Palm Beach Relocation Guide

SPR-SUM 2016

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182 P A L M B E A C H R E L O C A T I O N G U I D E – S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 A C T I V E A D U L T S & S E N I O R L I V I N G There are a number of contract options offered by CCRCs to seniors and their families. An extensive care contract is the most expensive, but affords the least risk, providing unlimited long-term nursing care at little or no additional cost for as long as nursing home services are needed by the client. A modified care contract comes with medium financial risk, and provides long-term health or nursing services for a specified period of time, after which, the senior or their guardian is responsible for the additional cost. A fee-for-service contract offers an a la carte approach, requiring that residents pay separately for all health and medical services provided by the facility, as well as long-term care. While a fee-for-service contract is the least expensive contract, it does have the highest risk, as costs can run very high for seniors who require unantici- pated extensive care later in life. The most common element in a CCRC contract is an entrance fee, where regardless of whether the contract is an extensive, modified or fee-for-service contract, the resident pays a lump sum entrance fee, plus monthly fees there- after. Another CCRC contract option may require an equity agreement where seniors purchase a condominium or co-op apartment on the property instead of paying an entrance fee. Less commonly found are CCRC contracts where resi- dents pay monthly fees only. Seniors and their families are advised to be sure to read the fine print on the contract care- fully to ensure that they are signing an agreement that guarantees the lifetime of services and support over an extended period of time that they are looking for. There are so-called copycat senior-care residences that claim to offer all the bene- fits of a CCRC, but in reality the services guaranteed by the actual contract fall far short of the claims made by management. Before signing a contract with a CCRC, seniors should conduct a thorough review of the facility's services, operations and finances, and determine that the CCRC is appropriate to their needs, lifestyle and expectations. It's also a good idea to ask a family attorney or accountant to review the contract as well. If the contract is found agreeable, ask to spend at least one night and two days at the facility, to test drive the community and make sure it is a good fit. Some points to consider include: • Are pets allowed in your residence? • What social, recreational and cultural activities are offered? • Is food prepared onsite? If so, how is it? • Are there fitness facilities onsite? • Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? • What healthcare and personal care services are available? • What preparations have been made for handling medical and evacuation emer- gency situations? CCRCs are an excellent option for those who are independent and in good health, but might need some assistance with daily living needs or require skilled nursing care. The variety of housing offered by CCRCs is varied as well, ranging from ultra- urban high-rise apartment communities to cottages, townhouses, duplexes or even single-family homes located in a beautiful, natural setting. ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES An Assisted Living Community (ALC) bridges the gap for seniors who need assistance with daily activities as a nursing home might offer, but wish to live as independently as they are capable of living for as long as possible. Resi- dents in an ALC are unable to live by themselves, but do not require constant supervision. An ALC offers its residents assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and keeping track of medications. They often have centers for medical services, but typically do not offer the extensive medical services provided by a nursing home. An ALC is not a substitute for a nursing home, but rather is a stepping stone between complete independence and service provided by a nursing home. Often, an ALC will create an individ- ualized service plan for seniors upon admission, detailing personal services that will be provided to the resident. This plan is periodically reviewed and updated to provide the correct care each resident receives. Housing in an ALC may be studio or one-bedroom apartments with small kitchen facilities. Typically, ALC housing units have group dining facilities and common areas where residents gather to enjoy social and recreational activities. An ALC may be licensed as a "Type A" or "Type B" facility, says Martinez. "A facility with a Type A licensing means that the residents are mentally and physically able to vacate the building without assis- tance within 15 minutes," says Martinez. "A Type B certification means that Palm Beach area offers a wide array of options to accommodate the different lifestyles of its seniors. From upscale retirement communities.... to full-care facilities specializing in caring for the elderly, there is a senior citizen living solution to fit every need. " "

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