Mississippi is ideal for older adults to retire due to its mild winters, low cost of living, miles of coastline, iconic music, and convenient access to outdoor activities and cultural attractions. The Magnolia State also has a low violent crime rate, which may be comforting to active adults who enjoy being out and about. In addition, Mississippi doesn’t tax any form of retirement income, including Social Security benefits, IRA earnings, income from a 401k, or pension. The state also has relatively low property taxes and moderate sales taxes. The added savings may make it easier for older adults to pay for assisted living costs.
Suppose you’re looking for an assisted living community in Mississippi. In that case, the following information provides an overview of the available options, their costs, and how the state regulates long-term care communities.
Situated along the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi stretches across coastal beach towns, industrial centers, rolling hills, lush prairies, river lowlands, flat plains, and pine woods. With all this diversity, you’re bound to find senior housing options that meet your specific needs in an attractive neighborhood.
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.
In Mississippi, assisted living communities are for older adults who need assistance with their daily living activities. These communities must provide personal care and supplemental services, including medication administration and emergency response services. The Health Facilities Licensure and Certification Division of the Mississippi Department of Health regulates two types of personal care homes:
Assisted Living is formally known as Personal Care Home-Assisted Living in the state of Mississippi. Assisted living facilities will provide personal and supplemental care which includes, but is not limited to, the provision of medical services and emergency response services.
Personal Care Home Residential Living is a licensed facility that operates 24/7 and accepts individuals who require personal care services for individuals with functional impairment and who may require mental health services to compensate for limitations in daily living.
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 and skilled nursing care, and medical help is available. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Mississippi has both 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. The average cost of nursing home care in the state is $7,118 for a semi-private room and $7,314 for a private room.
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 is a residential facility designed for older adults or persons with disabilities who are unable to 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. There are several housing options available that range from living in a facility to residents living in their own home or apartment, with community-based support services.
Disabled individuals and people aged 60 years and over can attend adult day care in Mississippi during the day for personal care supervision, limited health care, nutritional meals, recreational activities, and social interaction. This service is ideal for caregivers who need to go to work or just need some time off without leaving their older adult family member’s home alone.
While assisted living provides around-the-clock care and supervision, adult day care centers offer services for a minimum of four hours but less than 24 hours a day. The average monthly cost of adult day care in Mississippi is $1,408.
There are two types of in-home care available in Mississippi: 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 also 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 the social and recreational programming of assisted living communities. The average cost of homemaker services and home health aides is $3,813 per month.
There are over 100 assisted living facilities in Mississippi with over 6,400 licensed beds. Brookdale, the country’s largest provider of assisted living communities operates five facilities in the state. Other companies that operate multiple communities in the state include; Attwood Personal Care operates three communities, Hermitage Gardens operates two communities as do Magnolia Gardens and Southern Magnolia.
Under Section 43-11-13 of the Mississippi Code 1972, assisted living communities must be licensed and meet certain safety and quality standards. For example, all communities must have an emergency operations plan and comply with local building, fire, and zoning ordinances. The Health Facilities Licensure and Certification Division of the Mississippi Department of Health conducts on-site inspections and investigates complaints.
For added safety and high-quality care, the Health Facilities Licensure and Certification Division requires newly hired employees to pass a criminal history record check. They must also verify that they aren’t listed on the Mississippi Nurses Aide Abuse Registry. All administrators must complete a minimum of two concurrent days of training with the licensing agency before they can begin their duties. Every 90 days, direct care staff must finish ongoing training related to their specific duties.
The average cost of assisted living care in Mississippi is $3,500 per month. This cost is $1,000 lower than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Mississippi is 18.9% lower than the national average with healthcare costs nearly 1.4% higher and housing costs 44.4% less than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. The level of care that a person requires will impact the cost of assisted living, but where you also live matters. The cost of assisted living ranges from a low of $3,800 in the Gulfport area to a high of $4,350 per month in the Jackson area of Mississippi.
If you live close to one of Mississippi’s borders, it may be difficult to find less expensive assisted living in a neighboring state as Mississippi has one of the lowest average costs in the nation. Alabama has essentially the same average monthly cost as is found in Mississippi at $3,503 per month. The other neighboring states all have higher average monthly costs. Arkansas averages $3,760, Louisiana $3,748 and Tennessee averages $4,105 per month.
The average cost of assisted living in Mississippi is around $42,000 per year, so, understandably, 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.
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.
Mississippi has four veterans homes around the state, in Oxford, Kosciusko, Jackson and Collins. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Mississippi 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 the Aid and Attendance benefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care.
Elderlife Financial can help you understand how to pay for assisted living.
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 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 Mississippi, 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 67% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 42% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 56% 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. In Mississippi, 42% of communities conduct depression screening, and 57% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 62% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents have access to 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. Mississippi facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.
Mississippi is the ideal retirement destination for older adults concerned about access to high-quality health care. The state is home to several top-performing hospitals. The Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg is among the nation’s best hospitals for treating heart attacks. Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson has earned many awards and certifications, including the prestigious nursing designation as a Magnet facility.
There are 70 hospitals in Mississippi, along with many doctors’ offices and emergency care centers. If you are an assisted living resident needing medical care, you’re bound to find a nearby hospital or clinic.
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health’s Office of Consumer Supports offers a variety of behavioral health programs and services to help Mississippians improve their mental health. The Administration for Community Living provides programs and resources to help older adults maintain their health and well-being. Resources to Recovery maintains a mental health resources directory of family-endorsed providers that can help with mental health issues.
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 Mississippi, 13% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (18%), toileting (36%), and walking (57.%). Caregivers in ACHs help 44% 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.
The Division of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification oversees assisted living communities in Mississippi. The state also has a long-term care ombudsman that investigates and tries to resolve complaints regarding assisted living communities and advocates for long-term care residents to ensure a higher quality of life and care. Contact the Mississippi State Department of Health if you need help accessing medical or social services.
The term “elder law” is often associated with estate planning, trusts, and help obtaining benefits through Medicare or Medicaid. Unfortunately, the field has grown to include cases involving elder abuse, elder neglect, and exploitation. Skilled attorneys can help older adults affected by these issues.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services, offers legal assistance and advocacy services to assist and protect older adults’ rights and benefits. Services include referrals, legal advice, consultations, and/or representation.
Free Legal Answers is a website that provides available resources in Mississippi to help older adults find legal help and information on various legal issues.
There are 49 assisted living facilities in MS and the median cost of care is $3,500. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Mississippi is 3 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is Atwood Personal Care Home- Noxapater.
200 Whispering Pines Blvd, Hattiesburg, MS, 39401
Pet Friendly, Social Outings, Clubs & Communities, Restaurant Style Dining, Outdoor Areas,
209 Doug Rushing Dr, McComb, MS, 39648
Pool, Social Outings, Fitness Programs, Clubs & Communities, Restaurant Style Dining,
1488 Belk Boulevard, Oxford, MS, 38655
Outdoor Areas, Parking, Activity Center, Housekeeping, Pet Friendly,
619 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS, 39157
Pet Friendly, Pool, Social Outings, Outdoor Areas, Nearby Shopping,
103 Fox Chase Drive, Hattiesburg, MS, 39402
Outdoor Areas, Parking, Pool, Activity Center, Fitness Programs,
1101 Levee Rd, Corinth, MS, 38834
Beauty & Barber, Activity Center, Social Outings,
110 Ed Perry Blvd, Oxford, MS, 38655
Outdoor Areas, Housekeeping, Pool, Social Outings, Clubs & Communities,
74 Claiborne Way, Starkville, MS, 39759
Pet Friendly, Pool, Fitness Programs, Clubs & Communities, Outdoor Areas,
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