When it comes to taking care of family, you want to do what’s best. For elderly parents or family members with disabilities, you may have to consider what options are available when it comes to nursing facilities. Some people cannot live independently and need the care and attention offered at a skilled nursing facility (nursing home). Others may be fine living in a private residence with a few modifications. There are also assisted living facilities and adult facility care homes to consider. What are the differences between these types of nursing facilities? Long-term care expert Antony Turbeville wants you to consider the following information as you plan.
Exploring Nursing Facilities
When evaluating your options, it’s important to understand the difference between various nursing facilities:
- Skilled Nursing Facility: A SNF is a nursing home that offers facilities that are more like a hospital. Residents usually need 24-hour medical care and supervision. Medicaid will pay for the monthly room and board fees of a particular SNF, minus the monthly patient responsibility the patient must pay. Each patient’s responsibility is different, and may sometimes even be $0, depending on a number of variables.
- Assisted Living Facility: Sometimes called an assisted living residence, an ALF is designed for those with disabilities, which are often the elderly. An ALF helps its residents with daily living activities such as bathing/showering, personal hygiene, dressing, toilet hygiene, mobility, and self-feeding. ALFs tend to be more like apartment communities with private or semi-private units. Unlike with SNFs, Medicaid is contracted with each ALF for a particular amount that Medicaid will pay monthly, and the patient is responsible for the remainder of the bill.
- Adult Facility Care Homes: An AFCH can either be a smaller house-like residence or a larger facility. Many AFCHs provide space and assisted living support for as few as six people.
While these facilities have some similarities, they offer varying levels of independence. ALFs and AFCHs appeal to many because they give some semblance of independence.
Finding a Place To Live
Antony Turbeville would advise you that finding the right ALF or AFCH is not about you or a loved one’s personal preference. Generally, a registered medical professional has to make an assessment of the future resident’s needs and what tasks require assistance. A professional will evaluate several tasks such as money management, food preparation, or medication administration. This evaluation also includes assessing a resident’s ability to complete the aforementioned daily living activities. As a family member, you can usually provide input that will also be considered in the evaluation. In fact, Antony recommends that the patient not participate in the interview at all. Rather, he recommends that a loved one completes the interview for the patient, as a loved one will be able to complete the interview accurately, and without any of the pride that may prevent a patient from answering accurately.
Counting the Costs
The cost of an assisted living facility is mostly based on the type of accommodation and the level of assistance provided. You can expect a facility with private accommodations to be more expensive. A facility will be licensed to offer a particular level of care. Extended care tends to be more expensive. There may also be additional charges for specialized care such as nursing, special diets, and pets, among others. Many places often require an initial deposit that can range from $2,200 to over $6,000. Sources of funding include private payment (by you, the resident, or other individuals), Veterans benefits (where applicable), Long Term Care insurance policies, and Medicaid.
Choosing the Right Facility
Antony Turbeville urges caution when choosing a facility. There are various placement agencies that will offer their services for free. Many of these organizations have contractual agreements with facilities and don’t factor in your loved one’s needs. Mr. Turbeville recommends that the family do a careful evaluation of any facilities recommended by such services.