Assisted living for seniors is a cost effective way to ensure that your loved one has the care they need without having to compromise on their independence. Assisted living is not only affordable, but it is also a type of senior living community that can have more lifestyle variety and care options than some of the other forms of senior care.
However, there are times when assisted living communities might not tell you some of their costs right at the beginning. Things like hygiene, medical, moving, and luxury fees are sometimes hidden from families by assisted living communities during initial discussions on costs. Here are a few of these hidden costs to be on the lookout for, along with an explanation on how Vista Springs assisted living does things differently.
Hygiene is a small part of senior care that can come with a big cost families might not always know about right away. While hygiene costs are included with care costs in some communities, not all assisted living communities charge hygiene services the same way.
Services that can be included under hygiene include:
- Bathing— helping a senior with their bathing and cleaning routines.
- Dressing— assisting seniors with getting dressed and undressed throughout the day.
- Bathroom and incontinence— aid for elderly loved ones who need help using the bathroom.
- Dental— Dental health is incredibly important for seniors, and assisted living communities can help with daily dental health.
- Laundry— some assisted living communities have an extra cost to take care of residents' laundry.
Ask if the communities you are speaking with are going to have extra charges for help with these services that aren't covered under your loved one's care plan.
Not all seniors need the levels of assistance that some of the hygiene costs fall under. Rather, they just need some light monitoring and reminders by staff to remember to do some of these tasks on their own. This is a great benefit that assisted living provides, as seniors still maintain a high level of independence with these tasks. It is, however, still important to exercise caution. Some assisted living communities will charge you for these monitoring services
Examples of monitoring services include reminders to:
- Eat at the right times or the right foods.
- Use the bathroom.
- Take medications.
- Move around or exercise.
Sometimes monitoring services also include having someone escort your loved one to different parts of the community, such as:
- The dining room for meals.
- Recreation rooms for classes and activities.
- Other on-site facilities like a gym, pool, or salon.
Medical and Care
Care costs are one of the things that you expect to pay when finding an assisted living community. Different levels of care are important so that seniors in assisted living have their needs met while still remaining independent, and you expect to pay for the level of care that your loved one needs. There still can be some medical services that are not always covered under the usual care costs, and it's important to be aware of them.
These unexpected costs can include:
- Medication management
- One-time treatments for minor illnesses
- Health screenings before moving in
In addition, if your loved one needs more care services as they age, it's a good idea is to know what extra care costs will be and choose an assisted living community that you can still afford even with higher levels of care.
Another additional cost that you might not know about is the cost it takes to move your loved one into an assisted living community. The cost of moving into the community is usually out of the control of the assisted living community and is charged by moving companies themselves.
Both moving into a new community and moving to a different room or suite within the community can have more costs than you might expect. Other moving services could include things like getting a dumpster for junk removal during the moving process, or hauling away furniture. These types of costs can be a surprise to families as well.
You don’t want your loved one to be missing out on the luxuries of assisted living because they don’t have access to some of the extra services some assisted living communities hide behind an additional monthly fee. Not all assisted living communities will include everything in the community facilities in a single monthly rent. If you are helping budget for your loved one, make sure to look and see what benefits are going to cost more, and if your loved one can afford those.
Examples of additional luxuries include:
- On-site activity centers
- Use of a gym or health center
- On-site spas or salons
- Group classes
- Holistic care services
- Dry cleaning
- In-depth room cleaning
- Specialty food services or meal options
The Vista Springs Difference
At Vista Springs, we understand that these additional costs can be both confusing and frustrating. That’s why we work with families to ensure that you understand right from the beginning exactly what our monthly fees and service packages cost.We never want a family to receive an unplanned bill for an unexplained cost, and we work with you to ensure that your loved one gets the care they need and the services they enjoy for a price that you expect. And that's the Vista Springs difference.