PRICING ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES
Assisted living prices are structured numerous ways and pricing can be deceptive. Pricing is never cut and dry. The two basic structures are “All inclusive” or “Al-a-carte”. Many communities us “a la-carte” pricing because it make their baseline price seem low, but after you add up the cost of “optional” services, the price of residency and care can be staggering. These services include the very basic needs of assisted living, such as help with personal hygiene, toileting, showering and other necessary needs like laundry services, incontinence fees or transportation to physician appointments. Many communities will charge an additional fee if your loved one requires excessive amounts of medications to be administered. The saddest story I have ever heard, was while interviewing a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), I asked her why she was leaving her current employer. She stated that while working at a memory care community, she was reprimanded, by the facility administration, for helping feed a resident that wasn’t paying for that specific service, so sad.
Do some research in your state and see if you’re loved one qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid, as well as veteran’s benefits. Some assisted living communities accept Medicare as a payment option, while others only accept private payment.
When you tour a community with an “all inclusive” fee schedule, the initial cost baseline is going to look much higher, but most basic services are included in the price, this way you have a better idea of how much you will be paying each month. Be aware that there will still be services not included in the price. These services are generally implemented when basic services become excessive, such as meals being taken to your loved one’s room on a regular basis in the case the he or she has declined to the point that they cannot dine in the dining room. This is not an issue on isolated circumstances. If incontinence becomes an issue and the maintenance department needs to continually clean your loved one’s apartment carpet, you may be charged extra, as well.
most communities use a specific pharmaceutical company with specific packaging. If your loved one requires over the counter medications that you prefer to purchase independently, you will be charged a repackaging fee by the pharmacy. Medications need to be packaged specifically in order for the community to properly track and administer meds. Sometimes it is better to have the community registered nurse order Aspin through the facility’s pharmacy. This will cost more than buying a generic brand of aspirin yourself, but will cost less than paying for the generic brand that you purchase to be repackaged.