|2. Can you clarify the different categories of Senior Housing Options?
When many people think of long-term residential care, they think only of nursing homes. Nursing homes serve a specific area of need, but there are also other types of communities that are not considered nursing homes but that may very well meet your or your loved one's care needs. Generally, there are five basic categories of long-term care residential communities: nursing homes, Alzheimer's care facilities, assisted living communities, independent living communities, and continuing care retirement communities. In addition, Home health care services cover a broad range of services, including skilled nursing and non-skilled companionship provided in your home. The level of care and services, cost, and options for financing your or your loved one's residency varies greatly by category and even within each category.
With respect to the cost of care, communities generally charge a basic monthly fee for room, meals and often some personal care. You may have to pay extra for other services or special medical needs. The basic charge can vary widely from community to community and state to state, depending on what services are included, state requirements and the level of quality of the community. Communities can run the gamut from basic semi-private accommodations to very posh resort hotel type living. Some communities include services like housekeeping and social activities in their basic charge, and some charge extra for such services. You must visit each community you are considering and acquire a firm understanding of what services are offered and how they are paid for. The following descriptions attempt to provide an estimate of the low end of costs you can expect. Given the wide-range of quality and service offered at different communities, there is no average high end that can be stated. You will be able to find a community that provides all of the grandeur, services and amenities you could possibly want.