Missouri Assisted Living: common terms, questions to ask, and how to pay
The senior population in Missouri is growing every year. Nearly 18% of the state’s population is 65 years and older. Aging adults have the advantage of affordable senior housing in Missouri. The state ranks in the top 15 for senior living and housing. These considerations make Missouri an excellent place for seniors to live in an assisted living community. When most people think of senior care and housing, they imagine a nursing home. This is not the only option for adults 65 and older. Assisted living communities are not nursing homes, which are much more expensive and offer different services and care. Assisted living in Missouri is well below the national average in cost as well. Aging adults spend on average $1,500 less for assisted living in Missouri than other states. Most Missouri Assisted Living Communities will provide a bedroom, restroom, meals, and assistance with care. Additionally, the size and amenities of each community can vary and affect cost. Keep in mind, Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
Missouri has several well-known cities where seniors may receive excellent healthcare: St. Louis, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Ozark, Joplin, Branson, among many others.
- Missouri Assisted Living: common terms, questions to ask, and how to pay
- More about assisted living in Missouri
- What Services are typically provided in assisted living in Missouri?
- Missouri assisted living laws and regulations
- Expected monthly cost of assisted living in Missouri
- How to pay for assisted living in Missouri
Most importantly, assisted living in Missouri allows your loved one the benefit of security and peace of mind. They may experience increased socialization, classes for health and fitness, and quality nutrition plans.
However, there are a variety of senior housing options besides assisted living in Missouri or nursing homes designed to fit the requirements 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.
More about assisted living in Missouri
Missouri assisted living may go by different names, but the most common universal term is assisted living. Some other common terms include: care home, residential care, convalescent home, rest home, or retirement home. The lay person sometimes groups all senior housing into the term of “nursing home.”
Assisted living communities are NOT nursing homes.
What Services are typically provided in assisted living in Missouri?
Missouri assisted living must offer 24 hour care to residents. Residents may move into these communities to receive assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
- Medication assistance and reminders
- Toileting and incontinence management
Most Assisted living communities provide meals, light housekeeping, and activities program. Additionally, some may also offer support such as scheduled transportation and linen services.
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:
- Game nights
- Parties and other social events
- Planned outings
Transportation: Options vary from community to community, state to state, city to city and so on.
Housekeeping: Typically, assisted living communities provide housekeeping and linen services. Duties may be performed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Missouri assisted living laws and regulations
In the state of Missouri, the Department of Health and Senior Services is in charge of licensing all long-term care facilities.
Communities may offer apartments or single and double occupancy bedrooms for residents. Any bedroom can house no more than four individuals. Each resident must have 70ft of personalized space in an assisted living community. Missouri assisted living must offer a home-like setting to residents, with shared communal spaces for socialization.
All assisted living facilities must hire an administrator and direct care staff to fulfill all services and duties and medical requirements to every resident. Each assisted living community and assisted living facility has a required staff to resident ratio to make sure there is always sufficient staff available to care for residents as needed.
Expected monthly cost of assisted living in Missouri
How much is assisted living in Missouri? The good news is the average cost for an assisted living community is $1,500 less than the national average. Missouri is one of the most affordable states in the country for long-term senior living, and the least expensive when compared to other states in the region.
- National average cost for assisted living per month: $4,500
- Missouri: $3,000
- Kansas: $4,650
- Illinois: $4,500
- Tennessee: $4,150
- Kentucky: $3,500
The cost of assisted living communities will vary within the state. Some regions may be more expensive or cost less than others.
- Missouri: $3,000 per month
- Kansas City: $4,600
- St. Louis: $4,100
- Cape Girardeau: $2,350
- Jefferson City: $2,100
- Joplin: $2,900
The cost of assisted living in Missouri is much less than other types of senior care and housing. A nursing home is nearly double the cost. Nursing homes are also more expensive than all other forms of senior care.
How to pay for assisted living in Missouri
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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