Frequently Asked Questions

What is Adult Day Care?

Adult day care offers a safe and nurturing environment for adults during daytime hours to participate in a variety of planned programs including social activities, nutritional, nursing and rehabilitation services. It is a wonderful resource for working children who need a place for mom or dad to enjoy during the day.

What is Independent Living?

This is a perfect setting for individuals who do not require personal or medical care but choose not to live alone or at home. Most facilities are equipped with standard safety features to make it easier for residents to get around. It is a wonderful place for seniors to be with others that share similar interests. Many recreational activities are planned by the community, including day field trips, shopping excursions and on-premise projects. Most facilities offer optional meal plans for residents and the majority of apartments are equipped with a kitchen so the resident can prepare their own meals. Usually there is wellness programs integrated into these communities, and with care options being provided by contracted Home Health Care agencies.

What is Assisted Living?

This is a residential care option for individuals who typically can no longer live independently and may need varying degrees of assistance. Service is provided and coordinated to meet resident’s individualized needs in ways that promote their independence and reflect their personal choices. Assisted Living Facilities are regulated by the State in which they are located, so terminology, regulations, and expectations may differ.

What is Memory Care?

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities may offer specialized care to residents who suffer from memory impairing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This care could range from specially trained staff and a memory care program to fully secured and dedicated Alzheimer’s Care Unit. What a facility is qualified to offer and provide is also regulated by the State the facility is located in.

Recent Study

Older adults living with dementia who move into memory care units in assisted living communities are less likely to experience a skilled nursing facility or a hospital stay than their peers who move into a general assisted living setting, a national study has found.

Investigators analyzed data from Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias living in large assisted living communities. Within 180 days of admission to assisted living, memory care residents were much less likely to be transferred to a nursing home, especially for long-term stays of 90 days or more. The odds of acute-care transfers were also slightly reduced.

The results suggest that memory care may be best equipped to handle the needs of residents with dementia when compared with the general assisted living setting, wrote study lead Portia Cornell, Ph.D., of Brown University. Memory care operations may offer relatively high staffing levels, more advanced staff training and supervision, and thoughtful building design to accommodate residents who experience disorientation or who are prone to wandering, she and her colleagues theorized.

The overall effect of these care advantages is to help slow the progression of dementia symptoms that can result in the need for long-term skilled nursing care and help prevent acute events that lead to hospitalization, the researchers added.

In addition, memory care screening procedures may prompt operators to have more sufficient care plans in place, they wrote. A finely tailored screening process also may result in denied admissions to the unit when it is determined that symptoms cannot be managed safely by the staff. This, in turn, may reduce the number of residents who inevitably would require another level of care, such as a long nursing home stay, Cornell and colleagues noted.

Within the assisted living setting, the study results “support the notion that memory care communities are better able to cope with behaviors associated with dementia and support the well-being of their residents,” they concluded.

Full findings were published online Jan. 3 in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Veteran long-term care policy expert David Grawbowski, Ph.D., of Harvard, also contributed to the study.

How is Assisted Living paid for?

Predominately, private pay is how most Assisted Living fees are paid. The VA or the Veterans Administration offers some help for eligible veterans thru their Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits program. You can visit the VA website for more information on these benefits and who can qualify. Another payment option is long term care insurance policies. They can reimburse residents and their families for some costs associated with assisted living. There is also Medicaid, but coverage, qualifications and availability will vary from state to state.

How do Veteran’s Benefits work?

You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a:

  • Veteran, Veteran’s dependent
  • Surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased Veteran
  • Uniformed service member
  • Present or former reservist or National Guard member

Your eligibility for assisted living financial support will be based on clinical need and setting availability. Your VA Case manager can assist with eligibility determination.

Is any of the money I pay for care tax deductible?

If you pay for assisted living care out of your pocket, you should consult with your local IRS office or accountant. You may qualify for a tax deduction.

Is a Reverse Mortgage a viable option to help pay for my care?

Yes, it allows a homeowner to convert some of the equity in his or her home to cash. This money may be used to pay for Assisted Living services. Generally, to qualify for a reverse mortgage, one of the borrowers must be living in the home. Therefore, this may be an option for couples, if one spouse remains at home. Consult an attorney before pursuing this option. You can also visit the National Center for Home Equity Conversions website for more information.

Additional Resources