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Advice & Planning

Whether you’re actively looking for senior living options or simply gathering information and planning for the future, we’re here to help.

Planning ahead for senior care for a mom, dad, partner, etc can often be a delicate conversation to have with a loved one because, when all is well, there doesn’t seem to be a future need for care at all.  However, this conversation becomes much more difficult to have once the loved one is actually in need of care since it often means making decisions during a particularly stressful and challenging time.  As such, planning ahead for senior care is the best way to find the best possible care option, and ensure the needs are met for all parties involved.

So, what is Senior Care?

Broadly speaking, senior care is the attention given to elderly citizens who may need additional assistance to go about their daily activities. However it can often have a slightly different definition for different people depending on the level of care needed. For example, some seniors might only need minimal assistance of “senior care” whereas others might require 24-hour attention. The quality of seniors care, especially in Washington State, has improved dramatically over the years. Much of these improvements can be attributed to Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and their increased care standards for facilities in order to ensure a high level of care for seniors. Additionally, a renewed level of transparency and accountability has been established as DSHS publicly discloses inspections, incident reports, and more.

As a result of DSHS’s initiatives, Washington State has developed a model for senior care that many other states also utilize. DSHS also formed the Aging and Long Term Support Administration, which has given senior care assistance to more than 70,000 residents, and they’re continually seeking new ways to increase to quality of care for seniors throughout the state of Washington.

As the level of care continues to rise, so does the number of care facilities. There are a variety of different care facilities to choose from and, as a result, it’s important to fully understand the value of each of these options – including the costs, level of care provided, and much more – to ensure you’re making the best decision for your loved one.

Types of living options

Although the size, amenities and cost of care can often vary from different senior living facilities, there are primarily three different types of facilities:

Adult Family Homes

Adult family homes are residential homes that are licensed to care for up to six residents.  For many adult family homes, the owner of the home is also the primary caregiver, and they often hire additional caregivers (as needed) to ensure a high level of care is delivered. Typically, these homes offer a variety of services including the necessary help with daily living, personal care, social services, laundry and much more. The monthly cost of care at an adult family home typically ranges from $3,000 to over $8,000 per month, but the actual price is ultimately determined by the level of care needed.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are often multi-faceted residential setting that provides a variety of personal care services as well as activities, 24-hour care and supervision,  health-related services, and more. Most of the residents at assisted living facilities are seniors although some do serve individual of any age who have developmental disabilities.  In Washington, the average cost is approximately $5,000 per month, and some facilities offer special services for residents who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia (which is commonly referred to as “memory care”), for an additional $1,500 more, although the actual price of care can vary greatly from facility to facility. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes offer a wide range of health and personal care services, and are often a good choice for residents who do not need to be in a hospital but require additional medical assistance.  These facilities often utilized nursing aids and skilled nurses to provide 24-hour care, and pricing typically ranges from $8,000 to $10,000 per month but, again, the exact costs depends on the level of care.