Searching for the Right Long Term Care Community

 

We are just about to publish our 6th Edition of the Metro Atlanta Nursing Home and Assisted Living Guide! For the last 10 years, Hurley Elder Care Law has been providing families and professionals with the #1 go-to printed resource for finding nursing homes and assisted living communities in the Metro Atlanta area. In addition to an easy-to-read listing of all of the nursing homes, assessed living communities, and personal care homes in a 16-county area, this guide also provides information on how to shop for the right community and how to pay for that care. We offer a checklist of questions to ask each community that is toured and details on how a resident can qualify for VA benefits and/or Medicaid benefits.

We are happy to provide this complimentary resource to our community, and you can request the 6th edition of the Metro Atlanta Nursing Home and Assisted Living Community Guide by contacting us.

In updating our guide, it is obvious that the Metro Atlanta area has experienced an explosion of new long term care options in the last 2 years. How does a family even begin to navigate the options?

Generally speaking, Georgia offers three different types of licenses for institutional living for the elderly and for adults with disabilities that need help with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing, eating, etc.). These licensure levels are: personal care homes; assisted living communities; and nursing homes. All three levels provide three meals a day, 24/7 oversight by staff, and planned activities.

Personal Care Homes in Georgia

Personal Care Homes can be as small as two beds and can be located in a residential area. Some look just like the single family homes surrounding them. Some Personal Care Homes are large communities, serving 100+ residents and look like Assisted Living Communities. Personal Care Homes can offer private or shared rooms or fully functioning apartments. The staff in Personal Care Homes help residents with personal care needs, manage self-administration of medications, offer planned activities, and provide three meals a day in addition to 24/7 supervision. The home may or may not provide transportation, and state and federal regulations, restrict Personal Care Home staff from taking care of certain health care needs such as medication administration, catheter care, and retaining residents that have serious ambulation needs.

Assisted Living Communities in Georgia

Communities of at least 25 beds, Assisted Living Communities are similar to Personal Care Homes but usually larger. Assisted Living Communities offer each resident a private apartment with a small kitchen, a living area, and a bedroom. Some communities have studio apartments, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments to chose from. Each community provides supportive services like transportation, housekeeping, medication administration, caregiver assistance, and three meals a day while also encouraging independence and dignity of each resident. Assisted Living Communities offer daily scheduled activities for all residents to promote social engagement and physical activity. Georgia allows residents of Assisted Living Communities to age in place as long as the community shoes that they are able to adequately meet their needs. This ability to age in place means that most assisted living communities are able to offer a wide range of health care services on-site.

Nursing Homes in Georgia

Nursing Homes are also called skilled nursing facilities or sub-acute rehab centers. This type of long term care provides a high level of skilled care and employs licensed healthcare professionals 24/7 to help residents with activities of daily living, administration of medication, and skilled nursing needs. Residents of nursing homes usually require 24/7 interventions, usually live in shared rooms with 1-2 other residents. Nursing Homes offer scheduled activities and three meals a day.

Many families reach out to our firm assuming that their loved ones needs nursing home level care. Just recently, a son called our office after moving his father from New Jersey. He initially moved his dad to a nursing home in Cobb County because, understanding little about the long term care world, he thought his father needed this high level of care. Fortunately, he realized within his father’s first month that a lower level of care would be more appropriate. He thought he was making the right decision for his dad by moving him into a nursing home, but he came to realize that there were other, less-restrictive options that could meet his dad’s needs. His dad now lives in his own apartment in an assisted living community, is satisfied with his new home, and is paying almost half of what he was paying the nursing home. We are updating his estate planning documents now that he is a Georgia resident, and are so excited that he can also access the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit to help him pay for the care he needs.

Finding the right long term care community can be confusing. Figuring out how to pay for long term care can be terrifying. We have some helpful information on our website.

For more information on long term care options in Georgia, be on the look out for our newly-updated Metro Atlanta Nursing Home and Assisted Living Guide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at (404) 843-0121 or info@hurleyeclaw.com. You can also contact us through our website.