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    Old 12-13-2005, 04:02 PM   #1
    seekingnormal05
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    Assisted Living - Question for those in the US

    Does anyone here, who lives in the US, have the experience where assisted living is affordable? I am in Ohio (now) and assisted living runs from $3500 a month and up. The $3500 assumes they need no support...which I find an interesting basis for the starting price of 'assisted living'.

    Daily dosing of meds, for my Mom, added about $1500 a month. They would not apply (and I checked with 11 different facilities) any insurance on the prescription meds. You just paid full price. The pharmacies have to package them in the daily doses, not in a 30 day supply. So the pharmacy will not accept the insurance. The 'assisted living' part then is to take that one day's dose to my Mom. Of that $1500, about $675 was the cost of the actual meds so it seemed to me adding about $800 a month to hand my Mom a strip of pills seemed excessive. (She is fine about taking the meds, doesn't have to be watched while she swallows, just can't dose them out to herself anymore.) Even the "non-profit" religious based one, which was about a 70 minute drive was $4200 a month total.

    Anyway, I've seen multiple posts here where assisted living is suggested. I so envy those who can afford $60,000 a year for this service but we can't....unless I get a guarantee my Mom will die at the end of 6 months. (Sorry, morbid humor.)

    So I got to wondering if it's different in other states? Here they will not accept any medicade or medicare type aide. (Or the fed govt. won't give it ..not sure which.) Are there states where this is not a consideration only for the wealthy or those who have a home to sell and use the proceeds?

    Thanks. Really interested in knowing.

    Seeking

     
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    Old 12-13-2005, 05:13 PM   #2
    Sandyspen
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    Re: Assisted Living - Question for those in the US

    Hi,
    I don't know about other states, but I'm in Arizona. It's about the same here.

    All that I have called start at $3,000 a month and if Alzhiemers is involved + 1,000.

    Nope, no medicaire or insurance reimbursement.

    A good friend recommended an assited living that her in-laws were using. For them it was less than $2,000 for both of them together. When I called about my mom, nope, that amount didn't apply to dementia or alzhiemers.

    It's really sad.

    In AZ, Medicaire will kick-in on a nursing home when all the money is gone except for $3,000, but not at all for assisted living.
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    Old 12-13-2005, 05:27 PM   #3
    Martha H
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    Re: Assisted Living - Question for those in the US

    Dear Seeking,

    My Mom is in New York, and I am in Indiana. There is no way any of us could have afforded 'assisted living' in either state, the prices here are like those in Ohio, in NY even higher. And, as you said, the 'assistance' is not a whole lot!

    There are apartments one can rent here within a nursing home type of complex .. there you can see your own doctor and use your own medical or drug insurance e.g you are not a resident of a facility, you just 'buy' the apartment. The catch is, you spend as much to 'buy' it as a small house costs, but when you die or have to be moved to a nursing home, the apartment goes back to the agency and they sell it again to the next person, and again, and again. Oh one more thing - you still pay a monthly maintenace fee which is as much as the rent I pay for a nice 2 bedroom apartment!! Oh yes, they do have a bell pull in the bathroom so you can summon a nurse, and they also have a dining room where you can eat if you don't feel like cooking. For $, of course. Aso lots of activities, like in any free Senior center!

    I hear that people who owned a nice sized home can sell it and 'buy in' and then live happily ever after in these senior communities on the profits from that sale. But for the average Joe or Jane like me - forget it. The only assistance we will ever get is from our kids or siblings.

    My Mom wound up in a nursing home, on Long Island, but only after 5 years of eldercare on my part and 3 months on my brother's part, and only after she broke a hip. Medicare paid for her hospital stay of 4 days, and nursing home care as long as she was in Rehab. After 2 months they decided she was not 'meeting her goals' (actually THEIR goals) and Medicare stopped paying for her room and board. The monthly fee of over $11 000 is now being paid out of Mom's life savings, until she gets that down to $1,500. THEN if she's lucky, Medicaid will take her in. Prepaying for her funeral, and paying the lawyer who gave us the information, already wiped out most of her money.

    It is a sad sad system. The medical care here is GREAT! If you stay well and never need any long term care.

    OH - and long term care insurance? Ho ho ho! It costs per month the exact same amount I get from Social Security! GREAT .. I can have long term care when I get old and sick, as long as I neither eat nor pay rent here and now.

    Young folks: save save save ... you will have to pay your own way later on, unless something in the system radically changes!!

    Bitterly (?)

    Martha

     
    Old 12-13-2005, 07:15 PM   #4
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    Re: Assisted Living - Question for those in the US

    Hi -

    The costs I know about were in 2002 when my mother was moved to an assisted living facility in VA. The apartment cost at that time was about $1500/month + the additional care she needed (medication delivery and laundry weekly + supplies:gloves and adult diapers) added almost $300/mo to the charges. Mom's insurance from my father's pension coverage did cover her unit dose medicines after I called and raised polite cain. Her Rx was $2 co-pay when she could pick the meds up herself and I asked why that was still not the case since she had AD and could no longer handle her own meds. That's when her insurance began covering her for unit dose.

    When Mom went to a locked AD unit, it was a bit more expensive, but not by much. Her bills never came to $3000/mo. Insurance covered only medicines and the medical portion of her care, never housing. When she forgot how to walk and no longer needed to be in the locked unit, the cost was slightly reduced.

    It's amazing and fringhtening what the insurance companies can get out of paying. Shameful and unethical, too.

    Barbara

     
    Old 12-13-2005, 09:50 PM   #5
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Assisted Living - Question for those in the US

    Hi Seeking,

    I need to just say one thing about the medicine dispensing. They dispense the medicine, every time, all day long, the medicines they need at the hour they need them. If they are able to walk, they come to a window to get their meds. And at other times their meds are taken to their rooms. If they are not ambulatory, they go and give them to them, all times of the day. That and making sure they are for the right person and the right drugs, is part of the reason it costs more. Of course, there is always the question of where does the rest of the money go!!!

    In Texas, the different levels of care/homes run from $2500. to about $5,000. which would include everything on the top level. In the assisted living/alzheimers living places, they will only take you if you can pay. Then, most of these type places, make you move to a Nursing Home (which, here is basically like a hospital with recreation/tv/eating rooms). The nursing home will use up the rest of your $, if you still have any, and then Medicare/Medicaid pays for it.

    The AD patient in any home, will use up all their money, unless they die 1st. Then, the government starts paying! If you have a spouse that is still living, they get to keep their home, 1 car, and a certain amount of $ per month. Not much!

    I keep telling my parents that all their money will be used up by living centers, but I do not think that they really understand.

    The thing is - about long term care insurance - most of it does not pay for alzheimers people/places!!! Maybe they could say that my dad has parkinsons - haha, that is why he would be in a lock down unit!!! :> :< Not really funny...

    I would guess that the best thing to do, for how ever long you/me can stand it, for the AD person to stay at home and have home health care?! I am told that Medicare will pay for some of that. And perhaps the long term care insurance will pay some?

    Take care. What a shame, huh?!

    Love, Wannabe

     
    Old 12-17-2005, 07:14 PM   #6
    needtoescape
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    Re: Assisted Living - Question for those in the US

    Several years ago, my father-in-law was in a small church supported home that had both nursing care and assisted living. Amazingly, the assisted living was only 950/month when he moved there and the price was just a little over a thousand/month a year or so later. (The nursing side was about typical in cost for the area which I think was around $3000/month at that time.) I don't remember any issues over medication - so I'm guessing they billed medicare, etc. It was a wonderful place. He had a private room with private bath. The room had enough space for a small kitchen table, bed, bedside table, recliner, end table beside the recliner, TV stand, bookcase, and there was a built in closet with drawers. It was perfect. He got 3 meals a day (included in the price). They gave him his meds. His room was cleaned once/week and his laundry was done once/week. I wanted to move in at that price! Sadly I ran into the administrator a few years after he had died and he told me that were stopping the assisted living and converting that wing to nursing care. I'm sure it was a financial decision. Before finding this place, we had checked into some other assisted living locally and they were much higher. I think we found the "exception" and were very blessed because his retirement covered his costs and he was very happy there.

    His heart problems were the cause of his death. His Alzheimers was not very advanced so he was fine in assisted living.

    Sometimes there are "mini-homes" (basically a typical house where someone has decided to provide care for a limited number of residents) with more reasonable prices.

    Good luck.

     
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