Ask The Senior Care Expert In Northern Michgian

If you are a caregiver in Northern Michigan exploring senior care options for a loved one, you no doubt have a lot of questions.  The rules and regulations that govern senior living communities can be confusing. The terminology can make it even more difficult to understand. Our Ask the Expert series tries to answer the most common questions we hear from families.

How are assisted living communities licensed in Michigan?

There is no licensing for Assisted Living in the state of Michigan.  There is licensing for a Home for the Aged (HFA) and for Adult Foster Care Homes (AFC). Both offer residents assistance with activities of daily living and 24-hour supervision. The primary difference between these two types of care is that residents in an HFA must be at least 60 years of age. Another difference relates to size. HFAs have 21 or more residents, while AFCs have 20 or less. The Brook Retirement Communities falls into neither of these categories. However, follow policies and procedures that ensure quality care and often supersede the licensing requirements for HFA and AFC Homes. Example: Under licensing for HFA and AFC, there is not a requirement for licensed nurses to be on staff or provide any care. At The Brook, each location has an LPN or RN on staff or as the manager of that community in order to provide a high level of care that we believe residents in our communities deserve.

Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

No. That is a very common myth. Medicare does not pay for assisted living. The costs for an assisted living community are generally paid for from private funds, long-term care insurance and in some cases, VA benefits. In some instances, if a resident has been in the hospital for an illness, injury or surgery, Medicare may pay for some health services (such as therapy) to be provided at the assisted living by a certified Medicare provider. You might want to visit our Paying for Senior Care in Northern Michigan (link) page to learn more about financing senior living.

What is the average cost for assisted living in Michigan?

The average cost of assisted living in Michigan is $2,713 per month. But the range goes as high as $6,150 per month. Northern Michigan seniors have a quality, affordable assisted living option at The Brook. Assisted living studio apartments are $2,698 per month.

How much does independent living cost in Michigan?

On average, an independent living apartment in Michigan will cost $2,047 per month. At The Brook Retirement Communities in northern Michigan, the cost of independent living is $1,498 for a one bedroom apartment and $1,898 for a two bedroom. This cost includes all utilities (with the exception of cable and phone), twice a month housekeeping, access to personal care services as needed and the ability to take advantage of an amenities, outings or activities in the building at no additional charge.

What is the average cost of a nursing home in Michigan?

The average cost of a nursing home in Michigan is $240 per day ($7,200 a month).

What is the difference between independent living and assisted living?

Independent living is an option for seniors who need little or no help. These residents generally move to a community seeking security, socialization, and access to transportation. Assisted living communities offer residents help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, medication management and more.

What is the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?

The primary difference is that an assisted living cannot provide complex medical care. Nursing homes are able to provide 24-hour medical assistance. Depending upon what state you live in, there are also differences in what kind of medication management can be provided. Assisted living communities are usually more appealing to families because their loved one will live in their own apartment and be able to maintain some degree of privacy and independence. Assisted living facilities are also less expensive than a nursing home.

Do memory care programs have activities for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? One of the benefits of a good dementia care assisted living community is the life enrichment programs they offer for residents. While there are several philosophies of care, most programs are designed to help dementia residents maintain independence by supporting their current abilities. The structured activity typically begins when the resident wakes up and continues on through bedtime.

Can a senior use Medicaid to finance assisted living?

More and more states are beginning to shift Medicaid money away from more expensive nursing home care. They are turning to in-home care and assisted living for quality, affordable solutions for low income seniors who need additional support. In Michigan, the MI Choice Waiver program is run by the Medicaid office. It is a good idea to ask assisted living communities about their interaction with this program.   

Can a person who is incontinent live in assisted living?

In most cases, the answer is YES. The community staff will try to help manage your loved one’s incontinence through schedules and reminders. Be sure to ask each assisted living community you visit with how they handle this issue, and at what point (if any) you might be required to move your family member to a different care setting.

If you have questions or need advice on how to start your search, we can help. Please call The Brook community closest to you or our corporate office at 989-745-6500..