How to Discover the True Value of an Assisted Living Community
When it’s time to start searching for an assisted living community for a loved one, there are many factors to take into consideration, especially when it comes to cost. Arguably, after quality of care, the most important aspect to compare is the price. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply comparing each community’s base monthly fee.
Different assisted living communities include varying services and amenities in their contracts, meaning you may get more or less for your monthly fee. A service that is included in one community’s monthly fee may be an additional fee at another community. So how do you boil down a contract to find the community’s true value?
Use these 5 guides to make sure you’re comparing the true cost and value of the contracts.
1. Services Included
The services listed below are typically offered by an assisted living community. Determine which of these are included in the monthly fee, or if there is an additional cost:
- Room and board
- On-site activities
- Yard and home maintenance
- Medication management
- Assistance with activities of daily living
- Off-campus activities
- Light housekeeping
Although a community may have a higher monthly fee at first glance, you may find it already includes more services and amenities. Some communities offer a low base rate and then charge fees for each additional service, so it’s important to know which services and amenities you plan to utilize in order to decide which package offers your loved one the best option.
2. Contract Termination Options
If your parent or loved one decides to move elsewhere, what are the contract termination options? For example, how much notice does a resident have to give to the community that he/she plans to move? Is it a year-to-year contract, or month-to-month? Is all or part of the entrance fee that was paid upon move-in refundable upon move-out? These are all important questions to ask when you visit a community, and can make a difference in your parent’s choice.
3. Resident Restrictions
What, if any, restrictions are placed on residents? Are there restrictions on the number of guests allowed, or visiting hours? Is there parking for a resident’s personal vehicle? Can residents invite friends and family to dine in the dining room? Is there a cost? Are pets welcome? If so, are there restrictions on breed or size? Search for a community that supports your loved one’s lifestyle and incorporates all their family members (especially if your parent enjoys pets!).
4. Higher Levels of Care
What other levels of care are available at the community? If your parent’s needs change, are there higher levels of care on-site, such as memory care, rehabilitation or long-term care? Does the community give preference to current residents? If the care is needed but space isn’t available, is the community able to give residents the care they need in their existing residence until space becomes available? How do the fees change once you move to another level of care? Is the care available on the campus, or are services provided through an external network?
5. On-site Amenities
What on-site amenities are available? Is there an additional fee for using them, or are they included in your monthly service fee? Is there a library? A gift shop or convenience store? Are there board games, cards, puzzles or other activities available to residents and guests to use at their leisure? Is there an on-site beauty/barber salon? Are there any other amenities that make the community unique and would be particularly meaningful to your loved one?
At Wesley Place on Honeysuckle in Dothan, Alabama, our assisted living contract is designed to include almost all of the services and amenities desired into one easy to understand price. Room and board, meals, snacks, assistance with activities of daily living, on and offsite activities, medication management, security, housekeeping, and more are all included in the base monthly fee.
To learn more about the value of assisted living at Wesley Place on Honeysuckle, please give us a call at 334-792-0921.