized care on a need basis and have a nurse on call 24 hours a day. Services vary, and usually include bathing, dressing or medication management; nutritious meals, a variety of planned activities, transportation and a comfortable apartment.

“With the help of today’s assisted living communities, older adults are getting the traditional care they need, while maintaining much of their independence and dignity in a place they can call home,” said Roger Thiele, vice president of product line development for Brookdale Senior Living, a leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. “Assisted living communities alleviate the challenge of care from the families, and in turn are making a commitment to enhance the quality of life for today’s older adults.” – Brookdale Senior Living

2) Myth: Senior living communities will be too expensive.

Fact: For today’s seniors, moving to a senior living community is one way they can make the most of their retirement income now.

There are many economic benefits of living in senior communities. These range from free local transportation – which eliminates or minimizes costs for fuel, maintenance/repairs and auto insurance – to eliminating expenses associated with maintaining a single-family residence.

“Senior living communities eliminate such expenses as routine maintenance, lawn care, pest control, snow removal and more,” says Ron Aylor, senior vice president at Brookdale Senior Living, a leading owner and provider of high quality senior living communities. “Homeowner’s insurance, always an expensive companion to home ownership, can also be removed from the monthly budget. This represents a huge savings in Florida, for example, where property insurance has increased dramatically.”

Senior living communities provide residents with fixed monthly costs, which cover local transportation; rental or purchase of an apartment, villa home, or cottage; and two or three meals prepared daily by professional chefs. – Brookdale Senior Living

3. MYTH.

Medicare pays for long term care in a nursing home.

FACT: Medicare is not designed to pay for long-term custodial care. Medicare Part A helps pay for hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, home health care and hospice care. Medicare helps pay for some skilled nursing care costs such as a semi-private room, meals, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services and other services and supplies for a skilled nursing stay after a related three-day inpatient hospital visit. Medicare pays for 100 percent of days 1-20 of a qualifying skilled nursing stay, but there is a co-insurance charge for days 21-100. – HCR-Manorcare

4. MYTH:

There is no out of pocket expense for a Medicare patient in need of skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

FACT: After a hospital stay, a patient can continue care at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, recover in comfort and security and receive Medicare benefits under most circumstances if:

  • The person has been in the hospital for three consecutive days, not counting the day of discharge.
  • The person is transferred to a nursing center for further care of the condition that was treated in the hospital, or other conditions requiring skilled nursing or rehabilitative services.
  • A physician certifies that the patient requires skilled or rehabilitative care after a hospital stay.

If these conditions are met, Medicare will help cover a semi-private room, all meals (including special diets), use of items such as braces, splints and adaptive equipment, medications prescribed by a physician, medical supplies, nursing care and rehabilitation services. Medicare pays for 100 percent of days 1-20 of a qualifying skilled nursing stay, but there is a co-insurance charge for days 21-100. – HCR-Manorcare

5. Myth: I don’t qualify for Medicare’s home health care benefits because I don’t need 24-hour care.

FACT: Actually, Medicare’s home health benefits only apply to those who need part-time nursing care. Therefore, if you’re homebound and need care fewer than 7 days a week or less than 8 hours each day, you may qualify. – Aseracare Home Health

6. Myth: I need hospice care, but I’d have to be admitted to an inpatient facility.

FACT: The Medicare hospice benefit allows you and your family to stay together in the comfort of your home. If the hospice team determines that you need care in an inpatient facility, the team will arrange for your stay. – Aseracare Hospice

7. Myth: Medicare pays for assisted living.

Fact: Medicare does not pay for assisted living. For the most part assisted living is private pay. Individual who have purchased long term care insurance, Veterans and spouses who qualify for Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit and some residents depending on state and financial and health needs may qualify for Medicaid assistance for assisted living facility. – SilverCensus.com

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