Nebraska Independent Living
Nearly 17% of the state’s 1.9 million residents are aged 65 and older. Nebraska is one of the most affordable states to live in. The economy is growing and the quality of life is high. Residents of Nebraska are happy and enjoy the beautiful views offered by the one of a kind landscapes. Nebraska is home to a plethora of museums for visitors and residents alike to visit. Nebraska is also known for affordable healthcare, which is a bonus for aging adults in the state. As our aging population gets older some may require care or housing solutions. Generally, when people think of senior housing they envision a nursing home. However, nursing homes are far from the only option. Some seniors may only be looking for a change of scenery, where they may lighten the load of home maintenance. The right kind of individual for an independent living community is someone who requires little to no assistance in daily life. Residents of Nebraska independent living communities live in a private home and have full autonomy to come and go as they please. Friends and family can visit any time residents wish. These offerings are excellent ways for people to stay social and build relationships with their peers.
Nebraska is home to several cities where seniors may receive excellent health care: Omaha, Kearney, Nebraska City, Lincoln, Columbus, among many others.
Some independent living communities have traditional offerings and there are some communities that present new ideas and strategies to enhance the comfort of residents.
Who are the ideal residents for independent living communities in Nebraska?
The type of people interested in Independent Living require little to no assistance in daily life. They most likely want to preserve their social interactions with others, and they like the peace of mind that comes with no yard maintenance and housekeeping.
To promote safety, most communities offer 24-hour security or a call system to reach staff or a manager. Management and staff are there to promote a safe and secure environment because the well-being of residents is priority number one.
What makes independent living communities in Nebraska different from other types of senior living?
Independent living communities accommodate residents with fully equipped private apartments or cottages, and because residents live on their own terms, independent living communities do not assist with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and medication reminders, like you may receive in a nursing home.
However, they may offer amenities such as housekeeping, linen services, transportation and social and recreational activities, included for an additional charge. Independent living may also be called Retirement living or Senior living.
Independent living communities may offer desirable services for residents
The available services and amenities vary between different communities, or even between buildings on the same campus.
Services you may find
Meal Plans– This could be a community kitchen to prepare your own meals, flexible spending accounts, up to three meals each day. Some newer communities may even offer a restaurant, open to the public.
Housekeeping– May be offered as an additional fee or included in the base rent.
Transportation– May be an option, including regular scheduled trips to the grocery or nearby stores.
Linen service – Services may be offered for an additional fee or included in the base rent.
Activities– Some events may be run by residents with no staff involvement. Or a community may have a staff member plan, schedule and lead activities.
Amenities you may find
Amenities at an Independent Living Community can vary greatly. Typically the more available amenities, the higher the monthly rate. Most Independent Living communities offer excellent ways for people to stay social and build relationships with their peers in common areas or at an on-site clubhouse. Planned life enrichment opportunities could be: entertainment and performers, arts and crafts, game nights, movie nights, cocktail hour, bus trips and other outings.
- Recreational center or a clubhouse on-site.
- The type and variety of meals provided.
- Swimming pools, steam room or sauna.
- Sports facilities where residents can play bocce ball, racketball and tennis.
- Trails for walking.
- Covered parking.
- Theater, library or billiards room.
- Golf course.
- On-site spa.
- Beauty Salon & Barber.
Learning about what amenities are offered and comparing them to the desires of your loved one will go a long way toward finding the perfect fit.
Housing in independent living in Nebraska
- One-bedroom apartments
- Spacious two-bedroom apartments
- and other stand-alone structures.
The safety and well-being of residents is priority number one in an independent living community. Most communities have 24-hour security and round-the-clock staffing and management there to look out for residents and keep a safe and secure environment.
How much does independent living in Nebraska cost?
Due to the nature of independent living, there is no universal cost database. To look at the average costs of independent living, generally 30-40% is reduced from the monthly cost of assisted living. You will find that the cost if independent living may be comparable to renting an apartment.
The cost of independent living averages to be less than the national average per month. Nebraska is not the most expensive state in the region.
- National average cost of independent living per month: $2,950
- Nebraska: $2,650
- Kansas: $3,000
- Iowa: $2,850
- Wyoming: $2,725
- South Dakota: $2,725
Finding the specific costs for independent living communities in Nebraska ay require some phone calls or visits to communities. Contacting communities of interest and speaking directly with an administrator or leadership is the easiest way to learn about costs.
Paying for Independent Living, what resources are available to help?
Private Funds- YES: Most families pay for independent living with private funds. Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments. Family members may also contribute funds toward a loved one’s care.
Tax Credit, section 202, HUD housing -MAYBE:
- Occupancy in Section 202 housing is open to any very low-income household comprised of at least one person who is at least 62 years old at the time of initial occupancy.
- The Section 202 program helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. It provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking, transportation, etc. The program is similar to Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811).
Veterans Aid & Attendance -MAYBE:
- Veteran aid and attendance allow veterans to receive financial benefits.
- A single veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 a month in benefits.
- A veteran with a spouse may qualify for as much as $2,430 per month.
- A well veteran with an ill spouse may qualify for as much as $1,600 per month.
- A surviving spouse may qualify for $1,300 a month.
Long-term Care Insurance- NOT TYPICALLY: This type of insurance does cover independent living communities because the policy owner will typically need assistance with Activities of Daily living to start the claim process. This care level is not typically offered by the Independent Living Provider. Typically, long-term care insurance will only help off-set costs related to care provided by a licensed provider, and not rent fees or meal expenses.
Standard medical insurance- NO: Health Insurance does NOT cover independent living communities because there are no direct medical treatments and services involved.
Medicare- NO: Medicare does not cover independent living, and rarely pays for assisted living level of care. Medicare’s main function is the coverage of certain expenses like short-term care, and rehabilitation depending on eligibility.
Medicaid- NO: Medicaid does not cover independent living. Most state medicaid plans require a care need to be present, such as dressing assistance, bathing assistance, cognitive impairment, etc.
Questions to ask when looking for Independent Living
- Does the community or facility have the right atmosphere for your needs?
- May I visit the community today?
- Who are the residents?
- What is the food like? Are residents happy with the food options?
- What are the transportation options?
- What amenities and activities are available?
- What are the costs for extra amenities?
- Does the facility have the right atmosphere for your needs?
- 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.
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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