Evaluating Assisted Living and Retirement Community Options

The thought of moving out of the family home triggers a long list of questions. Whether the move is being made by choice or by necessity, careful planning is beneficial to ensure fewer bumps down the road should health conditions or financial situations change. Keystone Elder Law’s knowledgeable staff can answer many related questions, and give you peace of mind that you are making the best possible choices.

In Pennsylvania, it is easy to confuse Assisted Living and Personal Care, as both provide some similar services. Assisted Living Residences (ALR) have additional regulations relating to concept, construction, and level of care compared to Personal Care Homes (PCH). An ALR promotes the idea of “aging in place,” and provides supplemental services to meet the needs of those who require a higher level of care. In addition, the physical size and design of an ALR must follow specific requirements. Few ALR exist in our area. However, both types of facilities provide core services such as housing, meals, housekeeping, medication management, and assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, etc.). Average costs range from $3,000-$6,000 per month. While Medicaid will not pay for care in a PCH, other benefits can be used to help cover the cost. Ask us how!

Retirement Communities are able to provide residential and health related services across the entire continuum of care, from independent living to nursing home care. They are often referred to as CCRCs, or Continuing Care Retirement Communities, with a goal of caring for residents for the remainder of their lives. Residents may enter the community at any level of care. Costs will vary according to the level of care required. When entering the community at the independent living level, a substantial initial payment may be required, in addition to monthly fees. Some communities do allow a month to month contract instead, without an entrance fee. Retirement communities are a good option for some people, especially when a couple wants to remain close to each other but they require different levels of care. Our staff can help you review the contract for a CCRC, and decide if this option will meet your needs and goals, both personally and financially.

For additional information or questions, give us a call at 717-697-3223