Dallas and Waxahachie Senior Housing Options
Finding housing for an aging parent can be a daunting task. It is easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by all the different types of housing options available.
Before beginning your search, it is important to determine your parent’s needs and whether services such as meals, housekeeping, personal services, transportation, or medical care are necessary. Next, you need to determine how much your parent can afford each month and for how long.
Our experienced elder law attorneys can help you identify and select the most suitable senior housing option for your parent. Importantly, until you understand how long-term care and public benefits interact, it is unlikely that you will make a cost-effective long-term housing decision.
Below is a brief synopsis of some of the more common types of senior housing options available:
Independent Living Communities
Independent Living Communities, often referred to as Retirement Communities, Congregate Living or Senior Apartments, cater to seniors who are very independent and who wish to participate in recreational, social and wellness activities with other seniors. Residents do not need a lot of help with activities for daily living (such as helping with getting dressed, bathing, transferring in and out of bed, and toileting). Residents often live in separate apartments. These communities are designed for active seniors who desire the security and convenience of community living but want to maintain their independence. Medical care is not provided, and if needed, residents will have to look outside the community.
Some Independent Living Communities have senior age-requirements (usually age 55 and older). Residents typically pay privately for independent living, the cost of which is generally dependent upon the local market. However, some senior apartments are subsidized and accept Section 8 vouchers. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover payment because health care is not provided.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted Living Facilities are designed for seniors who cannot live on their own safely but do not require the high level of care that a nursing home provides. These facilities aim to foster as much independence and freedom to the resident as possible in a private setting. Assisted Living Facilities are a middle ground between independent living and nursing homes. Most facilities offer 24-hour supervision and an array of support services. Licensed nursing services are often provided. Assistance with medications, activities of daily living and housekeeping are routinely provided. Meals are provided in a main dining room. Social activities, laundry, transportation and other amenities are also often included.
Although they offer limited nursing care, Assisted Living Facilities are not considered medical facilities. These facilities do not accept Medicare as payment. They will, however, accept long-term care insurance. For veterans and their surviving spouse, VA Aid and Attendance benefits can offer significant financial assistance. Some Assisted Living Facilities accept Community Based Alternative (CBA) payment, which is funded through Medicaid. While this option is attractive to many, due to chronic underfunding in Texas, it is common for applicants to be wait-listed for 2 years or longer.
Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care for seniors who require a high level of medical care and assistance. Many nursing homes provide short-term rehabilitative stays for those recovering from an injury, illness or surgery. Long-term care residents generally have greater care needs and complex medical conditions that required 24 hour skilled nursing services. Nursing home residents receive in-house medical care, rehabilitation, physical, occupational, speech and other types of therapies. Personal care services are also provided along with social services, religious services and recreational activities. Some facilities cater to those with Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, dementia or other special health situations.
Payment options for nursing home care include private pay, Medicare (limited number of days), Medicaid and long term care insurance policies.
Home care allows seniors to remain in their own homes while receiving the assistance they need to help them remain independent. There is a wide range of home care services depending on the needs of the senior. Professionals may visit the home on an agreed upon schedule or live in the home to assure that the senior is safe and his or her needs are met. Home care typically involves providing assistance with activities of daily living, paying bills, making appointments and simply being there to provide companionship and emotional support.
Payment options for home care include private pay, Medicare (limited number of days), Medicaid CBA, long-term care insurance, and VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits.
All of us at The Hale Law Firm are dedicated to helping you select the right senior housing option. We encourage you to contact us today for a free initial consultation. Referrals are available upon request.