Help Aging Parents and Loved Ones

Step one in helping an aging parent or loved one is to learn about the different senior living options available. For example, Cornerstone is a CCRC that provides independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, therapy and rehabilitation, and Home Health care all on one campus. But what does that mean?

CCRCs Explained

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) offer independent living residential options like apartments and patio homes on a campus that also provides comprehensive services and amenities, educational and social activities, wellness opportunities, and priority access to on-site health care services. With its full range of living and care options, a CCRC is the most flexible, long-term choice for both active independent living and future health care.

Independent Living Demystified

Healthy seniors who can live independently have several residential options for a maintenance-free lifestyle. Independent living at Cornerstone provides residential apartments and spacious patio homes in an active and fun senior living community. Independent living residents benefit from a variety of convenient services, including cooking, cleaning and home maintenance, which allows them to enjoy spending their time doing what they like. This lifestyle offers opportunities to socialize with friends and participate in a variety of programs such as fitness, arts, cultural, educational, spiritual and culinary events. Statistics have shown that residents living in a CCRC live longer, healthier lives.

CCRC variants

Active adult communities

Residents purchase or rent a house or townhouse in an age-restricted community. Amenities may include a clubhouse and fitness center, but services rarely include meals, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation or access to health care.

Residential Communities

Age-restricted, rental apartments with a range of amenities are known as residential communities. They include some services - for example, one or more daily meals and transportation. Additional services are typically à la carte, and access to care, if available, will be at additional cost.

Assisted Living

Licensed, caring professionals assist with daily living activities such as grooming, bathing and medication management. Assisted living is designed to help residents maintain as much control of their lives as they can, while ensuring they get the helping hand they need. Private or shared apartments, maintenance, housekeeping, three daily meals, scheduled activities and customized care - these are the hallmarks of effective assisted living.

Assisted living is most often paid for by the resident, however can partially be covered by VA benefits for some residents, and sometimes by long-term insurance depending on the policy.

Assisted living costs in Texarkana typically range from $2,500-$5,500 a month depending on the level of care received and choice of apartment.

How do you know if a loved one needs assisted living?

Assisted living is ideal for those who may benefit from getting help with one or two activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing, medication), maintenance-free living, 24-hour emergency response and daily general oversight.

Many seniors move to assisted living for the peace of mind gained by having access to health care either because they have a current need or foresee a need in the near future. This type of service and oversight allows residents to live longer, healthier lives by helping prevent falls and other accidents that can be life changing to a senior.

Skilled Nursing

Long-term care and short-term care, including rehabilitation services after surgery or illness, are provided by skilled nursing. Staff members include registered nurses, nurse practitioners and a variety of certified specialists. Services are provided at dedicated skilled nursing facilities or, as they are at Cornerstone, on site in a CCRC.

Skilled nursing care is charged on a daily basis and is typically paid for by one or more of the following: Medicare, Medicaid, a variety of supplemental insurance, sometimes VA benefits, and sometimes long-term insurance depending on the policy. In Texarkana, skilled nursing daily rates range from $150-$200 depending on the level of care provided and room selection.

How do I know if my loved one needs skilled nursing?

A short-term stay in skilled nursing most often occurs after a hospital stay, post-surgery, if a resident needs IV antibiotics, or to transition from intense hospital care to a slightly lower level of nursing care. In these cases it isn't uncommon for residents to eventually transition back to their home with Home Health Care or to an assisted living community.

Other times, a long-term move to skilled nursing occurs because a senior cannot receive the care he or she needs at home. In this case, skilled nursing care is more practical financially.

What does it cost to live at a CCRC?

Costs vary from one CCRC to another, depending on the contract options. Most CCRCs offer their independent living residents a discount on future health care, which can make the move surprisingly affordable. Because contract options cater to different situations and desires, you should ask a community counselor for an explanation of cost, as well as value.

Independent living residents pay an entrance fee, based on their choice of

residence, and a monthly fee that covers services, amenities, and discounted future health care services. Entrance fees are often partially - or even fully - refundable, depending on the contract selected. Some contracts include a health care benefit, a discount plan that helps offset future health care costs if residents need future assisted living, memory support or skilled nursing.

Talk to a Cornerstone counselor

We welcome your questions, whether you're interested in moving or just learning about senior living. If you'd like more information, want to schedule a visit or have questions, please contact us.