Alabama Adult Care Homes: How to pay for, Licensing and Questions to ask…
Alabama is becoming well-known for great weather year-round. The state is home to beautiful beaches, a booming economy, and great food. The population of Alabama is over 5 million residents, of which 17% are aging adults 65 and older. The state does not tax social security, so when the time comes, seniors have more money to use. Typically, when people think of senior care and housing, they imagine a nursing home. However, nursing homes are not the only place seniors can live out their years. There are 85 adult care homes in Alabama, often called residential care facilities or group homes. An adult care home in Alabama may be ideal for a senior who can no longer manage their health and safety in their own home, and may need care. Alabama adult care homes are an excellent housing option for aging adults because they offer private residencies in a home-like environment and some care, though typically medical care.
Alabama is home to several cities where seniors may receive excellent health care: Auburn, Montgomery, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Orange Beach, among others.
- Alabama Adult Care Homes: How to pay for, Licensing and Questions to ask…
- Alabama adult care homes defined
- Definitions and other terms in Alabama
- Licensing and regulations for adult care homes & residential care facilities in Alabama
- The cost of adult care homes
- How to pay for an adult care home in Alabama
Alabama adult care homes defined
Adult Care Home or Residential care facility
Certified family homes are private residences that provide a home-like setting, and in Alabama, typically care for up to 4 residents. The care home provider will typically provide meals, housekeeping, and limited activities. Unlike a nursing home, residents may require very light assistance with ADLs. If a resident requires much more care and services, a nursing home is probably a better situation for their needs. Caregivers at an adult care home may perform several functions: personal hygiene and mobility and eating and dressing and toileting and behavior management.
Definitions and other terms in Alabama
Alabama adult care homes are found in normal residential neighborhoods. You may drive past one each day on your commute. As you look for adult care homes in your community, it is good to know the other terms/names you may hear:
- Family assisted living
- Residential care facility
- Adult family home
- Board and care home
- Adult foster home
- Nursing Home (although this is an outdated and not an accurate term for this level of care)
Licensing and regulations for adult care homes & residential care facilities in Alabama
Residential care facilities are licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Health to care for 2-3 adults.
An administrator must be employed and is responsible for the day-to-day operations. There must be sufficient staff on site at al times.
All employees are mandatory reporters and required by state law to report any suspected abuse, neglect or abandonment. Any suspected abuse may be reported directly to the Department of Health and Welfare.
Caregivers in adult care homes may assist with activities of daily living and care needs
The cost of adult care homes
Adult care homes tend to be about 15-30% less than assisted living facilities. And in addition, Alabama is one of the most affordable states in the country for senior care and housing.
Assisted living in Alabama costs $3,500 per month on average. So, Alabama adult care homes generally cost between $2,500-$3,000 per month, depending on the county or city where you reside or are looking for care.
How to pay for an adult care home in Alabama
Paying for Senior Living and Care will vary depending on a few factors. For instance, the level of care needed; the income and savings of the resident; the state and location of the community; or if the resident is a veteran. In the United States there are over 400 programs that may offer some monetary relief for senior care, but often the majority of costs are covered by private funds and family assistance. These funds come from our Federal, State, and Local Governments.
It is important to take your time when exploring payment and coverage options.
Medicare – NO:
- Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
- People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
- Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.
Private pay – YES:
- Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
- Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
- Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.
Medicaid – MAYBE:
- Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
- Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
- Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
- National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
- The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
- If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.
Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:
Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.
- Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
- Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.
Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:
This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.
- There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
- A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
- If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.
Questions to ask when Looking for Senior Living
Finding an assisted living community, can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:
Resources and links related to Senior Living and Care
Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings
Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.
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