Top Ranked Assisted Living Facilities in Alabama

There are 107 assisted living facilities in AL and the median cost of care is $3,503. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Alabama is 4 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is Gardens of Pelham.

Alabama Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)

When a loved one can no longer live independently, an assisted living provider can be a good option.  Assisted living residences are for residents who would like to, and can, maintain some independence but need help with meals, housekeeping, and some of the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as showering, getting dressed, or personal hygiene.

Difference Between Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living

Specialty Care assisted living facilities are assisted living facilities that have special licenses and are staffed to care for residents with a degree of cognitive impairment that precludes their admission into a typical assisted living facility. Both assisted living and specialty care communities are classified based on their size.  Facilities caring for 2-3 adults are known as Family Facilities, Group Facilities are authorized to care for 4-16 adults, and Congregate Facilities are authorized for 17 or more adults.

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are a good housing option for seniors who can still live independently but want to downsize. Each resident or couple lives in a private unit, and most communities offer social programs so residents can meet their neighbors. Housekeeping, chores, and some meals may be provided, although these may incur an additional cost. Unlike the care given in an assisted living community, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management aren't available in these communities. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes offer the highest level of care of all senior living options. These communities provide around-the-clock supervision, skilled nursing care, and available medical help. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Alabama has skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for people who require 24-hour care and intermediate care facilities (ICF) for people who don’t need as much medical care. Theaverage cost of nursing home carein the state is $6,676 for a semiprivate room and $7,026 for a private room. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Many seniors prefer to choose a community that will continue to meet their needs in the future. Continuing care retirement communities have independent living, assisted living, and nursing home facilities on the same property or owned by the same community. This model allows seniors to stay near their friends in familiar surroundings, even as their needs change. The care provided in the assisted living section of a CCRC is the same as in an assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options. 

Supportive Housing

Supportive Housing is a residential facility designed for older adults or persons with disabilities who cannot live independently.  These individuals need help with toileting, bathing, dressing, medication management and administration, assistance with meals and housekeeping, and other activities of daily living.  These individuals do not need regular nursing care.  Several housing options are available that range from living in a facility to residents living in their own home or apartment, with community-based support services.

In-Home Care

There are two types of in-home care available in Alabama: homemaker services and home healthcare. Homemaker services generally provide personal care and may also help with errands, chores, and housekeeping. Home healthcare can deliver these services and offer medical care such as skilled nursing and medication management. Unlike assisted living care, in-home care is provided to people in their homes, making it a good choice for those who prefer to age in place. However, it doesn’t give seniors access to social and recreational programming for assisted living communities. The average cost of homemaker services is $3,813 per month, and the average cost of a home health aide is $3,851 per month. 

Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Alabama

Some of the largest corporations manage assisted living communities in Alabama.  Brookdale has 11 communities in the state, Country Place Senior Living has seven communities, Country Cottage has five communities and the Gardens has six facilities in the state.

Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Alabama

Theaverage cost of assisted living carein Alabama is $3503 per month. This cost is $997 lower than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Alabama is 17.7% lower than the national average with healthcare costs nearly 2.2% higher and housing costing 44.1% more than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. Costs in the state range from $2,803 in Gadsen to $4,771 in Anniston. 

How Costs Compare In Nearby States

If you live close to one of Alabama’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option.   Two of Alabama’s neighbors have a higher average cost for assisted living.  Florida and Tennessee have average costs of $4,000 and $4,105, while Mississippi has a lower average cost of $3,500.  The cost of assisted living in Tennessee is roughly the same as in Alabama at $4,105.

Paying For Assisted Living Care In Alabama

The average cost of assisted living in Alabama is around $42,000 per year, so you or a family member may be wondering how to pay for care. A range of options is available to fund senior housing in the state. 

Private Funds

Selling a home is a common way for seniors to raise funds for assisted living care. Income from pensions and Social Security may also pay for some care. Other examples of private funds include your retirement accounts, mutual funds, and other investments. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance covers personal care, residential care, and other long-term support and services. Each plan is different; however, most offer a daily amount based on the policy that pays for assistance with activities of daily living. Most people buy a policy in their 50s or 60s and access it when required. If you or your family member has a policy, read it carefully to see what care it covers. 

Programs For Veterans

Alabama hasfour Veterans Homesaround the state, in Alexander City, Huntsville, Bay Minette, and Pell City.  These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Alabama who served in the military. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices around the state where team members can help people obtain benefits and services. This includes theAid and Attendancebenefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care. 

Elderlife Financial can help you understandhow to pay for assisted living.

What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Alabama?

The services provided in assisted living communities generally come under three broad categories: personal care, medical care, and amenities. 

Most people move to assisted living communities because they’re looking for easy access to personal care. These services assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting. communities also provide supervision and can deliver care for unforeseen needs or in cases of emergencies.  

In Alabama, ACHs must provide care and services in the resident’s care plan. This can include coordinating medical care and appointments. Communities may also deliver health services, with 43% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 33% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 47% of ACHs have hospice services.

ACHs may provide specialized care for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. These special care units have additional security measures to ensure residents don't wander, a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Typically, they also offer programs designed to improve cognitive function and routines that help lower stress.

Mental health issues are a growing consideration for communities, and services to address these concerns are becoming more common. 77% of communities conduct depression screening in Alabama, and 40% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 34% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents access all the resources they need.

Amenities refer to other features and services of the community. ACHs offer three meals a day and coordinate activity programs to help residents stay active and connected, families, and the community. Alabama facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services. 

The Transition Into Assisted Living In Alabama

The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you'll notice changes in your loved ones that suggest they need some assistance. Signs that this environment could be beneficial include increased isolation, loss of mobility, noticeable weight loss or gain, and signs that they’re neglecting household chores. 

Your older family member may be the one to start talking about assisted living. For many seniors, the idea of moving into a home where cooking, laundry, and other chores are taken care of is appealing. For seniors who realize they need help with daily tasks, the addition of personal care may come as a relief. In Alabama, 12% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (22%), toileting (28%) and walking (67%). Caregivers in ACHs help 43% of residents to dress, and 59% of residents need help bathing. 

If you think your family member would benefit from assisted living, start by talking about it openly. Highlight the positives of a move, such as social activities, cooked meals, and easily accessible assistance. Some ACHs provide respite care, which may allow your family member to have a trial run. Remember, this should be a conversation, not a lecture. Stay open to their opinion. If they’re not ready to transition to assisted living, talk about the care they need to stay at home.