The state of Connecticut is home to a large senior community that makes up nearly 18 percent of the population, according to Caring.com. It also has numerous assisted living communities available to meet the needs of those seniors. AssistedLiving.org lists over 95 statewide, while SeniorHomes.com lists a number closer to 275.
Though you’re likely to search near where you or your loved one currently lives for the perfect assisted living community, location isn’t the only thing that matters. Below are four more important things you want to look for when finding the perfect assisted living facility.
1. Level of Medical Care Provided
How much medical care do you or your loved one require on a daily basis? How much will be required in the future?
Once you know the answers to these questions, search for a community that will accommodate those needs. Most assisted living communities provide some level of medical care, but those levels will vary. Typical categories include:
- Low level of care: Communities that offer this level are perfect for residents who need minimal assistance. They can still get around on their own either by walking or using a walker or wheelchair. They have no memory loss and can manage most of their toileting needs. They may need help fastening buttons or while showering, and may appreciate assistance with medications, but do not require complex medical monitoring.
- High level of care: Communities that offer this level are suitable for residents who need more hands-on care. They may need help getting from one place to another within the community, assistance with bathing and dressing, and may have some signs of early memory loss. They may need more monitoring concerning their medications and be at an increased risk of falling.
- Memory care: Some assisted living communities feature memory care units. These may be suitable for residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Cost is often a major factor when it comes to choosing an assisted living community. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Connecticut in 2021 was $5,129/month. The range throughout the state varies, however, from about $3,750/month to $6,350/month.
The higher the level of care required, the more expensive the community is likely to be. Memory care, for instance, usually costs between 20-30 percent more than traditional assisted living.
Connecticut does have a program that may offer financial assistance in some instances. The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) helps low-income, elderly individuals with limited resources. Those who qualify may receive assistance from Medicaid to pay for care in assisted living locations if it can be obtained at a lower cost than in a nursing home.
The program is open to Connecticut residents aged 65 years and older who are at risk of being placed in a nursing home. You can find the requirements for eligibility at PayingforSeniorCare.com.
Other financial assistance options include:
- Veteran’s benefits: Veterans who receive a VA pension may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for assisted living.
- Long-term care insurance: Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for assisted living.
- Reverse mortgages: Seniors who own a home may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay assisted living costs.
The size of assisted living communities can vary greatly. Some have only four beds, while others may have as many as 500.
Size can affect the following:
- Staff-to-resident ratio: How many staff members are there compared to the number of residents? Having more staff members usually means that residents are more likely to receive the medical care they need. If you or your loved one needs a higher level of care, this may be important to you.
- Services and amenities offered: Larger communities are more likely to offer additional services and amenities like movie theaters, spas, swimming pools, or specialized memory care units.
- The overall “feel”: Smaller communities may have a sort of “bed and breakfast” feel to them, whereas larger facilities may have more of a larger hotel feel. What matters is what the resident is most comfortable with.
Speaking of services (beyond medical care), that’s another thing you want to look into. The typical assisted living community offers dining services, housekeeping, exercise and wellness programs, and medication management support.
You may want other programs that enhance the quality of life. These may include art and pet therapy, community outings, computer and piano lounges, and the like. Ask about what services each assisted living community offers and what they cost so you can consider these when choosing.
For More Help Finding the Right Assisted Living in CT
For more help finding an assisted living community in Connecticut, consider these resources:
- SeniorLiving.org: They offer a search option where you can input your zip code and receive a list of assisted living communities near you. They also offer search options for finding communities suitable for residents who may be blind, deaf, or disabled, or who may have suffered from a stroke or Parkinson’s disease.
- AssistedLiving.org: They also offer an assisted living directory tool that you can use to find communities near you. Simply input your zip code. You can also narrow your search by finance options, property info, amenities, health services, and activities.
- PayingforSeniorCare.com: They partner with thousands of organizations nationwide to match families with screened, available, and affordable assisted living. Get started here.
- SeniorHomes.com: They also have a search option based on zip code that helps you find assisted living in Connecticut.
- Caring.com: You can find assisted living communities broken down by city on this page.
Assisted living is an excellent choice for many older adults, but for those who want the added peace of mind of knowing that their needs will be met regardless of how much care they require might consider a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). CCRCs like Arbors of Hop Brook offer several levels of care – including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and often memory care – on the same campus, meaning your loved one can transition easily between levels of care as required without leaving the place they’ve come to call home. Schedule a tour or browse our floor plans and take a virtual tour to see all that Arbors of Hop Brook has to offer.