ContentsAssisted Living Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Colorado Quality And Safety Of Assisted Living Facilities In Colorado Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Colorado How Costs Compare In Nearby States Paying For Assisted Living Care In Colorado What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Colorado? Wellness Resources In Colorado The Transition Into Assisted Living In Colorado Colorado Assisted Living Oversight
Colorado offers regulated and licensed assisted living facilities in a variety of settings. Assisted living is available in cities, small towns, and mountain communities. Colorado has a growing population of older adults and beautiful outdoor spaces. The state is popular as it has a higher cost of living than many surrounding states.
Colorado Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options
Colorado offers a setting for everyone with a selection of small towns and bigger cities. Those hoping to stay connected to the outdoors will likely enjoy retiring in the state. Although some cold, snowy days should be expected in the winter, the state is known for its sunny skies and outdoor activities. Cities offer modern hospitals and universities.
With many senior care settings and regulations to help ensure the safety of assisted living facilities, Colorado can meet a variety of interests and residential needs. Colorado has detailed regulations and transparent facility records to promote the safety and quality of assisted living residences.
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.
Coloradodefines an assisted living residence or facilityas any residential facility that is available to three or more adults who aren't related to the facility owner and provides the following services:
- Personal services.
- Protective oversight.
- Social care due to an impaired capacity to live independently.
- Regular supervision.
ALFs provide assistance with daily activities like eating, grooming, and bathroom use. They also need to offer 24-hour supervision and assistance for residents. ALFs are not required to provide 24-hour nursing care and don't offer complex medical services. ALFs go through a mandatory health facility licensing process to operate in Colorado.
Difference Between Assisted Living and Residential Care Home
Residential care and treatment facilities serve people with severe and persistent mental illness who need personal services and protective oversight. Residential care homes mainly refer to smaller providers in residential neighborhoods licensed by the state to care for individuals with developmental disabilities. In Colorado, residential care facilities are operated by the local mental health center.
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 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. Colorado 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 $8,567 for a semi-private room and $9,726 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. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options. 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 is the same as in an assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required.
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.
Adult Day Care
Adult day care programs are available for adults who are unable to be alone during the daytime. These services are generally available during the day on weekdays and may be a good option for adults with a regular caregiver who must work. The facilities offer many of the same services as an ALF, including assistance with eating, dressing, and personal hygiene. Unlike ALFs, they don't provide overnight care. While there are no licensing requirements for general staff at these facilities, a licensed nurse or certified nurse aide must be on duty at all times.
Adult day care in Colorado costsaround $1,950 per month.
There are two types of in-home care available in Colorado: 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 both homemaker services and home health aides is $6,387 per month.
Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Colorado
There are over 400 licensed assisted living communities in Colorado with over 14,500 beds. Some of the larger ones include Brookdale, which has 37 communities in the state, Assured Assisted Living has 7; and MorningStar has ten. Several major corporations own or operate several communities across the state.
Quality and Safety of Assisted Living Facilities in Colorado
ALFs must be licensed to operate within the state of Colorado. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) licenses and monitors all ALFs operating within the state. CDPHE accepts complaints from residents, their families, and other concerned members of the public. The department investigates complaints and issues citations and other penalties for violations. CDPHE also providesa public database on facilities, including recent violations, which can be a helpful tool for people in the process of choosing an ALF.
Colorado has detailed regulations that help ensure high-quality ALFs within the state. For example, regulations require thatno more than two residentsshare a bedroom in newer facilities, and a full bathroom is required for every six residents. Facility administrators must complete a training program on resident care and psychosocial needs.
Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Colorado
The average cost of assisted living care in Colorado is $4,750 per month. This is $250 higher than the national average of $4,500. The cost of living in Colorado is 21% higher than the national average, with healthcare costs nearly 5% lower and housing costs 66% 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 $3,800 in Pueblo to $6,275 in Boulder.
How Costs Compare In Nearby States
If you live close to one of Colorado’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option. Seniors in most bordering states pay less than the average senior in Colorado. Seniors in Utah pay around $3,500 per month, while costs in Kansas average $4,580 and New Mexico average $4,498.
Paying For Assisted Living Care In Colorado
The average cost of assisted living in Colorado is around $57,000 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.
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.
Colorado offers asupplement to SSI recipientswho meet the state's criteria:
- U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
- Colorado resident.
- Income cannot exceed the annual standard.
- Non-exempt resources less than $2,000 per individual or $3,000 for a couple.
Colorado's Aid to the Needy SSI Supplement is generally only available to residents under the age of 60. Residents over the age of 60 may qualify for the state'sOld Age Pension Program(OAP). The maximum monthly OAP payment in 2020 was $821.
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
Colorado has fiveVeterans Homesaround the state in Fitzsimons, Florence, Homelake, Rifle, and Walsenburg. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Colorado who served in the military. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices 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 Colorado?
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 look for easy access to personal care. These services help 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 Colorado, 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 59% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 56% of communities offering dental care. In addition, some ACHs will have hospice services, be sure to ask when you visit.
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. In Colorado, 81% of communities conduct depression screening, and 52% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 52% 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 with families and the community. Colorado facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.
Wellness Resources in Colorado
Colorado has wellness resources for seniors with varying needs and interests.
The University of Colorado's medical school and Anschutz Medical Campus is located in Aurora, Colorado, near Denver. The University of Colorado Hospital offers cutting-edge medical care and an Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) program, which focuses on the needs of older patients. The hospital is nationally ranked byU.S. News and World Reportin multiple specialties.
Multiple hospitals throughout the state offer services that focus on older adults. These include Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, and UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs.
Mental Health Resources
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) Aging Center offers one of the fewgeropsychology training clinicsin the nation. The center provides clinical training to graduate students and offers psychological and neuropsychological assessments to community members over the age of 55.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a branch in Colorado Springs with its Comprehensive Senior Assistance Program. HealthONE Behavioral Health and Wellness Center also offers services focusing on older adults, and the stateoffers outreach and support servicesfor older people.
The Transition Into Assisted Living In Colorado
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 Colorado, 18% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (21%), toileting (34%), and walking (51%). Caregivers in ACHs help 40% of residents to dress, and 54% 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.
Colorado Assisted Living Oversight
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment oversees all ALFs in the state.CDPHE accepts complaints, including anonymous complaints, from residents or anyone concerned about an ALF. Complaints may involve concerns about:
- Quality of care.
- Rights of residents.
- Building or equipment safety.
Records of citations are public. Complaints are prioritized and investigated based on the type of allegations and risk of harm to residents. If an ALF is found to be in violation, a citation will be issued, and the violation must be corrected.
Older adults are increasingly the targets of scams and fraud. Attorneys who practice elder law help older adults understand and protect their legal rights.
Colorado'sLegal Assistance Programhelps older adults understand their legal rights and access the justice system. Individuals can access the program by contacting their localArea Agency on Agingoffice. Those with low income can seek assistance through Colorado Legal Services. Private law firms throughout the state can assist with elder law concerns and estate planning.
Older adults and their loved ones with concerns about elder abuse or other serious problems within an assisted living facility should contact their local Department of Human Services office or Adult Protective Services.