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 Louisville

Assisted living in Louisville checks in near the national average. The 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey lists the average annual cost to be $42,990, which is a bit lower than the U.S. average of $43,200. On a per month basis, this annual figure breaks down to $3,583 per month. If you look at things from a daily rate, the cost hovers around $118 per day.

Assisted living is lower than the average range for home health care in Louisville, which ranges from $43,472 per year for homemaker services and home health aide services. Assisted living is also substantially less expensive on average than nursing home care in Louisville; the average cost for semi-private nursing home care in Louisville is $80,118 per year, and the average cost for a private room is $85,958 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 can you expect?

Each assisted living community offers something different, and no two are ran exactly the same way. Each community offers its own set of amenities, and many create a personalized care plan based on the veteran's specific needs. These communities also have standard services offered with the residents' monthly fees, but offer a wide selection of a la carte services that cater to a veteran's preferences. Additionally, those communities that are billed as luxury communities will offer an assortment of high-end services for those who want them.

What’s included in assisted living?

The most common services included with a resident's monthly payments are as follows:

  • A private room – usually a studio or 1-bedroom apartment.
  • 24-hour security, including on-call nursing assistance.
  • Emergency call systems in all rooms to immediately call for help when needed.
  • Utilities such as electric, water, and natural gas.
  • Daily meals and snacks – all typically served restaurant style in the main dining area.
  • Housekeeping and laundry services.
  • Medication management, including refill reminders.
  • Wellness and fitness programs such as a walking club or on-site pool area.
  • Social and recreational activities such as themed parties, game nights, movie nights, and day trips to museums and performances.
  • Transportation, errand, and shopping assistance – this usually involves running to the grocery store, salon, and retail shops.
  • Religious and spiritual services.

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

In Louisville, veterans have two primary resources: the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky. Both options provide veterans with information about their benefits, but Legal Aid goes a step further by offering guidance on training and employment for those who want to work, additional information about housing, and other things that affect senior veterans.

The VA is always looking for good volunteers to help the staff. If a veteran wants to remain active and come help other veterans, guide younger soldiers dealing with an injury, or help with simple office paperwork, then the VA is the right place to start.

There really aren't a lot of military-themed activities to do in Louisville, but that doesn't mean the town is completely boring for veterans. One of the most popular points of interest is the Kentucky Derby Museum. It features interactive exhibits about horse racing, high definition video presentations, and a walking tour of Churchill Downs. Although the museum isn't free to enter, it does offer military discounts, which includes veterans.

Another favorite for the artistic veterans is the Mark Payton Glass Center. Here, guests can take self-guided tours through the flameworking, stained glass/architectural glass art, and glassblowing studios. As some assisted living facilities offer glass art and glassblowing as options for daily activities, the glass center makes for an interesting trip after veterans learn the process of creating art with glass.