• Mary Sizemore

Spotlight: Assisted Living

What is an Assisted Living Facility?

Assisted living communities typically serve individuals who need help with everyday activities of daily living. They also offer some healthcare services but typically not 24-hour skilled nursing services for an extended length of time.

Who Are the Residents in an Assisted Living Facility?

There are nearly 900,000 Assisted Living Facility residents in the United States. 71% of the residents are Female, while 29% of residents are Male. 82% of residents are age 75 and older.

What Type of Care is Provided in an Assisted Living Facility?

The typical services provided in an Assisted Living Facility include housekeeping and maintenance, assistance with managing medication, meals and dining options, and transportation. They also support residents with their personal care related to their activities of daily living.

Personal Care related to ADLs

· 64% of residents require assistance with bathing

· 57% of residents require assistance with walking

· 48% of residents require assistance with dressing

· 40% of residents require assistance with toileting

· 29% of residents require assistance with transferring

· 19% of residents require assistance with eating

When we look at why care recipients are entering an assisted living facility, many start with care at home provided by family members or friends. Oftentimes, the caregivers burn out or the level of care becomes too high for these informal caregivers to continue to provide the care at home.

How Much Does an Assisted Living Facility Cost?

The national average cost of an Assisted Living Facility is $4,800/month, and the average length of stay is 22 months. There is very little help from government resources to assist in paying for Assisted Living Facilities. Medicare does not cover Assisted Living Facilities, and while Medicaid pays about 17% (of total residents) for personal services, it does not cover room and board costs. Only about 50% of Assisted Living Facilities are Medicaid certified. Most residents use some form of private funds to pay for care.

Where Does Long-Term Care Insurance Fit in?

Long-term care insurance policies are comprehensive. This means they offer benefit dollars to pay for care at home or in a facility, such as Assisted Living. Recent data shows that approximately 20% of all long-term care insurance claims are used for Assisted Living Facility stays. The average amount paid for a long-term care insurance claim in an Assisted Living Facility is approximately $100,000.

Additionally, 62% of residents are discharged to a skilled nursing facility from the Assisted Living Facility. The national average cost for a skilled nursing facility is between $7,000 and $9,000 per month (semi-private vs. private room). A long-term care insurance policy would provide benefit dollars in a skilled nursing facility as well.

With limited resources available from the government, residents are often forced to rely on their own savings or their long-term care insurance policies to pay for their room and board. Raising awareness with your clients on the continuum of care, the costs involved with an Assisted Living Facility, and the limited resources available through government channels can give them another reason to consider long-term care insurance.

For more information on the policies available in your state, please contact a member of our team at 1-800-945-1953.

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