Universal Design and Assisted Living


As we progress through life, some of the options for housing are assisted and independent living with Universal Design. Many assisted living projects have 4 levels of service: Independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and dementia care. A few of the local senior living providers are Bayside Park in Emeryville;  Monarch Place,  Mercy Retirement, Piedmont Gardens and  Sunrise Senior in Oakland.

Independent living includes creative arrangements such as building an accessible detached unit on your children’s property using the principals of universal design. This can cost much less than other options. Assisted living facilities can easily cost $5,000 per month. Others have a “Buy-In” fee model that keeps the monthly fee at a lower level.

If  your choice is to have the parent move into the child’s house or to build a detached unit on-site, there should be a contract in place for provision of housing and for provision of services: transportation, financial management, etc. This may seem callous, but if the parent later needs Medical Assistance for nursing home care, any money expended for housing and for valid services can be the difference between qualifying for Medical Assistance and having an extended waiting period, having the providing child return all of the monies spent or disqualification. Without a valid and binding agreement in place, any money going to the children are considered “gifts”, and the child will have to return the “gifts” or the parent will face an additional waiting period for qualification for Medical Assistance. While there are limits, (they only look at records five years back, there are different rules if the child or relative moves into the parent’s house in order to provide care and all of the minutia details of each), a formal agreement is mandatory in order to make this arrangement work. In addition, it has the benefit of qualifying and quantifying the cash flow to other siblings, who may question any arrangement.

As we move through life, Alzheimer and dementia can become part of the day to day. I’ve found Teepa Snow  to have excellent videos and links to other sites discussing both conditions.

If you are concerned with the cost of remodeling your home for long term care or the disabled, check out this site: Remodeling for disabilities and long term care.

Also to be considered are the benefits of Long Term Care insurance. A friend of mine says guys don’t plan and the gals do. She may not be far from the truth. When we are at that point in life where we need the financial ability to pay for services, it may be too late to purchase the insurance. Here is a piece to read when investigating the issues you may confront when planning for long term care. And don’t forget that you maybe excluded from coverage. Obama-care may require insurers to cover you for healthcare but not for long term care coverage!

I’ll post interesting articles here as I find them: