5 things to know about assisted living
Choosing an assisted living facility for your older adult is difficult and confusing. Out of all the factors to consider, there are some things you really need to know before signing those contracts.
We got the scoop from an insightful article by the New York Post. It’s from last year, but the information is still spot on. In the article, they cover 10 things that communities won’t tell you.
Don’t get blindsided, take a look at these 5 things you absolutely must be aware of before choosing an assisted living community.
1. There are no doctors on site
- Assisted living facilities don’t have doctors on staff. Some may have registered nurses, but it’s not common.
- Nursing homes usually have a medical director who supervises the nursing staff, but the doctor is on call only, not at the location.
2. Prices go up and fees get tacked on
- Prepare for base rents to increase yearly due to inflation.
- Many facilities have extra fees or services priced a la carte. This could mean extra charges for medication management, meal delivery for those who don’t visit the dining hall, or for local transportation.
- Read contracts carefully, ask for details on what to expect in the future, and always ask if there are any other fees that they haven’t already told you about.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate! You might be able to get some price breaks if you ask.
3. You could be on the hook for the bills
- Adult children may sign the facility’s contracts on behalf of their parent, but that could mean becoming the guarantor — the person responsible for making payments (or being sent to a collection agency!) if the parent runs out of money.
- To prevent this, sign the older adult’s name as the responsible party on the contract and add “by [name of agent] acting as power of attorney” and the date (advice from Bradley J. Frigon, elder law attorney and past president of NAELA).
4. Seniors can get kicked out anytime
- Facilities have a lot of say over who is allowed to live there. They can ask residents to leave by saying “we can no longer meet your needs.”
- Check contracts to understand the conditions under which people could be asked to leave. Common reasons are behavioral issues or care needs that exceed the facility’s capabilities.
5. They have to take Medicaid, but don’t like to
- Not all facilities accept Medicaid, but if they do, they can’t turn people down because they’re using Medicaid.
- FYI, facilities get less money from Medicaid than from residents who pay out-of-pocket.
- Facilities usually only have a certain number of beds allocated to those paying with Medicaid, so they may say that there are no Medicaid beds available.
- When an existing resident gives advance warning that they’ll be Medicaid-eligible in 3 months, that makes it harder for the facility to use the excuse of not having a Medicaid space ready for them.
You might also like:
— This Checklist Helps You Choose the Right Senior Living Facility
— 4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living
— It Can Happen: Seniors Getting Kicked Out of Assisted Living
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff