Assisted living facilities are an ideal option for seniors that are looking to receive a measure of aid in order to go about their day to day living. The scope of this particular service is pretty wide, as it can stretch from preparing daily meals and helping them take medication to driving them around to handle various errands during the day. It should also be noted that these special services are not just reserved for those that need help completing various activities for daily living. Indeed, assisted living is a terrific option for those that want a break from having to handle home maintenance and would prefer to spend more time on enjoying the leisurely life of a retiree.

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The cost of assisted living in Denver

According to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, assisted living residents in Denver pay more when compared to the national average. Typically, assisted living prices average around $51,000 on a yearly basis, as opposed to a $43,200 average for the entire United States. This breaks down to $4,250 per month, or $140 on a daily basis.

These numbers make assisted living a competitively priced alternative to seniors that are not in need of skilled nursing care, but don’t want to continue with the process of maintaining a home. Assisted living is right in the middle of the average range for home health care, which ranges from $50,336 per year for homemaker services and $52,578 per year for home health aide services. Assisted living is also substantially less expensive on average than nursing home care in Denver; the average cost for semi-private nursing home care in Denver is $88,695 per year, and the average cost for a private room is $103,295 per year.

For qualified veterans and their spouses, further assisted living savings may be obtainable via the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, which can otherwise be known as the A&A Pension Benefit. This special benefit can provide a veteran up to $1,788 per month, a surviving spouse up to $1,149 per month, or a couple up to $2,120 per month. Furthermore, a veteran with a sick spouse that applies for the program is eligible to receive up to $1,406 per month. The process to qualify for the A&A Pension Benefit is relatively simple.

Eligible veterans or surviving spouses of eligible veterans must show the need for help with activities for daily living, otherwise known as ADLs. Some of these activities include bathing, cooking, dressing, medication management, leaving the house for errands and appointments, and grooming. With that being said, seniors do not need to demonstrate that they need help for all of these activities. Aid and Attendance funds can assist in paying for ADL services in numerous places, such as an assisted living community, skilled nursing home, or within the confines of the senior’s own home. For those that are interested, it should be noted that the application process could take several months from beginning to end, but retroactive payments are sent upon the program’s approval.

What to expect in assisted living

While each assisted living facility possesses a similar endgame of providing a comfortable living environment to a senior, every one of these special facilities go about this practice in a different manner. Specifically, each of these facilities contain their own personality that is somewhat dictated by the culture and atmosphere that surrounds them in their respective neighborhoods, from the bustling urban landscape of the City Park West neighborhood to the upscale Hilltop neighborhood. Each of these communities typically express their individually through various a la carte services in addition to the services that are included with the residents’ monthly fees.

What’s included in assisted living?

Typically, the following services are included with room and board:

  • Private living quarters. Typically, these spaces are fashioned in the style of a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment, but they could be as large as a multi-bedroom space that is the equivalent to a small house.
  • 24-hour supervision and security. This includes on-call nursing assistance and on-site security.
  • Emergency call systems in each living space, which can be used to summon help if necessary.
  • Basic utilities such as electricity, water, and natural gas.
  • Medication services. This includes reminders for the seniors to stick on their medication schedules as well as reminders on refills.
  • Wellness and fitness programs of all kinds, from on-site fitness facilities to yoga classes.
  • Housekeeping and laundry services. This usually includes a weekly linens change and a weekly cleaning.
  • Daily meals and snacks. These are usually presented restaurant style in a main dining area.
  • Shopping and transportation assistance. These are usually provided on a regularly scheduled basis and are built around trips to retail shops, medical centers, and local grocers.
  • Social and recreational activities. Some of these activities include movie nights, game nights, holiday parties, and trips to local points of interest such as the Denver Art Museum and the outdoor 16th Street Mall.

What may be available for an extra fee?

Some communities may also offer additional on-site perks that residents can pay extra to utilize. Typically, these perks can include private transportation, personal laundry service, beauty salon services, and massage sessions.

The continuum-of-care option

Additionally, many seniors look for an assisted living service known as a continuum of care, which essentially describes a facility that can provide accommodation for residents regardless of what their specific need may be. Residents in these particular communities typically don’t have to deal with as many big moves should their health or daily needs shift, and they will also remain in a familiar setting even if their health dictates that they have to move to a different building within the facility’s complex. Prices on continuum of care do fluctuate based on the actual service that is needed.

Resources, volunteer opportunities and points of interest for veterans

The Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs, or the Colorado DVA, is an organization that helps the state’s veterans wade through the VA benefits system so they can make the most informed decision on their benefits possible. Additionally, the Colorado DVA is set up to have veterans volunteer to help fellow vets figure out their benefits.

While Denver does not possess much in terms of military-based points of interest, there are plenty of places that are close to the city that do possess military ties. The most prominent of these is the campus of the United States Air Force, located a little over an hour south of Denver. The campus is filled with eye-catching architecture, most notably the iconic accordion-like Cadet Chapel.