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 Residential Care Communities
An assisted living residence is defined as a facility that provides housing, health, and other services to support the independence of its residents. ALFs are required to offer a private bedroom, bathroom, living space, kitchen capacity, and a lockable door.
The residential care homes serve three or more unrelated residents. The home must provide room and board, assistance with personal care, general supervision, and medication management, but the living space does not have the same requirements as in an assisted living facility.
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. Vermont 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 $10,585 for a semi-private room and $11,102 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.
There are two types of in-home care available in Vermont: 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 $5,720 per month.
There are over 90 assisted living facilities in Vermont with over 2,400 licensed beds. Brookdale, the nation’s largest provider of assisted living facilities operates one community in the state. Other large providers include Pillsbury and The Residence who both operate three facilities in the state.
The average cost of assisted living care in Vermont is $5,250 per month. This is $750 higher than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Vermont is 17% higher than the national average with healthcare costs 0.7% lower than the national average and housing costs 36.2% more than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. The only city in the state tracked in the Genworth survey is Burlington where the average cost of assisted living is $6,371, considerably higher than the state average.
If you live close to one of Vermont’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option. If you live near the border with New York, you may be able to find less expensive assisted living as the average cost in the state is $4,580 per month. The average cost in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts is considerably higher than the cost in Vermont at $6,053 and $6,500
The average cost of assisted living in Vermont 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.
Vermont has one Veterans Home in Bennington. This home provides skilled nursing care to residents of Vermont 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 Vermont, 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 81% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 75% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 68% 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 Vermont, 82% of communities conduct depression screening, and 59% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 64% 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. Vermont facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.
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 Vermont, 18% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (20%), toileting (37%), and walking (65%). Caregivers in ACHs help 45% of residents to dress, and 69% 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.
There are 15 assisted living facilities in VT and the median cost of care is $5,250. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Vermont is 3 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is Pillsbury Allenwood.
465 Quarry Hill Rd, South Burlington, VT, 05403
185 Pine Haven Shore Road, Shelburne, VT, 05482
Outdoor Areas, Housekeeping, Pool, Activity Center, Fitness Programs,
1510 Williston Rd, South Burlington, VT, 05403
Pool, Social Outings, Fitness Programs, Outdoor Areas, Beauty & Barber,
92 Cedar Hill Drive, Windsor, VT, 05089
Pet Friendly, Housekeeping, Pool, Social Outings, Clubs & Communities,
1530 Williston Rd, South Burlington, VT, 05403
Pet Friendly, Pool, Fitness Programs, Clubs & Communities, Beauty & Barber,
64 Harbor View Dr, Saint Albans, VT, 05478
Pet Friendly, Pool, Beauty & Barber, Outdoor Areas, Activity Center,
100 EastView Terrace, Middlebury, VT, 05753
Outdoor Areas, Housekeeping, Activity Center, Clubs & Communities, Pet Friendly,
350 Lodge Road, Middlebury, VT, 05753
Outdoor Areas, Housekeeping, Activity Center,
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