Kansas Assisted Living

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

The most popular feature of Kansas for senior citizens is the low cost of living. Kansas is one of the most affordable states in the country. There are parts of Kansas where the cost of living is nearly 25% less expensive than the national average. Aging adults enjoy the slow pace of life and the affordability of Kansas. Aging adults may require care at some point, and Kansas has senior care and housing options to fit any needs and preferences. When most people think of senior care they envision a nursing home. However, nursing homes are definitely not the only option when it is time to move a loved one into a safe and secure environment. 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.

There are several cities of note with excellent assisted living accommodations, including Wichita, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan, among others.

Aside from assisted living, there are a variety of senior living and housing and care options which suit the requirements and desires of seniors.

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 requirements in Kansas

Housing

The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services requires apartment in assisted living in Kansas meet certain criteria:

  • Storage area with hanging rods and a door
  • Kitchen with sink, storage space for utensils and cooking supplies, a stove or microwave, and a refrigerator
  • Minimum of 200 square feet of living space
  • 80 square feet per resident if sharing a room
  • Sleeping area with a window that opens for fresh air and ventilation

Service plans

All residents must undergo an assessment performed by a licensed nurse, or administrator before admittance into a community or facility. This is in order to figure out what healthcare services are required.

Services

Communities and facilities perform services specific to the resident’s care plan, which include:

  • daily meals
  • group activities
  • transportation
  • housekeeping
  • activities of daily living

Laws and regulations in Kansas

Staffing

A trained administrator or operator must oversee all day-to-day functions of the community or facility. The administrator must have completed an operator training course that has been approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, or licensed as an adult care home administrator.

All employees must receive continuing education in: disaster management, resident rights, the principles of assisted living, accident prevention.

Grievances

All suspected abuse is to be reported to the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The expected monthly cost of assisted living in Kansas

The expected monthly cost of assisted living in Kansas is $4,600 per month. Across the country, the average cost of assisted living is $4,500 per month.

The cost of living will vary across the state. Cost will be affected based on the community, living arrangements, and additional amenities.

  • National average cost for assisted living per month: $4,500
  • Kansas: $4,600
  • Wichita: $4,000
  • Lawrence: $5,300
  • Topeka: $4,100

How to pay for assisted living in Kansas

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.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Administrative oversight of state and federal programs. Many services are provided by AAA’s.

Kansas Protection Report Center  Prevention and Protection Services offers a variety of services to children, families and vulnerable adults including protection services, family-based assessments, family support services.

Kansas Dept for Aging and Disability Services Adult Care Hotline This hotline is made to report abuse, neglect or exploitation occurring in an adult care facility, medical care facility or home health agency

Kansas Department of Health & Environment Any complaint regarding nursing homes or residents of nursing homes.

Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) is administered by the Kansas Department on Aging. Volunteers are available for all counties.

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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