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Senior Living Options and Costs

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When your elderly loved one can no longer care for him or herself, you may have more options than you realize. There are many ways to balance your loved one’s independence with the care they need to find a solution that everyone will be happy with. Here are the 3 main options for elderly care.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are designed for seniors who still wish to retain some independence and don’t need constant supervision. These facilities vary as far as what they offer, so be sure to ask detailed questions about what services will be provided. Many facilities offer assistance with housework, and the staff may be able to drive patients to errands or doctors’ appointments. They should also have staff members who can check on patients from time to time. This is typically the most affordable senior care option, with the national average at about $3,500 per month.

Nursing Home

A nursing home provides much more care and supervision than an assisted living facility. The staff is also responsible for making sure medications are administered correctly. Because of this, it’s naturally more expensive, at about $6,000 per month. However, it’s ideal for elderly patients who have limited mobility or suffer from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Home Care

Another option for senior care is to hire an at-home aide or aides. This choice is good for seniors who want to remain in the comfort of their homes, or those who only need a little light help with chores or physical therapy. The cost for at-home care varies widely depending on the services required. Home care aides charge on average around $20 per hour, although they often have daily, weekly, or monthly rates.


3 Things to Look for in a Nursing Home

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If your loved one needs nursing home care, choosing the right place can be intimidating. How do you know if you’re making the right decision? Follow this guide to make sure you choose a safe, high-quality nursing home for the care of your loved one.


Safety is the most important factor to look for when choosing a nursing home. Make sure the facility you’re considering has an adequate nursing staff to cover the needs of all the residents, without getting overworked or overstressed. Since the nurses will oversee everything from medication to making sure your loved one gets enough of the right food to eat, it’s essential they have complete focus.


Be sure to visit the prospective facilities in person and get a feel for cleanliness. Visit the rooms, kitchen, and all common areas to make sure they look and feel clean. If it doesn’t look clean or well taken care of, this could lead to health and safety issues, which is the last thing you should be worrying about.


Since your loved one will now be spending all their time at the nursing home you choose, it’s essential they feel completely comfortable with the staff and the surroundings. Ask about the social activities and typical routine to see if the lifestyle fits what you’re looking for.


What Kind of Food Is Available in Nursing Facilities?

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Most nursing homes usually offer at least 3 meals a day to their residents. The upside is that our nursing home residents don’t have to cook or clean, but it may make you wonder if the food is delicious, or at least palatable. Fortunately, the food served in our facilities is not only satisfying, you can also count on special requests being met.

Special Requests Are Met

Many nursing home residents have special dietary needs. For example, some may not be able to tolerate dairy, gluten, or nuts. These needs can be difficult to meet when you’re preparing meals for one person, but in a bigger facility, it’s not a problem. It’s a good idea to talk to our staff about your special dietary needs to ensure that we can accommodate them.

Meals Can Be Served Privately

Sometimes our residents prefer to eat in the privacy of their own rooms, whether that’s because they’re feeling a little under the weather or want to enjoy the company of a close friend. A good nursing home offers its residents the ability to dine in the dining room or wherever they feel most comfortable.

Holidays Are Special

One thing that you should pay attention to is what type of food is served on holidays. Just because our residents are in a nursing home doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. And whether it’s a holiday or not, our nursing home food always includes nutritious and delicious menu items.

Tips for Touring Assisted Living Communities

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If you or a loved one is considering moving to an assisted living community, then you ought to know that they come at a very wide range of price points. Each one has specific benefits and amenities available, so it’s important to go through and tour a few before selecting one. Here are some key tips for finding the best assisted living center for your situation.

Check Out How Clean It Is

If you walk in and the facility feels and smells old and musty, you might want to look elsewhere. Don’t only look at the furnishings, but check out the baseboards, corners, and windows. Ask them how often housekeeping is done in each resident’s living space.

Go During an Activity

Try to schedule your tour during a time when residents are going to be involved in an activity or event. You might want to consider even participating in some of the activities. See how many attendees there are at the activity and make a note if the staff is involved and enjoying it as well.

Make Sure You Feel at Home

When you’re taking a tour of a facility, think about whether you’ll be able to feel totally at home there. Are there stringent visiting hours or security check-ins? Are the living spaces more like those you’d find in an apartment or are they hospital-like? An assisted living community is above all a home and a community, so it should feel as comfortable and homey as possible.


Is There Privacy for Loved Ones in a Nursing Home?

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Nursing homes can be busy places with lots of patients, so you may wonder how much privacy your loved one can hope for. Before you spend too much time worrying, you should know that all our residents’ privacy and confidentiality is protected by law.


We have personal and clinical records of your loved one that we are required to keep confidential. This includes information about their accommodations, medical treatments, written or phone communications, visits, meetings with family members or resident groups, and their personal care. Our patients retain the right to refuse the release of this information outside of the nursing home.


How much privacy your loved one has depends partially on their ability to care for themselves. For example, our patients who need help with every daily task are cared for throughout the day by our nursing staff. Our staff members will still announce their presence by knocking on the door or greeting them. When we care for our residents, we make sure that their privacy is being respected. For example, we always keep the door closed when we help them with personal care tasks.

If you’re concerned about privacy for your loved one, we recommend visiting them regularly, at varying times of day, and talking to them about their care. Our staff is also happy to answer any questions you have about your loved one.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Nursing Home

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There’s no one right answer for when it’s time to transition to a nursing home. Some seniors make the move in their 50s or 60s, while others continue to live on their own until their 80s or 90s. Sometimes your elderly loved one may decide it’s time for a nursing home on his or her own, while other times it’s left up to family members to make that decision. Here are some ways to know it might be time to move your loved one into a nursing home.

Physical Signs

As your loved one grows older, is he or she falling more often? Have there been more hospital visits or even surgeries to repair cracked hips or knees? Look for signs of overall weakness as well. Do they have a hard time doing even basic chores? Do they tend to lay in bed all day and have a hard time getting up on their own? These are signs that your loved one may need more supervision and possibly someone to help with basic tasks like changing their clothes or taking a shower.

Mental Signs

Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other similar conditions are becoming increasingly common in the United States, and the risk goes up the older you get. If your loved one is frequently confused, gets lost, or has a hard time remembering things, it’s in their best interests to move them into a nursing home. 24-hour supervision will ensure that they’ll be as safe as possible.


What Are Nursing Home Costs and How Are They Determined?

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At some point, most people will eventually need extra care as they grow older. Nursing homes are one option that give seniors the supervision and company they need, and surveys show that around 40% of people will use nursing homes at some point during their life. Here’s what you need to know about the costs involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Social and Active: Assisted Living Activities

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For seniors who can no longer live on their own, there are plenty of ways they can continue to be active after making a move to an assisted living facility. Many seniors enjoy being active and independent long after retirement, which is why assisted living facilities are offering more and more activities that residents can take advantage of. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Flags to Look for to Avoid Bad Nursing Homes

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When the time comes to move your loved one into a nursing home, the most important thing is that they find a place where they can be happy and well cared for. Visiting prospective nursing homes in person is the best way to determine whether they’ll be a good fit. Here are 3 red flags to pay attention to during your visit. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Maintain Independence in Old Age

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While you can’t always control the curveballs life throws your way, there are certain steps you can take to make aging a more graceful process. For many aging adults, maintaining their independence is a major priority, so read on for tips and suggestions that can help along the way. Read the rest of this entry »