Famous for its world-class hotels, casinos, and entertainment venues, Las Vegas has a lot to offer. The weather is warm year-round, with very little precipitation. The area surrounding the city offers spectacular views and sightseeing opportunities, while the metropolitan area has unlimited resources for shopping, dining, and more.
The area has become very popular for retirement. There are dozens of senior living communities in Las Vegas and the vicinity, including premier assisted living communities. This guide will discuss what makes Las Vegas so popular for retirement and what the senior living experience in the City of Lights.
Las Vegas Assisted Living
Las Vegas is Nevada’s most populated city, home to more than 600,000 people. As a large city, there are nearly limitless options for senior living. It can be challenging for families to find their opportunities and compare them.
Communities are unique, offering a variety of amenities and services. They all provide social activities and recreational events, and others have on-campus movie theaters and tennis courts to create a resort-style environment. No two residences are precisely alike, so it’s important for families to list which amenities are essential to them before they choose a community.
The Nevada Division of Health, Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance requires all assisted living communities to offer personal care services on-campus, including assistance with activities like eating, dressing, and maintaining personal hygiene. Along with personal care services, residences must provide:
- At least 10 hours of recreational or social activities per week
- Laundry services
- Assistance to dental, optical, as social services as necessary
Many people worry about transferring from an assisted living community when they develop additional health conditions during their stay. In Las Vegas, long-term care residents can rest assured they’ll stay put when their needs change thanks to senior living regulations in Nevada. All communities are required to accommodate residents when their needs change, even if their new health conditions would otherwise prohibit them from moving into the community.
Residences offer three nutritious meals a day, as recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Communities must serve meals per each resident’s allergies and religious dietary requirements, and snacks must be made available in between meals.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Senior Care in Las Vegas
Along with many assisted living communities, Las Vegas is home to dozens of other senior care residences. In some cases, an independent living community or nursing home might be a better fit for someone than an assisted living residence. It’s important for families to understand the differences so they can plan their move accordingly.
When a person no longer feels safe living alone at home, they have several options to create peace of mind. Assisted living is a popular choice for retirees in Las Vegas for each community’s many services and amenities. Many create a luxury living experience where residences enjoy resort-style amenities, restaurant-quality food, and apartment-style housing.
Assisted living residents get assistance with their activities of daily living, but do not require ongoing medical attention (when they are admitted to the community - residences will accommodate residents when their health care needs change). Staff and caregivers help with bathing, dressing, housekeeping, and more to maintain residents throughout the day.
Independent living communities in Las Vegas are similar, providing fewer personal care services for their residents. When a person can care for themselves with little to no help throughout the day, but who want the social aspects and engagement that comes with living in a community, independent living is an ideal choice. Like assisted living, these communities commonly provide nutritious meals on-campus, and they do not provide ongoing medical attention.
Nursing homes serve a different purpose than assisted living and independent living. When a person lives with chronic illness or injury, they may require ongoing skilled nursing care to treat their symptoms. Independent living and assisted living communities generally are not licensed to provide skilled nursing care, but nursing homes are fully-equipped for ongoing medical services. Nursing homes offer many of the benefits families enjoy at residential care communities with on-campus medical services.
Common Assisted Living Amenities in Las Vegas, Nevada
As required by the Nevada Division of Health, Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance, assisted living communities in Las Vegas must provide at least 10 hours worth of social and recreational activities for residents each week. How each residence offers these 10 hours depends - many communities create monthly calendars featuring their events so residents can plan easily.
When communities are conveniently located in Las Vegas, they commonly provide group outings to nearby points of interest. Residents may take group trips to casinos, live entertainment, and more as part of their community’s outing schedule. Trips to grocery stores, restaurants, and malls are also commonplace for many assisted living communities.
On-campus, amenities vary greatly between residences. Depending on the type of assisted living residence a person chooses, their community may offer resources like on-campus movie theaters, diners, gardens, patios, living areas, and more. When families tour communities before admission, tour guides will explain which unique on-campus amenities their residence offers.
Assisted Living Apartments in Las Vegas, Nevada
Assisted living apartments in Las Vegas come in all shapes and sizes. The Nevada Division of Health, Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance does not require residences to provide apartment-style dwellings - suite-style units are common, where residents may live alone or with roommates.
It’s common for apartments to feature private bathrooms, complete with showers or baths. Each assisted living unit is required to have a bathroom (complete with a sink and toilet) and a sleeping area or bedroom. When two or more people live together in the same unit, they must express mutual consent - residences may not force more than one person to live together.
Many communities design their apartments to be open and easy-to-navigate, so residents have fewer risks of falling or getting confused. In luxury units, residents may enjoy kitchens or kitchenettes, patios, individually controlled heating and air conditioning, and more.
Communities may offer studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartments. Studio apartments offer a single living/sleeping area where residents spend their downtime, whereas one and two-bedroom units feature private sleeping areas.
Assisted living apartments are generally unfurnished unless they are reserved for respite care. If incoming residents want to decorate their new home when they move in, they should double-check that their planned community provides unfurnished units.
Things to Do in Las Vegas, Nevada
Of all the cities in the United States, Las Vegas is one of the most famous for fun and leisure. Home to dozens of casinos, luxury hotels, and more, it’s always possible to find something entertaining in Las Vegas without going far from home.
Perhaps the City of Lights is most famous for the Las Vegas strip, home to the area’s many accommodations and entertainment venues. Exploring the strip is the quintessential Las Vegas experience, from the neon-lined casinos like the MGM Grand to the upscale restaurants and hotels like the Bellagio. Music, comedy shows, and live theater are daily occurrences along the Las Vegas strip, making it a fun outing for anyone who enjoys performance art.
Despite its reputation, there’s more to do in Las Vegas than gamble and go to live shows. For residents who prefer outdoor adventures like hiking or camping, there’s plenty to do minutes outside of the metropolitan area.
Red Rock Canyon National Park is located just outside of the city in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. The Park is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful natural wonders, including the Keystone Thrust Fault and red sandstone peaks. Visitors may walk the Park’s many trails, see the historic buildings, and enjoy panoramic views from the observation areas.
One of Las Vegas’ most easily recognized buildings is the Stratosphere Casino and Hotel, offering fine dining, casino essentials, and 360-degree views of the city. The Stratosphere also features thrill rides, perfect for an adrenaline rush on a warm spring day.
Las Vegas residents who enjoy shopping will be able to do so to their heart’s content, thanks to the area’s lively Fremont Street Experience. The Fremont Street Experience is a 24-hour mall featuring an LED canopy, around-the-clock shopping, restaurants, and free live entertainment.
Medical Facilities and Healthcare in Las Vegas, Nevada
Healthcare centers and medical facilities are prevalent in Las Vegas. Regardless of where a person lives in the city, there’s sure to be a medical center nearby. Specialists are common, making it easy for residents to get the care they need without going far from home.
To help residents get to and from their medical appointments, many communities offer complimentary transportation programs. They may use shuttles or partnerships with ride-sharing programs to make transportation appointments easier, eliminating the frustrations of driving, navigating, or taking public transportation.
Depending on the community a person chooses, physicians may occasionally visit to provide services on-campus. However, assisted living communities are not generally licensed for skilled nursing care and may not provide ongoing medical attention, so it’s important for residents to find health care services in the area that will fit their needs.
Funding Assisted Living in Las Vegas, Nevada
After finding an assisted living community that will feel like home, funding long-term care is a significant concern for many people approaching retirement. Assisted living can be expensive compared to living at home, especially since most room and board fees include utilities, meals, and housekeeping.
Fortunately, there are several programs available to help people pay for assisted living in Las Vegas. Long-term care insurance is one of the most popular options, thanks to its versatility. Many communities accept long-term care insurance as payment for room and board like hospitals accept health insurance for services. However, buying a long-term care policy takes much planning ahead and may not be a viable option for someone who will soon reach retirement age (or already has).
When a long-term care insurance policy isn’t viable, prospective senior living residents may consider other methods of paying for assisted living. Families may consider starting a long-term care fund before they approach retirement age to put money away for long-term care. If a person has enough savings, they may pay for assisted living without much assistance. Combining personal savings with a person’s monthly social security funds can be a great way to pay for long-term care.
If a person requires long-term care and meets Nevada’s guidelines for financial assistance, they may qualify for the state’s assisted living Medicaid waiver. To receive the waiver, a person must require support in a 24-hour care facility to maintain their wellbeing, they must meet the financial eligibility requirements, and they must be at least 65 years of age. If a person does not qualify for Medicaid, they will not be eligible for the assisted living waiver.
People who served in the United States Armed Forces have additional resources available to them to pay for long-term care, including monthly pensions and specific benefits to pay for personal assistance. If a veteran requires ongoing aid from another person to complete their activities of daily living and they receive the regular monthly pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), they may qualify for the Aid & Attendance benefit to offset the costs of care. For more information about the Aid & Attendance benefit, how it’s paid, and who is eligible, learn more by following this link or contacting a VA caseworker directly.
Choosing an Assisted Living Community in Las Vegas, Nevada
Choosing an assisted living community is an important decision. While Las Vegas has a lot to offer, there are many factors to consider before choosing a place to retire.
The most critical step in finding the right assisted living community is touring them in-person. By visiting, prospective residents can see everything a property has to offer - from their apartments to their on-campus amenities. During tours, potential residents can ask the staff questions about their routines, activities, and services to get a better idea of what it means to live there.
Wait lists are typical for some assisted living communities, so it’s important for families to plan. Creating a list of multiple potential communities and prioritizing them by preference is an effective way to avoid wait list frustration - there’s no way to prevent it entirely, but accepting that some communities are not available and finding back-ups is will keep waitlists from delaying retirement.