BY JORDAN GIBBONS
There are many factors to consider once the decision is made to move into a retirement residence.
Assisted living residences are certified adult homes that have been approved and licensed by the Dept. of Health. There are three types of assisted living facilities: Basic ALR, Enhanced ALR and Special Needs ALR.
A Basic ALR takes care of medically-stable residents who will need to have an annual physical exam and may need routine medical visits provided by medical personnel on-site or in the community.
Enhanced ALRs offer additional care for residents who have age-related difficulties beyond what a Basic ALR can provide. Residents may require assistance to get out of a chair, to walk, climb stairs or use medical equipment.
Special Needs ALRs are certified to serve people who require specialized services, such as residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
It is also important to ask the ALR what kind of payment it accepts. Many accept private payment or long-term care insurance and some accept Supplemental Security Income as the primary method of payment. Currently, Medicaid and Medicare will not pay for residing in an ALR, but they may pay for certain medical services received.
There are several crucial factors to think about before making a final choice.
First, find out how much it will cost to live at the residence, if the cost will change and if there are other costs or charges, such as dry cleaning or cable.
The location of the residence is important to look into to see if it is close to family and friends, places of worship, social organizations, shopping centers, libraries, banks and grocery stores.
Find out what the residence offers as far as transportation to medical appointments or group trips. Look into the social activities available, medical services, quality of meals, communication options depending on hearing difficulties or language barriers and if there are limitations on guests. Also find out if the residence has a policy for taking suggestions and making improvements.
There are also Independent Living facilities to consider that are for residents in good health who do not need assistance on a daily basis.
One example of independent living is Flushing House, a nonprofit retirement community that offers residents private apartments where they are free to come and go, entertain family and friends and make their own financial decisions.
The facility has housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour security, an activities program, computer learning and fitness centers, weekly trips and Catholic, Jewish and Protestant religious services. Flushing Hospital Medical Center also operates a satellite geriatric clinic on the premises, with physicians and nurses that are available to the residents if they choose to receive care there.
“It’s like being on permanent vacation for a lot of these folks,” Robert Salant, of Flushing House, said.
The Dept. of Health’s website provides more information about the different types of long-term care at www.nyhealth.gov/facilities/long_term_care and the State Office for the Aging website has information on senior living choices at www.aging.ny.gov/ResourcesGuide/Housing.cfm.
For more information about Flushing House, call (718) 762-3198 or (888) 987-6205.