Colorado Adult Care Homes


Colorado Adult Care Homes: How to pay for, Licensing and Questions to ask…

Colorado is home to a good sized senior citizen population with about 885,000 residents. That is nearly 15% of the state’s overall population. There are excellent tax exemptions which increase Colorado’s appeal, and that is not to the mention the beautiful outdoors offering activities of all kinds for everyone. For seniors living in Colorado, life can be very relaxing. But as seniors get older, aging adults may need care at some point. They may require assistance with day to day activities. Usually, when people think of senior care, the first thing that comes to mind are nursing homes. But a nursing home is not the only senior care and housing option. An adult care home may be a great fit for your loved. Adult care homes provide an ideal living situation for a senior who can no longer manage their health and safety at home, and may need care.

Colorado adult care homes (residential care homes) other terms and definitions

Residential care homes are found in normal residential neighborhoods. You may drive past an adult foster home 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: 

  • Residential care facility
  • Personal care home
  • Board and care home 
  • Care Home
  • Adult family home 
  • Adult foster home
  • Nursing Home (although this is an outdated and not an accurate term for this level of care)
  • Retirement home

Adult care homes (residential care home) in Colorado

These are private residences that provides a home-like setting, and typically care for less than 10 senior residents in Colorado. Specifically, that is the bed count. The Care home provider will typically provide meals, housekeeping, and limited activities. Caregivers may perform several functions: personal hygiene and mobility and eating and dressing and toileting and behavior management. There are other excellent options aside from a nursing home.

Licensing and regulations in Colorado

Residential care homes are licensed and surveyed by the state of Colorado. The Colorado Department of Human Services oversee care facilities for the elderly.

Residential care homes are licensed to provide 24/7 living arrangements in a private residence for the elderly, who are not related to the owner. Typically, unless licensed otherwise, a residential care home houses a maximum of ten beds. Operators must be licensed in their state and participate in on-going training. Staff must have hands-on experience providing care for the population they intend to serve, as well as on-going training. Each operator may employ additional caregivers to support with the care of residents.

What care and support does an Adult Care Home provide?

Similar to a nursing home, residents receive 24-hour care all in a single-family environment.  Residential care homes appear very similar to a single family home. So they make ideal homes for seniors who require individualized care while allowing residents the preferences and choices to honor their independence.

Typical services in an adult care home in Colorado

  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • physical transfer
  • Walking/mobility
  • Bathing
  • medication assistance
  • activities
  • Transportation

Your loved one may require assistance with these ADLs (activities of daily living), in which case an adult foster home may be ideal. If they are much more dependent on care and services, a nursing home or higher level or care or institutionalization may be more suitable.

How much does a residential care home cost in Colorado?

The cost of adult care homes in Colorado depends on where you live. Some cities are much more costly than others. These homes fall under the umbrella of assisted living, so as you research, you’ll find costs are generally similar, but not always. The average cost of a residential care home in Colorado is $3,800 per month. In Colorado, assisted living costs $4,500 per month on average. On the bright side, this is much less expensive than nursing homes, which range around $9,000 per month.

  • Costs fluctuate depending on your geographical location within the state. 
  • Expect to pay between $1,700 per month to $4,000 per month, on average.  
  • Costs are affected by the care requirements of your loved one.

How to pay for an adult care home in Colorado

You want to consider your payment options for assisted living, memory care, and care homes. For these services, Medicare is NOT an option for payment.

The most common payment for these services would be out of pocket Private Pay and assessing a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.

Medicaid can also be an option, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

Long-Term Care insurance is also a possible option in cases of chronic conditions, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

For our Veterans and spouses of veterans, be sure to assess Veteran Aid and your eligibility for these benefits.

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.

Some things to consider when you visit homes

  • Who provides care in the home: Does the owner lives in the home, or is there a Resident Manager who lives in the home and is the main caregiver?
  • What are the schedules and/or routines of the home?
  • What are the care needs of the other residents?
  • Would you feel comfortable living with the other residents and caregivers in the home?
  • How do residents interact with one another?

Visit Retirement Connection for additional information about adult foster homes

Questions to Ask

Finding an assisted living community can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:

  • Make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. You can tell a lot about the operation by noting what is clean and maintained. Are doorknobs loose or damaged? Do you see any frayed carpet or trip hazards?
  • Visit during lunch hour to observe what the residents are eating. Ask questions about the nutrition program. Is there diversity in meals, healthy fruits and vegetables served at all meals, drink options?
  • Speak to residents and/or family members to learn their perspective.
  • Ask about staff and resident engagement. Get a feel for how staff interact with residents.
  • Ask about the life enrichment programs. Activities are crucial when it comes to quality of life and play a key role in care for older adults.
  • And finally (along with a plethora of more things to consider), get to know the leadership in the building. If you feel good around the Executive Director, Head Nurse, Lead Activities Director and even the Chef or Janitor, it is a good sign you can trust them with the care of your loved one.

Resources and links related to Senior Living and Care

Eldercare Locator This is a great resource to search for specific care in specific counties and cities. This database is a nationwide resource 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 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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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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