Long term care is a blanket description for the types of care that elderly or disabled person receive when they can no longer take care of themselves and live independently in the home. Long Term Care comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The number of different options and prices allow people in need of long term care to find the solution that works best for them. Some of the options are:
In-Home Care – In-home care is a great option for those who need care, but would like to remain in the home. The benefits in relation to the other care options is simply that the person may remain in familiar surroundings. The downside is that in-home care does not have a good “bang for the buck” factor. You will receive less care per dollar than other methods, and you will not have access to help on a 24 hour basis. Nevertheless, in certain situations, it is a great solution.
Independent Living – Independent living is usually apartment style living with a little bit of help for the patients. For people who remain pretty independent, but need some help cleaning up or cooking meals, independent living can be a good options. For those who are having difficulty paying for long term care, this can also be a good option since these communities are usually on the cheaper side of the range because they provide less daily medical care than some of the other options.
Assisted Living – Assisted Living comes in many shapes and sizes. We’ll call assisted living apartment style living, with all the meal preparation and cleaning done for the residents. Caregivers can also help residents who are disabled transfer and get to their doctor’s appointments. Assisted Living provide enough care for many people, but certain communities can specialize in specific diagnoses, such as memory care.
Residential Care Homes – Residential care homes are also in the assisted living category. They are renovated single family homes that have been converted to house a few residents at a time, usually between five and ten. These homes come in many different varieties, specialize in a number of different diagnoses, and are spread all over the valley. They can also accommodate people who have a higher care level than an assisted living community.
Skilled Nursing/Nursing Homes – For those who require 24 hour care from a nurse or M.D. Skilled nursing homes are the best an sometimes only option. The downsides are that patients are in a hospital like environment and most insurances and medicare will only allow patients to spend a certain number of days in a skilled nursing facility.
Paying for long term care in Arizona can be a difficult proposition. However, Arizona tends to have a less expensive long term care market than a lot of other states. At Senior Planning, we have been told again and again that the prices in the valley are significantly less than some back east. For those who cannot afford to pay for long term care in Arizona, the ALTCS program may be an option to consider. It will pay for long term care provided that the patient does not have the money to pay for it themselves, an meets the requirements from the state that deem them to require long term care.
Long term care in a community usually ranges from $1500 – $5000 per month. Residential care homes are generally the most affordable, with assisted living communities being more expensive. Skilled nursing is the most expensive option, but we did not include it in the range since Medicare or insurance usually pays for it. Considering what you can afford and whether or not you need state aid is an important first step in the search for care for seniors or the disabled.