Moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility is a big decision for older adults and their family members. There are many different choices available and finding the right one based on your circumstances involves careful consideration and plenty of research. Here are the questions to think through in advance when you are considering making the move.


How Much Can I Afford?

Take a look at your finances to determine how much you can pay for your care. Those with long-term care insurance or personal retirement accounts can use those resources. Veterans who have signed up for VA health care qualify for financial assistance for a nursing home or assisted living facility.

If you own a home or other property, you can sell it and use the proceeds to pay for your new facility. Look at what price range homes similar to yours are selling at to get an estimate of what profit you may gain, and use online estimators to give you an idea of how much you can make selling the home.

Another option is to rent the house so you can enjoy some passive income. You don’t even need to become an active landlord since there are property managers who can tackle every aspect of your rental, from screening tenants to routine maintenance to sprucing up after they move out.

You can also take on some or all of the duties yourself. For instance, you’ll need to have the locks changed between tenants, which is as simple as searching for locksmiths near me and sifting through the better reviews. ManageCasa notes there are plenty of apps and services available to help with the whole process, so think about how busy you want to be and how much work you are able to commit to.


What About Medicaid?

For those eligible for Medicaid, it often covers the entire cost of a nursing home for as long as it is needed. As Paying For Senior Care explains, Medicaid coverage for assisted living facilities varies by state, but not every community accepts it for payment. For those that do, they may put a limit on the number of Medicaid residents they allow.


What Level of Care Do I Need?

Healthcare professionals conduct an assessment of the future resident using the Activities of Daily Living index to determine the level of care needed.

The six functions listed are:

  • Eating and meal preparation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Dressing
  • Continence
  • Toileting
  • Walking


Consider if you or your loved one needs help with most or all of these. If medical care and monitoring are also required, a nursing home may be the best option.

For those who can function independently but need some help, such as with medication management or dressing, assisted living can be a better choice. It offers variable care levels based on need and allows residents to live autonomously.

It is a good idea to select a facility that offers continuing care options, such as skilled nursing or memory care, so it is available to you if you need it in the future.


What Is the Cost?

A nursing home charges a fixed daily rate for its services. This makes it easy for residents to determine if they can afford to live there. Prices vary by region and whether you want a private or shared room. A recent study cited by RetirementLiving.com shows the average monthly price for a shared room is around $7,000 while a private room comes in at $8,000.

The cost for assisted living varies widely depending on the resident’s level of care, the facility’s location, and the amenities provided to the residents. Currently, the average cost of assisted living is $4,000 per month. Prices vary based on things like location, services included, and the type of room the senior chooses. When talking to an assisted living community about their prices, always ask for details on any discounts offered to new residents.

Taking the time to analyze the funds you have available and the level of care you need will guide you in finding the right nursing home or assisted living facility at a cost you can comfortably afford.


Northfield Retirement Communities offers trustworthy and professional rehabilitation, skilled nursing and specialty services for seniors. Call 308.632.4342 for more information.

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