4 Common FAQs about Assisted Living in CT
Do you have some questions about assisted living before you consider helping your parent make the move? Explore the answers to some frequently asked questions about assisted living in Connecticut.
1. What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a care option for seniors who want to maintain some independence, while getting the assistance they need with daily tasks like medication management, dressing, or bathing. They are also provided three meals a day, and they have access to community provided transportation.
2. How is Assisted Living Different from a Nursing Home?
The best way to determine which option is right for your loved one is by assessing their care needs. Seniors in nursing homes need 24/7 care and monitoring, much like a hospital environment. These seniors have health conditions that are more complex than the typical challenges that come with aging. These conditions require a different level or type of care, like working with a speech or physical therapist.
In contrast, seniors in assisted living in CT need some support, not hands-on, full-time care. If your parent or senior loved one needs help with personal care, meal preparation, home upkeep or are in the beginning stages of memory loss but otherwise are managing, assisted living is the better option.
3. How Much Does Assisted Living Cost? How Do You Pay for Assisted Living?
These are two of the most common questions about assisted living in CT. The cost of staying in an assisted living community can vary greatly, depending on the level of service the community provides residents. Based on a senior’s care needs, assisted living communities in Connecticut can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 a month. For increased care needs, like memory support, it can go up to $12,000 a month.
To cover this cost, many seniors use their retirement plans or sell their home and use the proceeds as a supplement. There are other options like long-term care insurance, veterans’ benefits, or reverse mortgages. All of these benefits can offset the out-of-pocket costs families have to cover.
Determining how to best cover the cost of assisted living in CT starts by looking at your parent’s budget. How much do they have in savings or a retirement plan? How much is their Social Security income or pension? Do they have a long-term care policy? Assess the value of their home, car and other assets. You can also talk to other family members about splitting the cost of care to lessen the burden for everyone.
Next, you can talk to an advisor at the assisted living communities you’re evaluating. These advisors help families navigate the payment process each day, and they can offer advice or suggestions on how your family can afford assisted living.
4. How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs to be in an Assisted Living Community?
If you wait for your loved one to tell you they can’t care for themselves any longer, you might be waiting a long time. It’s usually up to family members to notice the warning signs that a loved one is ready for assisted living. Here are a few changes you may notice in your loved one that could indicate it is time for assisted living.
Incidents, Close Calls, and Medical Emergencies are Becoming More Frequent
Falls or injuries at home can be concerning for families of seniors. Have you noticed more falls or bruises on your loved one? This could indicate that living at home is no longer a safe option. Many seniors struggle with mobility issues due to stiff joints, porous bones, lack of activity, or illness.
A senior can easily fall in the shower or getting in or out of bed. If they’re home alone, they can have difficulty getting to the phone to call for help. In these situations, it’s best for seniors to have assisted living staff members on hand to make getting around easier.
You Have Noticed Weight Loss, Body Odor, and Changes in Appearance
Seniors that are having trouble caring for themselves may have some changes in appearance. If they’re losing weight or look disheveled, your loved one may be struggling to properly bathe or dress.
Also, weight loss can indicate that your parent is facing difficulties when it comes to preparing their own food and maintaining a healthy diet. They may be skipping meals or just eating whatever is in the refrigerator. An underlying illness or new medication could also be to blame for sudden health or weight changes. You may want to take your loved one to a doctor for an examination.
Fortunately, if they move into assisted living in CT, they’ll have staff members on hand who can notice and monitor these changes. They can also help seniors dress and bathe. And, seniors have access to three healthy meals a day.
You Have Noticed Signs of a Fire, Appliances Left Plugged In, or Entrances Left Open
Many seniors become forgetful as they age. While leaving a wallet at home or a bag at the grocery store are harmless memory lapses, forgetfulness in more serious areas could put them at risk. Have you noticed your parent leaving the stove on? Maybe you visited one day, and the front door was unlocked or open. These memory lapses can be unnerving, and could potentially indicate the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Assisted living communities are safe environments for seniors who may have memory challenges. Seniors are not responsible for cooking, cleaning, or locking doors. Residents are in safe, secure environments where they can thrive and families can trust that they’re well cared for.
Your Loved One Complains of Depression or Loneliness
Has your loved one lost a spouse or close friend recently? Seniors can struggle with depression or loneliness if they live by themselves. Some signs of depression could be mood swings, insomnia, withdrawal from family or friends, or thoughts of suicide.
Moving into assisted living in CT can open a whole new world for seniors. This is a built-in community where seniors can develop friendships and engage in activities. They have numerous opportunities to stay physically active, too, which contributes to positive mental health.
They Have An Unkempt House with Stacks of Unopened Bills, Broken Appliances, Grime, and Clutter
If your parent can no longer maintain their house, assisted living might be a better environment for them. Have you noticed an increase of clutter? Your parent might have a hard time maintaining both the interior and the exterior of their home, which is a clear indicator it’s time to move to assisted living. In assisted living, all of these responsibilities are taken care of for them.
Moving your senior loved one into assisted living is a major change, but it can be an exciting one for your parent and your family. You loved one will be in a safe, engaging community, and you’ll feel more comfortable knowing they’re in the right environment.
Find out more about your senior living options in this free guide.
About Elizabeth Bemis
In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.