Discover the latest community news, events and senior living trends at Montgomery Place
What is Life Care at Home Services?
As you enter your retirement years, you may start to worry about what would happen if you were to get sick and need specialized care. Being admitted to a nursing home or long-term care community can be a distressing experience, especially if it separates you from loved ones. A good alternative is to find life care at home services. The Montgomery Place Retirement Community offers this type of service, so you can easily transition to more extensive medical care should you ever need it.
What Is Life Care?
As people age, their medical needs change. When people first retire, they may be healthy individuals capable of living independently, but an unexpected diagnosis could quickly require extensive medical care. Life Care at home is a medical service that aims to provide different levels of care as they are needed. While you may need minimal assistance when you first move into a Montgomery Place community, you may soon benefit from minor assistance such as cooking, dining, and medication management services. Eventually, you may need therapy or daily medical care, which can be provided from the comfort of your home with life care.
What Are the Costs of Life Care?
The costs for life care vary depending upon the community you choose. The following three contracts are typically available for you to choose from.
This type of contract usually requires residents to pay an entrance fee covering the cost of housing, amenities, and service. Although the initial price is often steep, you will have stable monthly payments through the duration of your stay regardless of how much medical care you need in the future. Because the medical care provided often costs less through life care services than it does in the open market, this type of contract is beneficial for people who have good reason to believe they will have significant medical expenses in the future.
This type of contract features lower monthly payments and entrance fees, but it often restricts the provided services. You may still be covered to receive therapy at home, but you may have to receive other treatments at another location. This contract is ideal for people who have little reason they will contract severe conditions later in life.
Rather than charging a steep entrance fee covering the cost of housing and services, this type of contract allows you to make monthly payments for these expenses. However, medical care is not included in these expenses. If you ever need extensive medical care, you will be responsible for paying the market cost, but high-quality care is guaranteed. This type of contract is beneficial for people who never need extensive care, but the market costs of care may quickly exceed the upfront cost that comes with an entrance fee.
What Are the Benefits of Life Care?
Life Care at home services considers that all retirees have different needs that change over time. Treatment is entirely customized to fit your needs. While you are active and independent, care is limited to helpful services that allow you to make the most of retirement instead of spending a lot of time cooking, cleaning, and folding laundry. When your needs change, and you need more medical care, our certified staff members will provide it without making you leave the comfort of your home.
The most significant benefit of life care at home is that you do not have to be separated from your spouse. If you need extensive medical attention, but your spouse does not, you may qualify for a long-term care community or nursing home, but your spouse will only be allowed to visit. Life Care services at home ensure that you both have access to the care you need without having to be separated. This can be especially beneficial if you are dealing with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s and need to have a support system close by.
The final benefit of life care at home is stability. If you don’t have life care at home, you may have to travel long distances for treatment or even move to a different community to find the care you need. This can be stressful and inconvenient because it disrupts your daily routine. Getting the care you need from the comfort of your home allows you to form a strong bond with your caretakers without changing your routine.
Located in the center of scenic Hyde Park, Montgomery Place is a retirement community dedicated to helping seniors make the most of their later years. In addition to assisted and independent living options, we also offer life care at home, so you can be confident you will receive exceptional medical care as you age without having to move to a different community. If you are interested in learning more about our life care services to determine if this is the right solution for you, contact us today.
Living Costs for Independent Seniors
As you get older, you want to be able to enjoy those years, but you also need to face the reality that you may need a little assistance performing daily tasks. A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may be a great solution. CCRC provides a continuum of care, beginning with independent living and providing tailored support all the way through end-of-life care. Many people assume that independent living communities are too expensive, but you may be surprised because you don’t know how much independent senior living costs. You may also be surprised by how affordable some facilities such as Montgomery Place can be.
What Is Independent Living?
Independent living communities are senior living communities that provide residents the flexibility of a healthy social and recreational life, with the convenience of services such as housekeeping and cooked meals. Admission to an independent living community is limited to only those older than 55 or 65 who require limited assistance.
Members of the independent living community are afforded the delicate balance of autonomy and convenience, unlike other types of senior living. For instance, nursing homes mainly focus on providing medical care or help with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing.
Types of Independent Living
As you search for your perfect retirement community, you will come across various independent living communities. These communities offer different levels of independence and convenience.
Of all independent living arrangements, senior apartments offer the most autonomy and some services. In senior apartments, you get an apartment with a serviced kitchen and bathroom, allowing you to maintain your privacy.
Residents of senior apartments share a common dining room, which encourages healthy socialization.
Although they are a type of independent living community, retirement homes offer varied living options for older adults, ranging from townhomes and apartments to stand-alone houses.
Retirement communities offer seniors independence while also providing convenient onsite services, such as:
These additional services make retirement communities more expensive than senior apartments.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
These offer various senior living options, ranging from nursing home care to independent living, all within one community.
In these communities, you enjoy the flexibility of an active and social lifestyle with the comfort of readily available healthcare. Since continuing care retirement communities have nursing home care services, independent seniors have the convenience of having a permanent residence even when they become more dependent on caregivers.
Who Is a Good Fit for Independent Living?
With so many options, it can be challenging to determine which senior living arrangement is a good fit for you or your loved one.
The following seniors find independent living suitable for them:
Adults who don’t need assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, and management of medication
Adults who enjoy their independent lifestyle and only want help with home maintenance and meal preparation
Seniors who live alone and would like to interact with other peers through cordial social and recreational activities
Retired adults who are ready to embrace a more laid-back and convenient lifestyle
Average Cost of Independent Living
Independent living facilities are all-inclusive, so instead of paying separate fees for different expenses, you can pay one lump sum every month. Costs vary widely depending upon how many services and amenities the community offers. While many independent living communities, like Montgomery Place, offer daily meals, housekeeping and laundry service, a wide variety of social activities, and staff members available 24/7, some offer even more amenities so you will pay more to live at those facilities.
If you’re wondering, “how much is senior living per month?” the answer may surprise you. Many communities offer base packages as low as $500 per month, and because these facilities are all-inclusive, the annual cost could be much cheaper than living on your own. However, you often have to pay an entrance fee to reserve your spot. This one-time cost varies drastically among senior living communities. If you choose to become a resident of a continuing care retirement community that will offer you different services as your needs become more extensive, this fee could be as much as $600,000. However, most facilities are more reasonably priced and have entrance started at as little as $1,800.
The Cost of Staying at Home or Moving to a Senior Community
At first, you may think that remaining in your traditional, family home throughout your retirement may be much more cost-efficient than moving to an independent living community like Montgomery Place. Many senior living facilities require a significant entrance fee, and staying at home allows you to avoid this cost. Montgomery Place offers leasing options, as well as partially refundable entrance fee-based leasing agreements. If you add up the costs of living on your own, you’ll find that the cost of senior living is comparable. Expenses from the following categories add up quickly.
Housing: Rent or mortgage is one of the most significant expenses of living on your own. The average cost of rent or mortgage payment varies widely across the nation, but you can expect to pay approximately $1,200 per month just to keep a roof over your head. If you’ve owned your home for many years, you may not have a mortgage payment, but you’ll still have to pay property and HOA fees.
Transportation: If you own a vehicle, you may have monthly payments that could be expensive. Even if the vehicle is already paid off, you’ll still have to pay for gas, maintenance, and repairs as needed.
Groceries: You have to eat. Cooking for yourself is more cost-efficient than eating out every day, but the cost of feeding yourself can be expensive. On average, it takes $250 per month to feed one person three meals a day. If you want to consume a healthy, nutritious diet full of whole foods and organic fruits and vegetables, you could end up spending even more.
Utilities: It costs money to keep the water running in your house and keep the lights on. You may also have to pay for trash removal or lawn care services each month.
What To Consider When Choosing an Independent Living Community
Before you settle for an independent living community, assess your options based on the following factors.
Social and Recreational Opportunities
Older adults who settle for an independent living want increased independence coupled with abundant social and recreational activities. They want to take part in hobbies and games with their peers.
Before choosing an independent living community, discover the social and recreational opportunities available. Ensure that the community offers a healthy combination of onsite and offsite activities to keep you or your loved one satisfactorily occupied.
Convenience Services and Amenities
The quality of services and amenities offered at an independent living community is a factor you should seriously consider. Find out how often the community conducts apartment cleaning, laundry, and other convenience services.
Before making a choice, you should also explore the entertainment and lifestyle amenities available. You should ensure your chosen community is appropriately serviced if you cannot live without a TV or theater room.
Few things are as important as food. Your dining experience contributes to your comfort and health. Find out whether your chosen option offers flexible meal plans suitable to your needs. Verify the number of meals offered and the expected mealtimes to know if your choice is a good fit.
Compare Actual Costs Before Deciding, Talk to Montgomery Place: Senior Living Community in Chicago Today
Whether you are looking into senior living options for yourself or a loved one, the independent living community at Montgomery Place is a great option for people looking for a place in Chicago, Illinois. We offer a wide variety of support services to help you live your best life while living as independently as possible.
If you would like more information on all Montgomery Place has to offer to see if our community is right for you, contact us today to schedule a tour.
Featured Image: Shutterstock /Yakobchuk Viacheslav
Life Care at Home for Seniors
For many older adults, there’s literally no place like home. A recent AARP survey showed that 76% of Americans over age 50 want to stay in their current home. Even when moving to a senior living arrangement would offer numerous amenities, most seniors prefer to stay at home. If that’s how you feel, life care at home can be an attractive option.
What is Life Care at Home?
Life care at home means being able to stay in your current home while also receiving assistance with day-to-day tasks. This is also called aging in place. You go about your normal routine with the benefit of having someone around to take care of the things you can’t.
Some types of life care at home are temporary. For example, you may normally be able to cook, clean, and get around just fine. If unexpected surgery means you need to take things easy for a while, care helps you accomplish daily tasks without stress.
What are the Benefits of Home Care Services for Seniors?
Many seniors want to stay at home for the longest time possible. There are several advantages to aging in place:
Living at home gives you greater independence than many alternatives. You decide what to do and how. This includes decorating just the way you like and following your own schedule.
2. Familiar Places
Sometimes it’s not just your home that you love. You also enjoy being surrounded by friendly neighbors, charming oak trees, and nearby shops that you know well. There’s something to be said for being on a first-name basis with everyone.
3. Great Surroundings
You worked hard to pay for that dream patio that lets you see the sunrise every morning, so why give it up? Watching hummingbirds dart around a beautiful garden can have many benefits for your emotional and physical health.
The sights and smells of your family home aren’t easy to forget or replace. Life care at home can allow you to enjoy them for a long time.
What Does Life Care at Home Involve?
With modern home care services for seniors, you have a lot of flexibility for deciding what you want care providers to handle for you. Here are a few things life care at home can include:
Preparing meals and/or cooking
Reminding you to take medication
Helping you get dressed
Assisting you in moving around the house
Accompanying you to buy groceries
Other services include assistance eating, grooming, using the bathroom, and bathing.
How Can Life Care at Home Help Caregivers?
It’s not uncommon for a married couple to have unique health needs. One partner may be completely capable of caring for themselves, while the other may have serious health challenges that require assistance. If you’re caring for a loved one, can you still take advantage of life care at home?
Services can be a source of relief to many caregivers who feel exhausted or overwhelmed. When you don’t have to worry about, you can spend more time with your partner or get the rest you need to take care of your health. Professional home care services for seniors can also assist with personal care such as bathing, always in a dignified manner.
How Can You Choose the Best Care Option for Your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health?
Like many things in life, aging in place isn’t always sunshine and roses. There are challenges you need to be prepared for:
Getting out of the house
Keeping yourself busy
Staying safe and secure
Getting to and from appointments
Another thing to consider is the condition of your home. Remodeling a two-story home that causes you intense pain every time you go down the stairs may not be feasible. What then?
Whether these issues are a problem often depends on your specific circumstances. For example, if family members live far away, you may feel happier overall with the companionship and community offered by independent living.
What About Independent Living?
Independent living combines the independence of living from home with benefits and amenities designed specifically to make your life simple and stress-free. Residents reside in their own private spaces, but can leave tasks like housekeeping, meals, and home maintenance to professionals while also enjoying a variety of amenities and activities. It’s lavish, sophisticated, and satisfying.
At Montgomery Place in Chicago, we believe in uplifting both the heart and mind with our academic amenities near the University of Chicago. Exercise your independence with an extensive research library, art workshop, greenhouse, and other phenomenal ways to keep your mental focus sharp.
To learn more about our life care at home services and luxury assisted living, contact our friendly experts right away.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Robert Kneschke
6 Downsizing Myths
You know it. Your kids and friends now respond with the mantra, “This place is too big for just you.” You admit to yourself there are entire rooms in your home you’ve not even entered for more than a month. But your home houses a lifetime of treasures, memories, books, and papers. How can you possibly release them? How can you downsize?
I still chuckle when I read this 2016 Wall Street Journal article, “Lock the door: Your boomer parents have decided to downsize” and think you might enjoy reading it too.
Sorting through your treasures overwhelms you. It seems impossible to find a place to start. And when you finally do, you discover you’re simply putting everything you touch right back to where it was. This experience fuels a sense of defeat.
I know. I’ve been there. It is a big job.
Let’s break through feeling paralyzed. When you do, you may discover a sense of relief, a lightened feeling, a new freedom. I did!
Let’s start by busting a half dozen myths about what to do with some of your treasures:
1. My kids will want this!
Invite your children, nieces, and nephews to join you for the explicit reason of identifying items they want. Contain your shock when they disclose, they have absolutely no desire for their baby bed, their artwork displayed on the refrigerator when they were 8 years old or even the chair they sit in when they visit. Their home already is filled with their own furniture and stuff.
And, if there is something they may want, insist they take it with them that day…before they change their minds!
2. It’s still good and must be worth something!
Better yet, invite your kids to handle these transactions and keep the proceeds.
Not everything will sell, but if you were willing to part with a treasure and no one wants to buy it, it still has a future destination: Donate it to a charitable organization with resale shops that help fund their operations including Goodwill, Salvation Army, Red Cross, and WINGS Program, Inc.
3. Memories are embedded in so many treasures!
A baby bed or a favorite toy can instigate a tsunami of sweet memories. But they are just the stimulus.
To savor those memories, take photos of these special items. Download them or have them developed by a nearby store. Then, create a short story of your memories tied to these items and save them in an album. Perhaps make two: one for yourself and one for someone in your family. You’ve now shared a memory rather than stuff.
And, please remember to give away those items too!
4. I’ll use it again someday!
Will you? Really?
Here is a good way to test that theory. Pack these items in boxes. Label it. Seal it tight. Add a label with an “open date” date six months away. If the next time you see the box is past the “open date,” do not open it. Just discard it.
5. Documents are important!
Everything from tax returns, mortgage papers, and bank records to A+ term papers, Christmas cards, and letters seem too important to discard.
How do you keep history without taking up space? Try this. Scan these papers and save them electronically. Then, shred the paper to make lots of room. This way, you can share scanned files with family members so everyone can see those ugly Christmas sweaters!
6. Books are too valuable to toss!
I love my hardbound books too! Share them. Used bookstores, school libraries, senior centers, public libraries, and even the Little Free Library boxes are a great way to share your love of books with others.
Before you start stacking, look for first editions and signed books that may have more value and can be sold to collectors. Set a goal and pace yourself by sorting through one bookshelf at a time. Keep the most precious. Share the rest.
If you’re ready to give downsizing a try, select a closet or room you seldom use and take things out of that space or room with a plan they will never return. Commit to finding a new home for each. Take a picture, if you want. Then, give it away, sell it or dispose of it. But never put it back.
Set a goal. Measure your progress. Without a destination, your journey will wander aimlessly. Set a date for completing a room or closet. Post that date on the door. Each day check your progress. Stay on task.
Celebrate your success when you reach your goal. Choosing ice cream helps clean out your freezer too!
Avoid getting trapped in a phishing net
Phishing, one of the most common internet scams, occurs when someone you do not know sends an email using a familiar name or a fictitious email address, hoping to entice a response. The email looks like it is from a friend, but it is not.
Because the email appears to be from someone you know, it is tempting to open it. In reality, your friend’s email has been hacked and the links in what you receive, when activated with a click, can install malware on your device. Clicking on one of these links opens a door to your computer— allowing someone to spy on your online activities, to slow or lock down your computer, and/or to wreak havoc on your hard drive.
People from all walks of life can become victims of phishing but often older adults are targeted. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a “live one” on a phishing line.
To avoid a phishing attempt, look critically at incoming emails:
If you know the senders and have received previous emails from them, is the email address displayed on the ”from” line their real address? If not, do not reply.
Do you normally do business with the company that appears to be sending you the email? If not, do not respond by email.
Does the email use incorrect spelling, grammar, punctuation or poor English? Check for these details and really obvious mistakes because many phishing attempts start overseas.
Does the message use several different fonts? This is a common practice in writing messages for phishing.
If you suspect a phishing attempt may be in your inbox:
Do NOT click any links in the body of the email.
If you know the person whose name is used in a suspicious email, call him or her to report what you received. That person may be unaware his or her email address has been hacked and will want to take action.
If it appears to be from a company you know but the email seems dubious, call and report this incident so the company can ameliorate a negative situation.
Delete these emails likely sent by scammers from your system.
Do not reach out to contact the sender of errant emails.
Share these tips with your friends and family so they know how to watch for phishing attempts and know how to avoid being “caught.”
If you believe you have been ‘caught’ by phishing:
We recommend you ask a consultant to help you evaluate your exposure and to install anti-virus software and anti-malware software on your computer. There also are many free anti-malware programs that can protect your computer, but, unless you are an expert, it is safer to get professional help.
Do not ignore the issue because doing so could allow perpetrators, through virus software, to access to your personal and financial information.
Change your passwords, particularly on accounts with sensitive financial information.
Consider changing your email address to a free Gmail account for your personal email.
Research malware vendors to learn which are better for filtering spam and emails from scammers.
Phishing schemes are common. Do not be embarrassed if you receive them. But do be savvy about how to handle them. Talk about them. All of us can help each other avoid threats like phishing.
Deborah Hart, the President and CEO of Montgomery Place, a community in Chicago’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood for residents who are 62 and older, shares practical steps on how to protect yourself from online scammers.
Medicare Changes and Its Effects on Healthcare Providers
Medicare has made significant changes starting in October 2019. As a benefit recipient, you may not see much difference, It is important, however, to know how some of these changes are affecting providers of healthcare services.
Medicare and Advantage programs have shifted away from 3-day qualifying hospital stays. This move can put at risk Part A coverage for skilled rehab services for elderly individuals. Many hospitals are sending patients directly home, sometimes with home health care, or into a Part B service network. Patients are generally expected to pay as much as 20 percent for co-insurance or deductibles.
Many hospitals are more frequently using the 72-hour observation window without adequately informing patients about the consequences of this practice. With observation status, you may be in a hospital’s building, but you might not have ever been admitted. This practice does not meet the 3-day hospitalization-stay to qualify for Medicare coverage in rehab or skilled nursing care center.
The new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) will change how skilled rehab centers deliver services. The PDPM concept—reimburse centers for treating more medically complex patients instead of reimbursing for minutes in rehab—is great. The harsh reality? Decreased payments to providers of rehab services. This fact may lead to rehab centers increasing their rates.
While measuring outcomes for the whole person is good. How quickly you must achieve those outcomes in rehab may accelerate.
Providers, again are caught in the middle by Medicare design changes, are
Expected to do more with less compensation
Achieve better outcomes
Of course, Medicare knows providers will adapt and adjust their services to accommodate this new payment model. So in the end, smaller payments will likely mean reduced services.
These changes will not happen overnight. Although you may never experience their impact, you can expect a different experience since, for instance, you had your knee replaced last year. And, now when you’re ready for surgery on your other knee you may notice several changes in your rehab regime.
Medicare Advantage programs generally have not yet adopted PDPM. They are waiting for the pioneers to navigate new territory before evaluating how to incorporate these same savings into their programs.
Just remember, savings for third-party payors is the holy grail!
No matter the circumstances, Medicare aims to reduce its overall spending on healthcare costs. It must be because the continuing escalation of costs is untenable and must be addressed.
Medicare has changed payment design models before and will do so again in the future. Let’s be thankful that nearly all healthcare systems in the USA are still focused on quality patient care and outcomes. We will find a way to absorb these compensation changes and sustain our commitment to quality healthcare.