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Considerate, private, respectful personal aged care

Seniors who have debilitating medical conditions or who are simply aging may start to feel the strain and lack of safety living in a private residence without help. Family members, caregivers, or friends may begin to voice their concerns about the senior continuing to live on their own too.

When this occurs, questions arise regarding alternative living situations such as assisted living. How do seniors and their loved ones know that it’s time? How do they select the right place for the senior to live where they will continue to thrive?

In the following article, we are covering some frequently asked questions about assisted living and providing seniors and their loved ones with the latest information and updates to best help with their decision process.

About Assisted Living

Assisted living is a form of housing for individuals who require daily personal and medical care. This often includes elderly residents or residents with specific medical conditions that prevent them from safely and independently living in their own home.

Housing comes in the form of single or shared apartments with a bedroom, living room area, kitchen, and bathroom. Patients are allowed to come and go as they please like they would if they were living at home, but have additional services available for their unique needs.

Prospective residents may transition to assisted living from multiple locations, including skilled nursing facilities, transitional care units, independent living , retirement communities, hospitals, or even private residences.

No matter where the individual comes from, the admissions process is the same. The prospective resident and/or family members or caregivers fill out admissions paperwork. Facilities may require an interview, a medical history, and a physical which can be obtained from a primary physician.

The admissions process may also include a needed assessment to determine if the prospective resident would be a good fit for the facility. Once the resident has been accepted, they can begin filling out contract paperwork. Depending on the state you reside in and the population, there may be waitlists that you’ll be placed on before getting into the facility.

The overall cost of assisted living varies depending on the company, the state, and how long the resident plans to live at the facility. In the United States, the average cost of assisted living is approximately $4,300/month. Assisted living facilities with luxury amenities will cost more than facilities located in low-income areas and less available amenities.

Many people are surprised when they learn that assisted living is not typically covered by Medicare insurance. There are also many individuals and families who cannot afford to pay the monthly fees completely out-of-pocket for several years to come.

To alleviate the financial pressure, assisted living facilities will often accept any of the following with specific considerations:

  • Reverse mortgage: taken against your home to liquidate assets.
  • Medicaid: check with your specific state to see what is offered and what can be covered. Medicaid does not typically cover 100% of assisted living facility fees.
  • Veteran’s benefits: using financial VA benefits to cover monthly fees.
  • Long-term care insurance (LTCI): review specific benefits and limitations to your policy.
  • Life insurance: cashing out your life insurance to pay monthly fees.

There are other ways for residents to pay for their stay, including liquidating specific assets that may not be listed above. Prospective residents can consult with facility staff to discuss payment options and payment structures that are accepted.

Assisted living provides a wide variety of certified, professional care including:

  • 24-hour emergency care
  • Nursing and physician care
  • Social services
  • Daily meals as needed
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Recreational services
  • Rehabilitative services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy) as needed
  • ADL (activities of daily living) assistance including bathing, dressing, and hygiene as needed
  • Medication monitoring and management

Residents require a wide variety of care and may not need all of the available services provided by the facility. However, as each resident ages and their health status changes, those services are in place in the event they come to rely on them in the near future.

Leisurely services and amenities highly depend on the facility, the assisted living company, and the location. Luxury assisted living facilities could include tennis courts, a pool, or a spa to name a few. Each facility tries to incorporate a fair amount of social and leisurely activities available to the residents. This include:

  • Weekly game nights
  • Community outings
  • Singing time or performances
  • Religious services
  • Recreational therapy and exercise groups
  • Reading groups

Although nursing and personal support services are available 24/7, many residents can enjoy a hands-off approach and carry out their day in whatever structure they feel benefits them. Depending on the resident’s needs, personal support staff such as CNAs can be made available to help with basic living needs and mobility. Nutritional and cooking staff are available to provide in-dining meals everyday. Some patients can also have access to volunteer staff who come in and provide recreational or leisurely activities for the residents on a weekly basis.

Many assisted living facilities encourage residents to bring their own personal belongings since it’s an alternative residence and each room should be highly personalized. However, many residents may have to downsize since they could be moving from larger homes to smaller apartments. Many assisted living apartments come completely furnished so they may not need or fit in large furniture. Each resident should also consult with assisted living staff to determine what items are prohibited.

Assisted living is an alternative living option for men and women who can no longer live safely in their private or current homes. Assisted living usually caters to aging adults who’s health have deteriorated to the point where they require a certain level of daily and personal medical care, but can still move about freely and conduct most of their self-care independently. Here’s an example:

Cedric is an 81 year old man who lost his wife to cancer last year. He has been living on his own in a multi-level home. He rarely socialized with others in his community. His daughter is concerned about his safety. His vision has deteriorated to the point where he is unable to safely make his own meals in the kitchen, and he’s fallen several times in the last 6 months. He has type 2 diabetes and struggles with administering his own medication due to poor vision and fine motor coordination. However, the patient can complete basic tasks like showering, dressing, hygiene, and toileting without help. Cedric and his daughter start to research assistive living possibilities.

It’s a very personal decision to leave a private residence and transition to assisted living. Family members and seniors can also consult with medical professionals for further advice to see if assistive living is right for them.

Transitioning to an assisted living facility is a major life decision that should not be taken lightly. Seniors and family members should come prepared with many questions when selecting a facility, including:

  • What is the food like at this facility?
  • Is the facility licensed?
  • What are the reviews like for this facility?
  • Can I cook my own meals?
  • What is the staff per resident ratio?
  • What is security like on the premises?
  • What is the visitation policy?
  • What is the payment structure like for monthly fees?
  • How do I pay for additional services, like nursing, if
  • my health status changes?
  • What amenities and social activities are available at the facility?
  • Will my monthly fees change over time?
  • What is transportation like?
  • What medical services are available?
  • Are their rehabilitative services and how do I access them?
  • Will staff provide assistance for ADLs in my room if I need it?
  • What if my health declines and I have to go to the hospital or transitional care?
  • What do I do to terminate my contract if needed?
    Is there a refund policy?

Transitioning from home to assisted living can be an intimidating step, especially for seniors and their family members who are new to the whole process. Consult with your primary physician or other trusted medical professional to see if assisted living may be right for you at this time. Talk to friends and loved ones who have experience with assisted living and gather opinions and facts to make a better informed decision.

Consider your current financial situation and how to wisely manage your monthly fees for many years to come. Assisted living can be overwhelming to think about, but can also be a wonderful experience for seniors who wish to continue to thrive in a safe living environment.

Words From Our Clients

Ron Ziebell
Ron Ziebell
November 1, 2021.
Second home did a great job of searching for several months for me. My mom‘s budget was pretty low but they searched and searched and finally found her a place although it was quite a ways outside of our area we were still very happy we found a place for her. Although it didn’t work out my brother and I increased her budget and I needed a new place in a hurry and second home found a place in Long Beach close to us that lowered their rates to meet our new budget. We are extremely happy with the new assistant living place she’s at with the memory care unit she needed desperately. Thank you guys for all your hard work! Ron Ziebell
Mike Grant
Mike Grant
August 12, 2021.
Second Home helped me with Alzheimer's care placement of my Father who just couldn't live safely at home with my Mother. Speaking with Erika put my mind at ease at making this tough decision as I never thought I would need to move my Father to a facility. She compared herself to a real estate agent, but for seniors, which is completely true! She guided me on different options and rates and even set me up with tours the very next day. I was always in the loop and she checked in with me each day to see how things were going/if I had any questions. Highly recommend Second Home!
Linda Koire
Linda Koire
August 1, 2021.
Second Home is and has been the most reliable business I have ever worked with. I got acquainted with them several years ago when I was searching for an assisted living facility for my brother. The compassion they showed, the knowledge they had of the industry was overwhelming. That was approximately ten years ago and my brother resides at the facility they recommended to this day. Just two weeks ago my 93 year old mother needed to be relocated as her condition worsened. I reached out to Second Home again, (??) in hopes they could help. Once again, in a matter of a few days Mike was able to locate the perfect place for Mom considering her current condition and my issue was solved! ♥️ Thank u, thank u to all the wonderful caring team at Second Home! Sincerely, Linda Koire Ojai, CA.
Neal Kerr
Neal Kerr
May 22, 2021.
I just want to say thank you to mike and his team for helping my family get my grandmother into an amazing home. We appreciate you all so much.
Heather Cohen
Heather Cohen
April 17, 2021.
This is the go-to resource for your senior loved ones housing. The company is professional and reliable. They develop a relationship with their clients that allows them to understand your needs and what your looking for in your budget! I was so happy I went with Second Home!
Amanda Joy Gilbert
Amanda Joy Gilbert
April 17, 2021.
I am so grateful for Second Homes! I am so stressed out with circumstances and they were so helpful. They had showed me so many resources and helped guide me to what would work beat for our family. My grandmother is now in a beautiful place. Thank you again Second Homes Seniors!
Linda Flores
Linda Flores
November 16, 2020.
I started looking for a care home for my mom on my own in the Torrance are of California. It was quite daunting since there is no comprehensive lists of care homes anywhere. A friend happened to provide me Justin's number so I called him, not really realizing what he did. Second Home has listings of care homes and can help you find the right one. This was a real godsend to me. I gave him mom's history, my price range and I had a list of 8 homes to contact within 24 hours. Plus I got other emails directly from other care homes. We interviewed 6, went to 4 and we then finalized our pick. Mom has been in her new home now for 2 weeks and is starting to thrive. Coming from a nursing home environment that treated her like a number, she is now in a home with only a few other residents and getting lots of attention. She lost 20 pounds at the nursing home. Now that she is in a real home that cooks homemade meals, her appetite has come back and she is looking and doing great and is positive about the future. This was the best thing we ever did for her and I could not have done it without Second Home. I am forever grateful for their help finding a wonderful home for my mother.
pearl laraneta
pearl laraneta
November 12, 2019.
First of all Justin Acuna is the best! My father is currently living with us, he is 88 years old! Justin calls me every couple of months to check in on us! I feel relieved and secure should anything change I can call Justin and he will help place my father into a wonderful, loving home. Thank for being there!
luz romero
luz romero
October 25, 2019.
Justin and the Second Home team were so supportive in assisting with finding the most suitable home for my mother. They were in constant contact with us during the home visits and selection process. Their compassion and professionalism is very much appreciated.
michelle wentz
michelle wentz
January 14, 2018.
Very helpful navigating a very difficult time. Our questions were answered honestly and thoroughly and with compassion and understanding. Defiantly recommend them for a great source of wealth and information.