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In the state of Vermont, there are two types of assisted living licenses and they are termed as Assisted Living Residences and Residential Care Homes. The governing body which oversees the licensure of both of them as well as nursing homes in Vermont is the Division of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, Division of Licensing and Protection.
The licensing is divided into two types of care. One is assisted living that provides basic health care and personal services. The other, which is up to Level 4 care, will include some nursing care. Each stage has requirements that must be met both physically and financially.
Unit Requirements for Assisted Living in Vermont
These requirements are for the room units for both licensing types and levels in Vermont. Private residential units must provide a minimum of 225 square feet of floor space or 160 in all assisted living care facilities that are old construction. This measurement does not include bathrooms and closets. Each assisted living unit includes everything private; bedrooms and bathrooms. They must provide the capacity to cook and store food as well as a lockable door. Each resident has the right to share their assisted living apartment voluntarily. The only bathroom requirement is that all residences must have a private bathroom.
Cost and Payment Options for Assisted Living in Vermont
The cost reflected here for assisted living in Vermont only covers basic care with no dementia care, Alzheimer’s, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy or other types of specialized care. The statewide assisted living average is $4,500 monthly, making this an expensive state at over the national average of $4,000. In fact, the least expensive area in Vermont is still over the national average and the most expensive is Burlington Metro area at a whopping $5,020 per month. When you do tack on memory care or Alzheimer’s care it can come to at least $900 to $1,350 more each month.
For Level 3 assisted living facilities in Vermont, there are Medicaid waivers like the Assistive Community Care Program. However, keep in mind that this does not cover room and board.
Most, if not all of the waivers do not cover room and board and Medicaid does not either. Medicaid was set up to keep seniors and retirees living independently inside the home and not to pay for other forms of senior living in Vermont. Medicaid will include compensation for caregivers, companions or relatives and friends helping out. They will even pay for adult day care and adult foster care homes. What they want to avoid for as long as possible is to pay for nursing homes and assisted living, because this care is very costly.
It is always best to be proactive in the senior’s care. Look for things they can use to pay for the senior care facility like renting their house out or selling it if needed. Reverse mortgage equity cash outs, annuities, insurances and any other cash flow can be used to cover the cost of Vermont’s assisted living facilities.
Amenities to Search for When Touring Assisted Living in Vermont
In spite of Vermont's short summers and frigid winters, many older people – especially those who are in love with the charm of the small-town – prefer to retire there. And that shouldn't be too surprising since the Green Mountain State offers a back-to-basics lifestyle, which many seniors enjoy. Vermont also features several scenic nature spots like creeks, lakes, rivers, farmlands, and even forests. The peace, greenery, and quiet are additional bonuses that attract many retirees to VT.
However, one crucial decision you have to make for your aged one is choosing a good assisted living facility in Vermont. You have to take your time to research, evaluate, and even compare your options. This is why you must take a tour of potential assisted living facilities in Vermont. This will help come to a quick decision on which one is the perfect fit for your aged one.
Therefore, here are some of the things you should watch out for when touring an assisted living community in Vermont:
Cheerful Residents and Hospitable Staff
While on tour, you can take a few moments to observe the staff as well as the residents keenly. Are the staff well-disposed and welcoming? What about the residents: are they sociable?
Check out the monthly schedule of programs and events for the residents. Can you spot interesting activities that could be rejuvenating for your loved one? What about weekly activities? Are there fitness, entertainment, and learning programs for seniors?
You can also have a brief chitchat with the residents in the Vermont assisted living facilities. Ask them questions about their living conditions. You will be able to glean some quality information about the kind of lifestyle they live there.
Clean and Highly Attractive Living Spaces or Common Areas
This should perhaps be the first tip. As you step into the assisted living community you are touring in Vermont, take a look around the facilities. How is the environment? Is it homelike, warm, or unclean? Is it sterile or cold? How attractive are the living arrangements?
What about common areas for both residents and visitors? Are they spacious enough? Do they have outdoor spaces where residents can gather or walk to stretch their limbs?
And the most significant question of all: can you imagine your loved, aged one living safely and comfortably in such environment?
Amenities and Services
Assisted living facilities in the Green Mountain State differ significantly in the amenities and services they provide for residents.
So, while on your tour, ask about the amenities or on-site services being offered in the assisted living community. This should include laundry services, transportation, on-site beauty salons, housekeeping services, barbershops, restaurants, and more.
Do they allow pets in this community? You can request a list of the amenities or services offered in order to compare the other assisted living communities you visit.
Security should be a priority at any assisted living community in Vermont. As you tour the facilities, take note of the safety features in the common area, hallways as well as private living spaces. Are all these places readily accessible to residents in walkers and wheelchairs?
Are there certified caregivers on-site 24/7? Is there an alert system installed close-by? Ask specific questions about these issues. You don't want your loved one living in a place without a guarantee of safety.