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 Philadelphia

Assisted living residents pay more to live in Philadelphia when compared to the national average, according to data mined through the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Annual assisted living prices in Philly are around $58,626, which is a bit more than the national average of $43,200. This annual rate breaks down to $4,886 per month and $161 per day.

With that being said, this annual price tag represents a substantially more cost-effective alternative for seniors that do not need skilled nursing care. For nursing home care services, the average annual cost in Philadelphia is about $114,600 for a semi-private room, and $127,750 for a private room.

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 with assisted living?

Each assisted living community in Philadelphia operates with their own distinctive personality and culture. These distinctions are largely reflective of the neighborhood the facilities happen to be in, and they tend to specifically manifest themselves through various a la carte services that seniors can pay for in addition to their monthly fees. With that being said, these differences do not change the fact that each of the facilities’ collective endgame is to provide every resident with a living environment that is safe, secure, and dignified.

What’s included in assisted living?

The following services are typically included in an assisted living situation along with room and board:

  • Private living quarters. While this could be as big as a multi-bedroom space equivalent to the size of a small house, it is usually the size of a 1-bedroom apartment or a studio.
  • 24-hour security and supervision. This includes on-site security and on-call nursing assistance.
  • Emergency call systems in each apartment in order to summon help when it is needed.
  • Daily meals and snacks. This is typically served up restaurant style in a central dining area.
  • Medication services. This includes reminders to take medication on schedule and reminders on refills.
  • Basic utilities such as electricity, water, and natural gas.
  • Housekeeping and laundry services. This typically includes a weekly cleaning and weekly linens change.
  • Wellness and fitness programs. This includes modern programs like yoga along with traditional programs like an on-site fitness room.
  • Shopping and transportation assistance. This is often provided on a regular schedule to retail shops, local grocers, and medical centers.
  • Social and recreational activities. This could include game nights, movie nights, holiday parties, and field trips to points of interest such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute.

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

Pennsylvania’s Office of Veterans Affairs provides help to the state’s vets who need help in navigating the VA benefits system. They also allow veterans the chance the volunteer, so they can help other vets wade their way through the system and determine their benefits.

Veterans will have no problem finding military-themed points of interest to check out in Philadelphia. After all, the city is the birthplace of the Army, the Navy, and the Marines. The military landmarks range from the Independence Seaport Museum and the Battleship New Jersey - the most decorated battleship in the nation - to places that shine the spotlight on the American Revolution, such as Independence Hall. The city’s reverence for former and current military can be appreciated in venues such as the National Liberty Museum and Christ Church Burial Ground.