Alabama Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Alabama is the “Heart of Dixie” and home to some of the most important moments of the American Civil Rights movement. And you can’t watch a season of College Football without hearing the call, “Roll Tide!” Alabama ranks 7th least expensive in Caregiverlist’s national nursing home cost database, with an average room rate of $159.68, yet it has a very respectable nursing home average star rating of 3.2.

Alabama nursing homes have the lowest percent of long stay residents who have depressive symptoms, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The national average for depression is 6.1 percent, and both Alabama and Mississippi show 1.7 percent depression in nursing home residents.

Caregiverlist updates our nursing home cost and star ratings database so seniors and their families can get an idea of long-term senior care costs in their area. Senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes in the chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Most people don’t know how much nursing home care costs and few people think of the cost of care until it’s too late to financially plan for long term care.

Below is a snapshot of Alabama nursing home costs and ratings:

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 236
Average Single Price: $166.49
Average Double Price: $152.86
Average Rating: 3.2 (out of 5)

Star Rating Snapshot
5-Star: 27
4-Star: 115
3-Star: 80
2-Star: 5
1-Star: 9

 Many seniors and their families opt for in-home care provided by a qualified CNA. The average yearly rate for professional senior home care in Alabama is approximately $37.752, according to a recent Genworth Cost of Care survey. A quality home care agency will provide liability and worker's compensation insurance and payroll taxes as required by law, as well as perform a thorough background check.

The Alabama nursing homes with the highest Caregiverlist Nursing Home Rating is TLC Nursing Center in Oneonta. However, the single room prices here are 45.41% higher than the average single price of $166.49 and double rooms are 3.25% higher than the average double price of $152.86 in Alabama at $305 and $158 respectively. Another highly-rated nursing home, Jackson Health Care Facility, offers single rooms for $142 (17.25% lower than the average single price) and semi-private rooms for $137 (11.58% lower than the average double price).

Caregiverlist can provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Alabama and help you learn about the costs for senior care. Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.


New Jersey Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

New Jersey is known as the Garden State and is home to Bruce Springsteen, Snooki, and the Statue of Liberty. It’s also the sixth most expensive state to live in, based on Council for Community and Economic Research Cost of Living Index for the first quarter. It’s no wonder, then, that New Jersey ranks 7th most expensive in Caregiverlist’s national nursing home cost database, with an average room rate of $301.68 per day, or about $110,000 annually.

New Jersey nursing homes factor greatly in the state’s economy, contributing $5.4 billion to local and state coffers. They also employ over 55,000 full-time workers, according to one report. That report states that New Jersey's elderly population is projected to increase by 27.2 percent between 2010 and 2020, and by an additional 27.1 percent between 2020 and 2030, meaning there will be approximately 1.9 million elderly residents by 2030. Data shows that 35 percent of the elderly population will need some sort of nursing home care (both short- and long-term) during their lives. That puts the number of beds needed at 665,000. Currently, there are just under 55,000 beds in New Jersey nursing homes.

New Jersey senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes in the chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Most people don’t know how much nursing home care costs and few people think of the cost of care until it’s too late to plan.

Long-term senior care costs are among our readers’ top concerns. Because of that, Caregiverlist constantly updates our nursing home cost database and have released the latest costs and ratings for New Jersey nursing homes.

Below is a snapshot of New Jersey nursing home costs and ratings:

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 376
Average Single Price: $312.40
Average Double Price: $290.97
Average Rating: 2.8 (out of 5)

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 9
4-Star: 124
3-Star: 194
2-Star: 41
1-Star: 8

In-home caregiving is an alternative to institutional care If around-the-clock care is not needed. The average yearly rate for professional senior home care in New Jersey is approximately $48,500. A quality home care agency will provide liability and worker's compensation insurance and payroll taxes as required by law.

The New Jersey nursing home with the highest Caregiverlist Nursing Home Rating is Saint Anne Villa in Florham Park. However, this facility is only available to the infirm and retired Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth. Next on the list New Community Extended Care Facility in Newark (4.4 stars), a nursing home with 180 beds whose daily single-room cost, $325, is 3.88% higher than the average single price of $312.40. Another top rated facility, Sunnyside Manor in Manasquan (4.2 stars), is a 54 bed facility whose daily single-room cost, $276, is 13.19% lower than the average price of a single room.

Caregiverlist can provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in New Jersey and help you learn about the costs for senior care. Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

Oregon Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Oregon state is one big outdoor playground. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and the protected Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a spectacular river canyon. And it’s full of the absurdly hip, just watch any episode of Portlandia.

Oregon is also home to over 500,000 seniors, almost 15% of its entire population.* Evidence shows that many elderly will find themselves in need of nursing home care at some point, whether it’s for post-hospital rehabilitation or for more permanent long-term care. Oregonians in need can find long-term care one of the state’s 145 nursing homes.

Long term nursing homes care can quickly deplete a senior’s assets if the family pays for care out of pocket. Most people don’t know how much nursing home care costs in their area. Unfortunately, few people think of the cost of care until it’s too late to plan.

Oregon senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes in the chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Long-term senior care costs are a concern among our readers and we at Caregiverlist have an ongoing mission to educate the consumer. To that end, we are constantly updating our nursing home cost database and have released the latest costs and ratings for Oregon nursing homes.

Below is a snapshot of Oregon nursing home costs and ratings:

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 145

Average Single Price: $241.15
Average Double Price: $218.07
Average Rating: 3.4 (out of 5) Star

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 16
4-Star: 97
3-Star: 23
2-Star: 2
1-Star: 7

If around-the-clock care is not needed, many seniors and their families will opt to hire an in-home professional senior caregiver. The average hourly rate for senior home care in Oregon is approximately $23 per hour. A quality home care agency will provide liability and worker's compensation insurance and payroll taxes as required by law.

The Oregon nursing home with the highest Caregiverlist Nursing Home Rating is Presbyterian Community Care Ce in Ontario Oregon. This 96-bed long-term care facility is not only the highest rated nursing home in our database, with a 4.8 overall star-rating (it lost a small percentage point because the percent of long-term residents whose need for help with daily activities has increased — not necessarily a reflection on the institution), the cost of a single room is $195.00, 23.66% lower than the average state single price of $241.15.

We suggest families consult with a professional to determine what sort of financial action plan can help with the costs of long-term care, before it is needed. Caregiverlist can also provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Oregon and help you learn about the costs for senior care.

Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

*according to 2010 U.S. Census

Vermont Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

Vermont — home to Bernie Sanders, Ben and Jerry, and over 105,000 seniors.* And although the number of seniors receiving long-term care in an institutional setting is dropping, many elderly Vermonters find themselves utilizing one of the state’s 38 nursing homes at some point in their lives.

Vermont nursing home care costs are among the highest in the nation. Aside from Alaska and Hawaii, the top 10 most expensive states for nursing home care are on the east coast.

Vermont senior care planning includes understanding costs of nursing homes in the chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Many times, hospitals will discharge the senior to a nursing home for rehabilitation. If the senior’s stay is longer than the Medicare-covered 100 days, those costs becomes out-of-pocket.

Nursing homes cost a lot of money — ask any family whose senior loved one is burning through their assets in order to get quality long-term care in a nursing facility. The sad truth is that the general consumer has no idea how much nursing home care costs in their area, and usually doesn’t learn of those costs until their back is up against the wall and long-term care is needed.

Long-term senior care costs are a concern among our readers and we at Caregiverlist have an ongoing mission to educate the consumer. To that end, we are constantly updating our nursing home cost database and have released the latest costs and ratings for Vermont nursing homes.

Below is a snapshot of Vermont nursing home costs and ratings:


Total Number of Nursing Homes: 38

Average Single Price: $301.95

Average Double Price: $280.65

Average Rating: 3.1 (out of 5)


Star Rating Snapshot:

5-Star        2

4-Star        19

3-Star        14

2-Star        3

1-Star        0 


Some seniors and their families will prefer to stay at home and hire an in-home professional senior caregiver.  Hourly rate for senior home care in Vermont can range from $11 to $28 per hour, depending on the location and level of care required. A quality home care agency will fully vet an in-home caregiver with a thorough background check. As opposed to hiring a caregiver directly, an agency provides all necessary liability and worker's compensation insurance protections and payroll taxes as required by law.

Vermont offers Choices for Care (1115 Long-Term Care Medicaid Waiver), a Medicaid-funded, long-term care program to pay for care and support for older Vermonters. If a senior meets the clinical and financial criteria, they can receive help with costs for professional care at home, in an enhanced residential care setting, or in a nursing facility. There is also a separate Moderate Need program in place and seniors and their families can learn about program eligibility directly from a Home Health Agency in their area.

Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

A good way to start anticipating for those future long-term care costs is consulting with a professional who can come up with a  financial action plan that includes an assessment of your family’s assets and future spending needs. Caregiverlist can also provide a care plan to find senior home care agency options in Vermont and help you learn about the costs for senior care.

*according to the 2014 U.S. Census

Senior Care Services Evolving as we Begin Accepting "Being Mortal"

America's "Oldest Old' are increasing. This term refers to those who are age 80 or older. Media attention recently has focused on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Medicare benefit program and how when it was developed in 1965, the lifespan for an American senior was age 75. This is why Medicare benefits begin at age 65. But today age 75 seems rather young.

Our retirement years are going through an evolution as we realize we are more likely to live to be 100 than just age 75. This requires more money to be saved and for a game plan for a fulfilling lifestyle. But a reality of aging is also the fact that the human body was not built to last forever.

Aging is a natural process, for those of us who will be fortunate enough to experience it.

Doctor Atul Gawande, who has written books such as "The Checklist Manifesto", now has written "Being Mortal" to start a conversation on how accepting the aging process and planning ahead for how you would like for your senior care to be, should become as common as creating an estate plan. While Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care, Medicaid, for low-income seniors with few assets, does pay for an ongoing stay in a nursing home for seniors who qualify for this level of care. Understanding the costs of senior care are as important as choosing the type of senior care you would like, since the government program most of us will be on (Medicare) does not pay for long-term care.

Americans currently do not plan ahead for senior care, a fact all caregivers know.

Read "Being Mortal" and share it with those you care for to begin the conversation about how you would like to grow old, while also addressing the realities of changes that will be a natural part of aging. Think about how seasoned travelers prepare for a vacation: a carry-on bag has a change-of-clothes should our bags be delayed, a copy of our passport is in our wallet....

Dr. Gawande is a gifted writer and his book is an enjoyable read, even though it deals with tough topics. Begin the conversation with your loved ones and with yourself about how you picture your screenplay for growing old. Then you and your caregivers will know where the extra change of clothes are located - and if we even want to bother with them.


Finding Quality Senior Care: First Understand Medicare vs. Medicaid

Seniors usually do not plan ahead for senior care.  Anyone in the senior care industry already knows this fact and I remember one time a larger senior home care franchise group shared with me that they had paid a significant amount of money to an advertising agency to research how seniors plan for senior care.  The answer? They don't plan for it at all! 

This means that the loved ones of a senior - their spouses, children and relatives, are quickly searching for the right senior care option after a medical emergency happens. Where should the senior go for rehabilitation after a stroke? What option is right for them? A nursing home? Assisted living community? Senior home care?

The very next question that is asked is what does Medicare cover? 

Family members must first understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid and learn which option their parents or another relative they are assisting to find care currently has a coverage plan.

All seniors in the U.S.A. go onto Medicare health insurance but, if they qualify, on the basis of having a very low income and few assets (usually under $2,500), then they will receive Medicaid health insurance.

The biggest difference between Medicare and Medicaid is that Medicaid WILL PAY FOR ONGOING CARE IN A NURSING HOME. Medicare DOES NOT PAY for ongoing senior care.

Learn about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid and plan ahead for your senior care option.


Nursing Home Senior Care Costs

Many seniors and their family members do not realize that nursing homes care is not covered for ongoing stays by Medicare. This confusion arises because many times a senior will know another senior who is receiving a long-term stay in a nursing home through Medicaid, the program for low-income seniors with few assets.  Medicaid will pay for nursing home stays when a senior qualifies for this level of care. 

However, perhaps the senior receiving Medicaid benefits is someone who you know had plenty of savings and would not be considered low-income.  Here is what happens:  seniors can quickly "spend down" to qualify for Medicaid because of the high daily cost of a nursing home stay.

Seniors should plan ahead to understand the costs and ratings of nursing homes in their area to be prepared should a major medical incident occur as many times hospitals will discharge the senior directly to a nursing home for rehabilitation.  Below are some examples of the average daily nursing home costs in some states. As you can see, with the daily cost of a nursing home being as much as $300 per day, a senior can quickly burn through their assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Nursing Home Average Daily Costs

Alaska:  $666

Arizona:  $184

California:  $203

Illinois:  $158

Louisiana:  $133

Massachusetts: $299

Texas:  $115

Wisconsin:  $197

As these are just an example of the average cost, it is easy to see how a senior can spend-down to qualify for Medicaid, with a monthly stay at a nursing home in California costing $6,090 per month and if a senior lives in Alaska, well, perhaps they can consider moving South as there are less than 10 nursing homes in Alaska and the average cost results in $19,980 per month.

Seniors and their family members may reserach nursing home costs and ratings in the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information. As many times hospitals will discharge a senior directly to a nursing home for rehabilitation, families should plan ahead to choose the nursing home they would prefer.  

Some seniors prefer to stay at home to receive professional senior care services and pay an hourly rate for senior home care which can range from $18 to $26 per hour, depending on the location, and includes all the necessary liability and worker's compensation insurance protections and includes payroll taxes as required by law. Seniors may request a care plan to find senior home care agency options in their area and learn about the costs for senior care.









Honoring CNAs During National Nursing Assistants Week

We know the value of the professional nursing assistant. These are the men and women who work tirelessly to assist the elderly and frail under the supervision of RNs and LPNs. For many seniors (especially for those seniors who are aging in place, at home), the best CNAs provide care that greatly increases the quality of life for the most vulnerable of our population.

The 38th annual National Nursing Assistants’ Week runs from June 11-18, 2015 and  kicks off on June 11 with National Career Nursing Assistants’ Day, a day to recognize the dedicated nursing assistants who have committed 5 to as many as 58 years of their lives to the care and well-being of others. This year’s theme is “Nursing Assistants @ the Heart of Care,” Celebrating 38 years as a professional organization for nursing assistants and other direct care workers in long term care.

Now more than ever, direct care workers need to advocate for themselves and their vital importance in the lives of the fastest growing demographic in America — seniors.

William Painter, past president of the board of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, urges all professional caregivers to be proactive in making others aware of the indispensable contributions made by those in professional long term care. Here are his suggestions:

  • Use the Language of  Respect and Cooperation on a daily basis when working with clients, coworkers, families and the community
  • Make sure that you and your co-workers are registered to vote.
  • Educate yourself and co-workers about the political issues that affect your jobs and the care you give. (Check news stories. Pay special attention to articles about wages and benefits, overtime pay, parity, staffing ratios, safety on the job, and  job-training.
  • Get to know your lawmakers! Call your legislators. Write letters. Find out who the influential people are in long term care and contact them. Get a small group together and make an appointment to visit.
  • Practice your message and avoid complaining – be assertive and professional. It is your government and your money being spent! Don’t be chicken! They hear from the other “experts”, but if they are ever going to understand how it really is, they have got to hear directly from you!
  • Look for and create opportunities to speak to churches, civic organizations, seniors groups, etc.

The employment opportunities for certified nursing aides and assistants are plentiful. CNAs work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living communities, adult day care centers, and in the home through senior home care agencies. Over 2.5 million women and men are currently employed as CNAs.

If you are contemplating a career as a certified nursing assistant, be aware that you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, you’ll have to pass a background check and medical exam, and various vaccinations are required, depending on the requirements in your state.
 
Certified Nursing Assistant training requirements vary from state to state, and there are many CNA schools that will help prepare you to pass your state’s Department of Health certification and licensing exam. Program costs vary widely but some financial aid may be available.

Is a CNA career right for you? Visit Caregiverlist’s Caregiver Training Center to learn more about CNA job duties, take a look at some free senior care training briefs, and take some CNA sample and practice tests.

And if there’s a special Career Nursing Assistant in your life, take this opportunity to thank them for all they do and, moreover, help advocate for respect for their role in quality long term care.

A New Kind of Assisted Living

The term “Assisted Living” is the most one of the most Googled senior living search trends. Although aging at home is the preference of many seniors, if there are no family caregivers available and no in-home caregivers, that solitude can be an awful thing. Those who have chosen assisted living report a high degree of satisfaction with their senior living choice.

However, Baby Boomers, those born post World War II — between 1946 and 1964, are defining a new way of aging. They are living longer and more actively so it makes sense that they would seek to establish a new kind of senior living dynamic. When living alone and aging in place is no longer a viable or preferred option, they are choosing to age in communities of their own design.

Marianne Kilkenny is one such advocate leading the charge in bringing forth a new aging community model. She created and founded Women Living in Community (WLIC) in 2007. What began as a simple website has grown into a movement. WLIC brings together individuals, families, and professionals who are changing the face of senior housing options. The vision is to move from the standard aging elder institutional settings like assisted living housing and nursing homes to communities where neighbors care for each other.  

“Aging in Community is more than shared housing. It’s refocusing our outlook on aging from one that is medical and healthcare-centric to one that focuses upon community," Ms. Kilkenny writes on her website. "Wellbeing is more than healthcare; it’s emotional care and that kind of care comes from being surrounded by people we know, love and trust, not just by nurses and planned activities.”

Ms. Kilkenny has also authored Your Quest for Home: A Guidebook to Find the Ideal Community for Your Later Years. The workbook details the options for resident-created communities that might include co-housing and “pocket communities” where residents look after each other, care about each other, and support each other.

As with all senior living options, there are challenges to the model as well. Traditional assisted living provides planned activities. Unless a resident is proactive about getting yoga instructors to come to a central community location, or hire a van or bus to take groups on cultural outings, those perks won’t be available to those seniors who are unable to get out and enjoy these experiences on their own. More importantly, what sort of medical attention is available onsite?

I also think one of the keys to the success of these communities is to make sure they are multi-generational. If everyone in the community is aging together at the same time, how good is your brother’s (or sister’s) keeper when you are both in your 90s and need the same level of attention and help with the activities of daily living? And one of my biggest beefs with institutional aging settings is the age-segregation that naturally occurs.

I’ve always liked the idea of a Golden Girls kind of living arrangement where I wind up co-housing and cracking wise with a group of girlfriends (women generally outlive their male spouses.) Of course, these alternate retirement communities are not just for the ladies. NBC Nightly News filmed a shared housing model in Asheville, NC. featuring four women and one “Golden Guy”.



What do you think of this alternative to existing assisted living and nursing home models? Do you think this might just be the future of an aging society? What do you think would make this interesting atypical retirement community work even better?

CDC Reports Record High Flu Hospitalizations of Elderly

It’s a well-known fact that people 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu than their younger counterparts. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it's estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States occur in seniors.

The CDC release the new flu numbers on Friday showing a record high amount of flu hospitalizations among the senior population. In fact, the numbers are the highest since the agency started tracking the numbers nine years ago.

About 198 out of every 100,000 people 65 and older have been hospitalized with flu-related illness this season. The next highest rate was for the 0-4 year old group with about 38 out of 100,000. Compare that to last year’s numbers, when, at the same time in the year, only about 40 out of every 100,000 elderly were hospitalized with flu-related illness.


Click on image for larger, interactive view

Because immune defenses weaken as we age, the flu can be a real danger; seniors comprise an estimated 90 percent of all seasonal flu-related deaths. On average, about 24,000 Americans die each flu season, according to the CDC. While flu vaccinations don’t guarantee a flu-free season, (the CDC reported that the flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective this winter,) Fluzone, a higher-dose flu shot developed specifically for older adults, is designed to give people a better immune response, thereby providing better protection against flu.

Those who are considered at high risk of developing serious flu complications are those with:

  • Asthma
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Morbid obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, cancer, or those on chronic steroids)

If you see your senior client or care recipient developing any flu symptoms, act fast and get them medical attention. Antiviral drugs can be used to manage and treat flu in the elderly before serious complications develop. Look out for fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.

Caregivers should take extra precautions as well. The CDC especially recommends that anyone working with older adults get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of influenza, especially if they work in a long-term care facility.

Caregiverlist hopes that seniors and their caregivers stay safe and healthy all year, but especially during this dangerous flu season.

Log in