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it always varies from facility to facility, and in my state they tried to make apples-to-apples comparison easier, but in the packets they give us at each facility, they aren't even filled out completely.
it is really difficult to tell in advance how much they will charge you--one place (Assisted Living, not independent) had a base rent of only $3,600/month, but when I asked the salesperson what do most residents actually pay per month she said it was between $5,000-6,000. She said if that was too much we should look elsewhere. (meaning, the don't really want economy-minded residents there, because they want to nickel & dime you for everything).
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babalou, we have an IL here in Amherst NY for $2000 a month for a studio apartment. Meals are excellent. BUT when I visited, I saw NO aides anywhere, no activity rooms, only one small bus and the resident manager was constantly leaving us to answer pull cord calls from the 200+ apartments. We took that one off the list.
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As in the large corporate IL communities: An apartment, 3 meals provided, daily trash collection, weekly light housekeeping for a base fee.
Know that all other helps or services are third party provided and the fees add up VERY quickly.
Some are good & others are VERY bad. They can make your life & the life of your family caregiver a nightmare. The "policies" can change on a dime & make you sorry you ever signed the lease. Beware the "Divide and Conquer" of families by some of these ruthless corporations to get at a vulnerable elder's finances and intimidate family members. Some have no problem making false statements to authorities regarding abuse to get at the money. Corporate criminals robbing the elderly.
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I think the definition varies from place to place. The facility I mentioned also had a full kitchen, with full sized appliances. We initially thought mom needed AL (which was a disaster) in part because we didn't know that IL existed. Lesson: do your OWN research and make NO assumptions.
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Mmmm... the IL facilities I've seen in TX had a kitchen and everything needed to live life independently in a senior community. There were activities, but no meals were provided. I'll have to change my thinking. I had considered meals & cleaning provided as AL.
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In Westchester County, NY, Independent Living ($5000/month) was room, 3 meals a day, open bistro with snacks, coffee, soft drinks 24/7,; once a week apartment cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, linens and towels laundered; clubs, activities, scheduled minibus transport to shopping malls, hairdressers, grocery and drugstore, car transport to doctor appointments. I was ready to move in.
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Basically, a nice room or apartment with meal service. Nothing more.
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