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Need Help Paying for Senior Living? Important Information You Need to Review

When you’re getting ready to help move a loved one into senior living, there’s a lot of research that you have to do. You need to figure out what senior living center is going to be the best for your loved one’s needs, what kind of care your loved one is going to need, what kind of activities each senior living center has to offer, and more. The most important aspect you need to consider, however, is how expensive each senior living center is going to be.

Depending on the type of care your loved one needs, you could be paying a wide array of different fees for your loved one’s senior living stay. Memory care services, for example, are typically going to be more expensive than assisted living services, and assisted living is typically going to be more expensive than independent living. It all depends on what kind of care your loved one needs. 

Here at Serra Sol’s senior living in Capistrano, we can help you decide what kind of program would be best for you and how you can best afford each program. Here’s how to get started:

Understanding Memory Care and Its Costs in Senior Living

At our San Juan Capistrano senior living community and several senior living centers around the country, we focus on memory care services. Memory care services are of vital importance to seniors who struggle with cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, it’s important to know that caring for seniors who struggle with these kinds of illnesses requires extra attention and specialized care. 

To know why memory care tends to be more expensive, you need to understand part of what drives those costs:

  • specialized training to help seniors who struggle with memory concerns like Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • increased safety measures like doors with alarms, double locks, security detail, and more
  • activities and groups tailored to seniors who struggle with Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • more private rooms and a lower staff to resident ratio

It’s true that senior living in general does tend to be expensive, though it isn’t always more expensive than living on your own or hiring a home health nurse. This is something you would need to discuss individually. However, for features like these especially in memory care and assisted living, the cost may be worth it. 

Premium Care Means a Premium Cost

When you’re looking at senior communities, understanding what your senior loved one is going to need in order to live a happy, healthy life is going to be the primary focus of how much money you’re likely going to need to spend. Independent living centers are likely going to be the most cost effective, because while they are senior living communities, the senior residents in independent living don’t require any additional help or assistance. While many communities offer amenities like housekeeping and meals, it isn’t something that’s necessarily required for the staff to do. 

Specialized Training and Care

Assisted living and memory care, on the other hand, require more specialized training. Assisted living is mainly for seniors who, while they are mentally fully capable to help themselves do their own housekeeping and hygiene tasks, may not be fully physically capable of doing so. Assisted living centers help seniors with housekeeping tasks like chores and laundry, hygiene tasks if they struggle to stand and move on their own, and with food insecurity. Staff ratios are higher than in independent living, but as assisted living residents don’t typically need as much assistance, those ratios are still lower than memory care. 

Memory Care Costs

Memory care, as previously stated, needs quite a bit of specialized training to be able to handle properly. Memory care residents need a lot of focused attention and assistance with a high staff to resident ratio, driving up the cost.

Luxury Senior Living

It is important to note, however, that a senior independent living center can be more expensive than a memory care center. It all depends on the location, the amenities, the level of luxury, and more. Keep in mind that these centers, while they have more specialized features, are much like an apartment complex. You pay for the extra luxuries. 

A smiling and happy senior couple share a hug

Understanding Ways to Pay

Oftentimes, senior care centers like Serra Sol’s San Juan Capistrano senior living will have different payment options or payment plans. When you go to speak with a retirement community about pricing and payment, don’t forget to ask about any and all potential benefits at your disposal. 

Veterans Benefits

If your senior loved one is a veteran or their spouse was a veteran, many senior communities will offer special discounts for our veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs will also sometimes provide additional assistance to veterans or their spouses who are seeking retirement care. 

Medicaid Plans

Medicaid is also extremely useful for seniors who are seeking assistance with paying for retirement care. Low-income seniors heavily benefit from the use of Medicaid to help pay for long-term care if it’s a massive need. However, senior retirement centers are not required to accept Medicaid, and several retirement communities don’t accept Medicaid. Others will only set aside a certain number of beds for seniors who use Medicaid, and if you were to inquire about their services after that number has been reached, then you wouldn’t be able to use Medicaid assistance.

Life Insurance

Sometimes, even life insurance policies will allow seniors to use the money invested in their policies to help pay for assisted living. Though these are few and far between, if you and your loved one are struggling to cover the costs of retirement care, it is an option to speak with your life insurance representative about. 

Cost of Care for San Juan Capistrano Senior Living

In short, senior living is a lot like any other cost of living: the cost depends. Where you are, what kind of services you need, the luxury of the living center: all of these factors are going to affect how much money you’ll need to pay in order to live at your chosen senior center. 

Here at Serra Sol’s senior living in Capistrano, we welcome any and all inquiries about the pricing on our services and how we might be able to assist you and your family to get your senior the care that they need. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your tour!