Indiana Assisted Living

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Indiana Assisted Living: How to pay, Licensing and Questions to ask…

Indiana has excellent health care option for residents, all while maintaining the affordability Americans are looking for. The state of Indiana is one of the most affordable states in the country. The are nearly 7 million residents of Indiana, and about 17% of those are aging adults 65 and older. Assisted living in Indiana helps to rank the state high for affordability when it comes to senior housing. Generally, people imagine a nursing home when they think of senior care. However, this is certainly not true. Nursing homes are only one choice when it comes time for senior housing and care solutions. Not all seniors will require such comprehensive care. When the time comes to move into a new housing situation, Assisted living communities offer your loved one the benefit of security and peace of mind. These communities are a specific level of care in a community setting.

Indiana is home to several cities where aging adults may find excellent assisted living communities t suit their needs and desires: Indianapolis, Muncie, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, South Bend, among many thers.

As we mentioned, there are a variety of types and levels of care aside from a nursing home or an assisted living community. It’s good to be informed as you find the right fit for your loved one.

Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living: 

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)- typically include independent living, assisted living, residential care and skilled nursing services all on one campus.  
     
  • Independent Living Communities – provide residents a setting without the burden of home ownership. Residents commonly live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from a studio to large two-bedroom units.  
     
  • Care Home or Adult Family Care Home- are private residences in a home-like setting that provide care services to a smaller more limited number of residents (typically 5-12 residents, depending on each state’s regulations). 
     
  • Assisted Living- provides housing and supportive care in a community setting, but the residents do not require 24-hour nursing care. 
     
  • Memory Care- a care setting for residents with memory loss or confusion. The community typically has a “secured” entry for residents that may wander. This care can be provided in different care settings depending on the state licensing requirements. 
     
  • Skilled Nursing is state licensed to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for people who require rehabilitative care 24 hours a day.

Assisted living in Indiana

Most Assisted Living Communities will provide a bedroom, restroom, meals, and assistance with care. Additionally, the size and amenities of each community can vary greatly and affect cost. Residents may experience increased socialization, classes for health and fitness, and quality nutrition plans.

Assisted living in Indiana is referred to as “assisted living communities.” Federally, The most common universal term is assisted living. The lay person sometimes groups all senior housing into the term of “nursing home.” Assisted living communities are NOT nursing homes.

What services are offered in assisted living in Indiana?

Residents may move into these communities to receive assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs):

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Medication assistance and reminders
  • Eating 
  • Toileting and incontinence management
  • Transferring

Most Assisted living communities provide meals, light housekeeping, and activities program. Additionally, some may also offer support such as scheduled transportation and linen service.

Other possible services and amenities in Assisted Living

Life enrichment: Activities should be provided for the enrichment of residents. Typically, these include light exercise, social opportunities, or spiritual programming.

Additional activities and amenities may include:

  • Clubs
  • Game nights
  • Classes 
  • Parties and other social events
  • Planned outings

Laws and regulations in Indiana

Housing

Residents may share a bedroom if agreed upon. In Indiana, many residents will agree to a Medicaid waiver, which requires:

  • Wheelchair access
  • Private bath
  • Bedrooms
  • Living area
  • Kitchenette

Staffing

All assisted living facilities are require to have a manager on staff to oversee daily operations. In addition, a registered nurse must always be on duty if there are more than fifty residents in the community (facility). An activities director in mandatory. A pharmacist must be on staff.

All new staff must undergo a thorough background check and orientation before interacting with residents. Organized in-service training is required annually.

Expected monthly costs of assisted living in Indiana

Assisted living in Indiana is affordable, relative to the national average. The monthly average for assisted living across the country is $4,500. Indiana assisted living is $4,290. Residents save money in Indiana.

  • National average cost of assisted living per month: $4,500
  • Indiana: $4,290
  • Ohio: $4,650
  • Illinois: $4,500
  • Michigan: $4,250
  • Kentucky: $3,450

The cost of assisted living will vary throughout the state of Indiana.

  • Kokomo: $3,250
  • Indianapolis: $4,480
  • Evansville: $4,400
  • Bloomington: $4,290

How to pay for assisted living in Indiana

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.

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 (there is 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.

Assisted Living: Questions and inquiries when visiting communities and facilities

  • Do the admission criteria match my needs?
  • Have I reviewed the terms of the financial/provider agreement?
  • Is the unused portion of the rent refunded upon transfer/discharge?
  • Do I have a choice in the selection of medical/health care providers if additional services are needed?
  • Are the specific services offered Clearly identified in the agreement?
  • Have I reviewed The House rules?
  • Have I reviewed all of the reasons for which I may be transferred of discharged?
  • Is the bedroom private or shared?
  • Is the bathroom private or shared?
  • Are the shared areas clean?
  • Is there space for personal belongings?
  • Does the floor plan allow for easy mobility for me?
  • Are there private areas other than the bedroom for visits?
  • Is bathroom safety equipment installed or available if needed? (grab bars, raised toilet seat)
  • Is there a call system?
  • Are walkers/wheelchairs permitted?
  • Are hallways and doorways wide enough for wheelchairs?
  • Am I involved in the care planning process?
  • Is my family/responsible party involved?
  • Is my physician or other health provider involved?
  • Are the care plans updated to reflect changes in care needs?

CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions As the Area Agency on Aging serving Central Indiana, CICOA Aging and In Home Solutions connects people seeking help for themselves or a loved one with community resources for older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers.

Indiana Adult Protective Services The Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates reports and provides intervention and protection to endangered adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) SHIP provides health insurance counseling through a partnership with 81 non-profit organizations most of which are senior centers, Area Agencies on Aging, and hospitals.

Indiana Senior Medicare Patrol Senior Medicare Patrol, or SMP, programs help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries protect against, detect, prevent, and report health care fraud.

State Long Term Care Ombudsman The Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for residents of long-term care facilities, which includes nursing facilities and licensed assisted living facilities. Our primary purpose is to promote and protect the Resident Rights guaranteed to residents under federal and state law.

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 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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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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