How does anyone afford the Assisted Living expenses?

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Boy ain't that the truth? Lucky for us, my father-in-law had enough money saved up (at least for awhile) for my mother-in-law to live in asst living. But at $3400.00 a month, good grief that won't last forever.
Assisted Living in NJ is a fortune. My husband and I visited several facilities and the nicest one closest to her friends and family started out at $4400 per month. That's not unusual here. Then they wanted to add almost $2075 for her "care" meaning getting help into the shower, helping her get dressed etc etc. My mother didn't want any help with any of those things even though she could use the help. She gets around in a wheelchair. The only thing she and I wanted was for them to take care of her pills. They charge $575 per month to do that. At this rate, we have to apply for Medicaid at the end of this year b/c my mother's funds are running low. The money sure doesn't last at that rate. I don't know why they charge so much. This is a time when seniors need help. At first I thought I'd have my mother live with us but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it wasn't right for HER. She needs the stimulation and conversation with others her own age. She's doing 100% better than she was living alone. At my house she wouldn't get around at all. AL is perfect for seniors who need some assistance. I just don't know why they charge so much.
Top Answer
they charge alot because they are for profit like alot of our health care. They have to make a profit to run smoothly and to earn a profit for all invested in them, just like hospitals, etc. It is a business.
Madge1: I agree...they are always looking for the bottom line. I have started to look at ALFs for Mom. They always give you a "base" price then tack on more for "extra" care.
When you talk to the adminitrators never reveal how much your parent can pay or what there income is at first. See how flexible they are - ANYTHING can be negotiated. Then, if you reach a reasonable price, get it in writing along with what services your parent will receive.
I am so tired of doctors, hospitals, ALFs, and NHs acting as though they have a right to charge whatever the market will bear. I understand the need for profit, in order to keep their doors open...but most of the time it just seems like extreme greed.
That is why we all need to be good consumers, ask the important questions, and move on if there is something that doesn't seem right. The one thing that is good about a "free market ecomony" is that there is a lot of competition out there. If you receive poor service, let the head office or administrator know then don't use those services again. There are also dozens of rating sites...I use these all the time and leave reviews as well.
That is why this forum is so great...we can openly exchange ideas and suggestions as well as steer each other away from those things that might harm our parents.
Caregivers need more help that what we are getting now.
teri: If one parent is a veteran or is the spouse or a veteran you can qualify for veteran's benefits. The ALF that we are considering has a company that will fill out the forms and submit them for you at no cost.
good luck
i placed grandma in Respite care for four days and it cost 700.00 you don't want to know what it cost in Cali.
ALf for my mom would be close to $5000/mo if we paid privately. Luckily she is on Medicaid and qualifies. We just pay her Medicaid spend down plus room and board. It's going to be close to $2000 a month instead - all inclusive.

On the downside, they only have a very few rooms available for the Medicaid patients. I put her on the list at 2 places last September - still waiting. They both me it would be a year, at least. A third place already had an opening and the references I've received on their care are very good, but I found the atmosphere very depressing. So I'm waiting.
One thing about the veterans admin. you have to have under a certain amount of money. If however, you are a disabled vet, you can quality for care regardless of money. At least that is what I was told, worth checking out.

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