Iowa Assisted Living: How to pay, Licensing and Questions to ask…
Iowa is ranked high for senior living. The lifestyle is laidback and easy. There’s almost no traffic in the major cities. The school system is top in the country with the highest graduation rates of any of the fifty states. The lack of state income tax and the lower costs for senior living bring more aging adults to the state each year. 18% of the state’s 3.3 million residents are aged 65 and older and with the passage of time it is likely that some will desire or require a change of scenery to simplify daily life. When most people think of senior care and housing they usually envision a nursing home. However, nursing homes are not the only choice you have when the time comes to move a loved one. Assisted living in Iowa provides your loved one the benefit of security and peace of mind. These communities are a specific level of care in a community setting. Maintaining what independence is possible while supporting whatever needs are required is the main objective of Iowa assisted living communities.
Iowa is home to several cities which provide excellent senior healthcare: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ames, Iowa City, Ankeny, among others.
- Iowa Assisted Living: How to pay, Licensing and Questions to ask…
- Assisted living in Iowa
- What services are offered in assisted living in Iowa?
- Laws and regulations in Iowa
- Expected monthly costs of assisted living in Iowa
- How to pay for assisted living in Iowa
- Assisted Living: Questions and inquiries when visiting communities and facilities
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 Iowa
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. Different service plans and the requirements of your loved one affect provided services and how individual plans are structured.
Assisted living in Iowa is structured similarly to all other states. 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 Iowa?
Residents may move into these communities to receive assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs): household chores and additional housekeeping, cooking, transportation, and some shopping. Iowa law supports residents with the written service plan, care related to health and the above mentioned ADLs.
Other possible services and amenities in Assisted Living
* All amenities will depend on the community.
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:
- Game nights
- Parties and other social events
- Planned outings
Laws and regulations in Iowa
Single occupancy units must have single-action locks unless their application endangers the life of residents. In addition, units must provide a working toilet, a sink and bathing facilities.
All assisted living facilities must always have a minimum of one qualified employee on staff at all times. All employees on duty must be awake and at the ready to perform all services and duties.
Expected monthly costs of assisted living in Iowa
The monthly cost of assisted living in Iowa ($4,375) is just slightly below the national average of $4,500.
- National average cost of assisted living per month: $4,500
- Iowa: $4,375
- Minnesota: $4,525
- Illinois: $4,500
- Nebraska: $4,100
- Missouri: $3,000
Across the state of Iowa, the average cost of assisted living stays close to the median, with only the major cities costing above the state and national average.
- Des Moines: $4,810
- Cedar Rapids: $4,750
- Iowa City: $4,425
- Davenport: $4,350
How to pay for assisted living in Iowa
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:
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?
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.
Search other areas Assisted Living
Not finding what you’re looking for? Take a look below.