Located on the Deschutes River in central Oregon, Bend is a moderately-sized city with a lot to offer. Home to fewer than 100,000 people, residents enjoy breathtaking views, quaint local shops, and many opportunities for fun all within Bend’s city limits. Combined with beautiful summers and mild winters, Bend can be an excellent place to retire or join a senior living community.
Along with world-class restaurants, locally-owned shops, and more, assisted living communities in Bend are prevalent. Many offer resort-style amenities and services, creating a maintenance-free, luxury living experience for their residents. All assisted living communities in Bend must provide housing, meals, and activities in accordance with the state’s licensing regulations, and many offer additional amenities beyond the requirements.
This guide will discuss assisted living options in Bend, exciting things to do in the area, and what families can expect from their long-term care community.
Bend Assisted Living
Assisted living communities in Bend must provide services and housing in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS). Regulations are created with assisted living residents in mind and are designed to provide them with well-rounded, effective long-term care.
In Oregon, community-based long-term care communities may classify as one of two types of communities:
Assisted living communities are residences with fully self-containing senior living units, providing accommodations for six or more unrelated individuals.
Residential care facilities may contain shared or individual senior living units, providing accommodation for six or more unrelated individuals.
Assisted living communities and residential care facilities provide the same types of services and amenities. It is up to the prospective assisted living resident to determine which option is best for their needs and personal preferences. Some incoming residents prefer assisted living facilities in Bend for their private senior living units, while residential care facilities may provide more affordable options for those willing to share an apartment.
Support services must be available 24-hours a day at assisted living communities in Bend. Communities are required to accommodate residents by adjusting their service plans according to their levels of care. If a person’s daily needs or health conditions change during their stay at an assisted living residence in Bend, they may arrange third-party care with another provider to meet their needs.
If a person’s level of care changes to the point where they can no longer live safely in an assisted living community or residential care facility, the residence may involuntarily discharge them for approved reasons. Illegal substance abuse and behavior that disrupts other residents are common reasons communities issue involuntary discharges.
Communities must provide standard supportive services to be in accordance with the Oregon Department of Human Services’ regulations. Along with providing assistance with residents’ activities of daily living (like bathing, eating, or dressing), assisted living residences in Bend must offer:
Social and medical transportation
Social and recreational activity programs
Each incoming resident must participate in a pre-admission assessment to determine their long-term care needs. The pre-admission assessment will take a person’s current health conditions and medical history to help the community create an effective care plan for each individual.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Long-Term Care in Oregon
Depending on a person’s long-term care needs, assisted living may or may not be the right choice for care. For some families, independent living communities or nursing homes may be more suitable options.
Assisted and independent living are similar in many ways. Both types of communities provide social activities to stimulate residents, home-like living spaces, and on-campus amenities to create a fun, all-in-one environment where residents thrive. Their main differences lay in the types of care they provide.
Independent living communities are ideal for individuals or families who are largely self-sufficient. Their primary focus does not lay in the care services they provide, but the maintenance-free lifestyle residents enjoy. Typically, independent living communities provide 24-hour response systems, but staff do not assist with residents’ activities of daily living to the same extent as assisted living communities.
A family may consider independent living communities in Bend as an alternative to living at home because they want around-the-clock peace of mind. Staff at independent living communities help residents with their household chores and oftentimes, communities provide on-site meals and complimentary transportation.
Unlike independent and assisted living communities in Bend, nursing homes provide skilled nursing care in addition to personal care services. Nursing homes have different staffing requirements than independent and assisted living communities in Oregon and they are more well-equipped to assist residents with their ongoing medical needs.
Nursing homes in Oregon provide nursing services assisted living communities and residential care facilities are not licensed to provide. The type of senior living residence a person choose may impact the type of funding they receive to pay for it, especially with programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Families should research their financial options before choosing a community so they can find a residence that will meet their budget.
Standard Assisted Living Amenities in Bend, Oregon
Assisted living communities and residential care facilities must provide three meals per day that meet the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid. Additionally, communities must serve nutritious snacks in between mealtimes.
If a resident has religious dietary restrictions, allergies, or other special requirements, communities must provide suitable meals. For example, assisted living communities in Bend must serve meals with low carbohydrates or kosher ingredients if requested. To learn more about potential meal modifications, incoming assisted living residents should contact their prospective communities for information.
Along with the basic services and amenities communities are required to provide according to the ODHS, many offer additional resources to create a resort-style residence. Resort-style assisted living communities in Bend provide almost everything a person needs on-campus so residents can live worry-free. Common resort-style amenities include:
Barbershops or hair salons
Gardens with walking trails
Swimming pools or jacuzzis
Living rooms with large televisions and comfortable furniture
Game rooms or billiard rooms
Business centers with computers and internet access
According to the ODHS, all assisted living communities in Bend must provide recreational, social events for residents, which may include opportunities like:
Group outings to nearby points of interest
Happy hours and social mixers
Game nights and friendly competitions
Arts and crafts sessions, like knitting or painting classes
Continuing education opportunities, like lectures and classes
Because no two communities are the same, it’s important for families to speak with their prospective residences about on-campus amenities and activities. Many assisted living residences in Bend publish their activities calendar online for the public and others will discuss their upcoming events on during tours.
Assisted Living Apartments in Bend, Oregon
Similarly to assisted living services and amenities, the ODHS regulates the types of apartments and living units assisted living apartments in Bend may provide. Assisted living communities and residential care facilities are subject to separate regulations regarding on-campus dwellings, depending on their license.
If a residence qualifies as an assisted living community, they must provide individual units for each resident. Each unit must have a private bathroom, lockable doors, and a kitchen area that adheres to the state’s building regulations. Residents may share a unit if they wish, but they must voluntarily choose to do so. Assisted living communities in Oregon are not permitted to assign residents a roommate unless the person first requests it.
All private bathrooms must have a toilet, a sink area, and a wheelchair accessible shower to be in accordance with the ODHS licensing regulations. Kitchen areas are required to have a sink, a food storage appliance (like a refrigerator), and a cooking appliance. Some communities may provide additional kitchen amenities like a dishwasher, however, these are not required by the state. Assisted living kitchens must have space for food preparation (like countertops) and storage (like cabinets).
Unlike assisted living communities, residential care communities may provide shared or private units. If a residential care facility offers shared rooms, they may not accommodate more than two individuals. Shared apartments may have suite-style layouts or individual bedrooms, and all individual bedrooms must connect into a shared living area. A person’s bedroom may not open directly to a public community hallway.
Residential care communities may locate bathrooms directly inside residential care units or they may be centrally located in the common hallways. If units have their own bathrooms, they must feature a sink, a toilet, a mirror, and they must be wheelchair-friendly.
Many senior living communities provide amenities in addition to those listed above which are not required by the ODHS. These amenities may include:
Balconies or patios
Individually controlled heating and air conditioning
Cable or internet hookups
Additional living space, like dining areas
Residential care facilities and assisted living communities in Bend typically offer tours where families can see their apartments before moving in. These tours are a great way to get a feel for what it’s like to live at a residence, helping families decide which community will best fit their needs.
Things to Do in Bend, Oregon
Bend is nestled in central Oregon’s expansive forests and mountains, offering unrivaled natural beauty and limitless opportunities for indoor and outdoor fun.
The Deschutes National Forest is a local favorite, spanning a stunning 1.8 million acres along the eastern side of the Cascadian mountain range. The forest is home to walking trails and a wide variety of wildlife, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers.
Like skiing? Mt. Bachelor is located 22 miles west of Bend, offering world-class skiing opportunities and breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Lava River Cave is another exciting outdoor adventure, where guests enjoy the thrill of hiking through the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon.
When families want an exciting indoor adventure, the High Desert Museum is a must-see. With hands-on exhibits and historical artifacts, the museum has something for everyone of all ages to enjoy.
Funding Assisted Living in Bend, Oregon
When families are approaching retirement, many wonder how they will pay for long-term care. Paying out-of-pocket using personal savings or retirement funds is a popular way to pay, as is using long-term care insurance or government-subsidized programs. Fortunately for families moving into assisted living, there are a variety of options available to pay for long-term care.
Long-term care insurance is an increasingly popular way to pay for assisted living. By purchasing a policy before a person approaches their retirement, families can save thousands of dollars with the right plan. Many assisted living communities in Bend accept long-term care insurance, depending on a prospective resident’s insurance provider and their policy.
However, long-term care insurance may not be an affordable option without enough planning in advance. The earlier families purchase a long-term care insurance plan, the less costly their monthly premiums will be during the years before they retire.
If long-term care insurance isn’t an option and families are not paying out-of-pocket, government assistance programs may be able to offset the costs of care. Medicare will not pay for assisted living, but families and individuals who qualify for Medicaid may be eligible for financial assistance to pay for community-based care.
In Oregon, qualifying families and individuals may participate in the Community First Choice (CFC) program to pay for long-term care. To be eligible, a person must require a nursing level of care and they must meet Medicaid’s financial requirements. If they are going to use the program to pay for an assisted living community, the residence must provide adequate supports to meet the resident’s physical and mental level of care.
The Independent Choices Program (ICP) is another helpful resource for retiring adults in Bend, providing cash benefits to qualifying recipients to pay for long-term care. Recipients receive their award monthly, which they may use to pay for personal care services in a home or community-based setting.
Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer exclusive benefits for veterans and their spouses that pay for long-term care. The VA sponsors a unique program known as Aid & Attendance, distributing cash awards each month to qualifying veterans.
To qualify for the Aid & Attendance program, a person must:
Have served in the United States Armed Forces during a time of war and not been dishonorably discharged
Be eligible for a monthly pension through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Require the aid and assistance from another person to perform their activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, eating, and maintaining their personal hygiene
To learn more about the Aid & Attendance benefit, veterans should contact their VA caseworker for information about their personal eligibility.