Providing assisted living care for a senior is an expensive proposition. Sometimes the senior has the means to cover this by themselves. More often than not, the family must chip in to help with the expense. If you are nearing the time when this will become part of your responsibility, there are some thing you might want to know.
According to MetLife Mature Market Institute in a recent study, revealed that the cost of assisted living rose 5.2% between 2009 and 2010. It found the national monthly average for this type of care was $3,293 and that the rate of increase here was higher than both inflation and the rate of interest that can be earned on savings accounts and bonds.
The Financial Burden
With assisted living, families can expect the costs to continue to escalate each year. While many families can adjust to these increases, some cannot. The burden becomes increasingly difficult to carry. The problem is compounded by the fact that most re4sidents entering assisted living remain at their entry level of care for only 28 months.
What does that mean? Annual care assessments are done to insure a resident is receiving the proper care. After about 28months, the health or ability of the resident to care for himself frequently diminishes. This means a higher, more costly level of care is requires. With each upward level of care giving, the price tag goes up too.
What Can You Do?
There is little you can do about annual increases but you may be able to address changes in cost brought on by a care assessment, particularly if you disagree with the assessment. Changes like the resident becoming incontinent are valid reasons for an upswing in care costs but other health issues may be only temporary. If overall health returns to what it had been prior to the illness or incident, then rates should be negotiated back down.
It is recommended that you attend all family meetings with the facility. Participate in the decisions pertaining to the care of your loved one. If you can, bring a friend who has been through the process. Their experience can be invaluable. For a fee, you can also look into hiring a geriatric care manager. His job will be to assess the needs of the resident and weigh that against the care plan being provided by the assisted living facility. He can also negotiate with the facility on your behalf and may be able to get you a more manageable rate.