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Avoiding the Most Costly Mistakes When Searching for Senior Living

September 9, 2015

A senior living community provides you or a loved one with different levels of service designed to accommodate particular needs and allow residents to age with dignity.  According to the most recent Cost of Care Survey published by Genworth Financial, the average monthly cost in 2015 for personal care provided in retirement communities in Pennsylvania (also referred to as assisted living or continuing care retirement communities) is $3,555. The projected annual cost increase for this type of care is 4 percent.

 When considering senior housing communities, you need to be aware of what to look for in order to get the most value for your money. You also need to understand what common mistakes to avoid when choosing the proper care levels and services needed. Here is some information to consider if you are looking for non-profit senior care or even services provided in a for-profit facility.

What to Look for When Choosing Senior Retirement Communities

Although the cost of care provided in personal care or senior retirement communities is a fraction of the more intensive services that a skilled nursing facility provides (based on the Cost of Care Survey data for Pittsburgh), you want to get as much value as you can for the dollars you spend. Groups such as AARP suggest that you make a list of the facilities that you want to visit in order to compare and contrast what they offer.

The regulation and licensing of personal care and senior retirement communities is performed by the state, not the federal government. This means there is no standard for the type of services one community offers versus another. This is also why taking a close look will help you determine what services you will receive for the money. Assisted living and personal care provides as much or as little services as you (or your aging loved one) needs - so work with a healthcare professional to determine what level of assistance is required and choose the community that best fits.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting Senior Housing Communities

Do not let cost be the only factor you consider when choosing between various senior housing communities. As mentioned above, the average monthly cost for care provided in senior housing communities in Pennsylvania is $3,555 a month or $42,660annually. Some communities may offer services that are below this average while others may be higher priced. If you base your choice solely on cost, you may find that the lower cost community you choose may not provide an adequate level of assistance that you need.

It is important to anticipate not only your current needs but also your future needs when looking at senior housing communities. The aging process comes with changes in your physical, mental and emotional states.  When choosing a community, choose based on the changes that you and your healthcare professional believe will occur during the aging process in order to match needs with the level of service that the community has available and can provide. Accounting for these pitfalls will help you find your supportive community.

Finding the right senior living situation for your specific health needs doesn’t have to be daunting – especially if you do some homework before the time comes. Simplify your search by exploring the non-profit senior care services provided by Concordia Lutheran Ministries. With arguably the broadest network of senior living communities in the southwest Pennsylvania/eastern Ohio region, Concordia Lutheran Ministries puts their faith into everything they do, making for exceptional quality of care and standards of living in each of their retirement communities. Take a tour of a Concordia community near you, and discover how we can help lend a helping hand toward a happier way of life.

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