Seniors lucky enough to retire in the region have many senior living options on Cape Cod to choose from. There are a wide range of options for seniors that offer different services and levels of care.
Let’s explore some of the senior living options on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Town of Plymouth, and their average costs.
Independent Senior Living Options on Cape Cod and Their Costs
There are independent living options, allowing seniors to remain on their own, aging gracefully. There are lot of draws for seniors looking for independent living situations. The high density of beaches, great walking trails for all abilities, thriving arts and culture scene, and the proximity to high quality medical and other aging resources are all draws.
While we all age, what each person needs during this process differs. Luckily, there are a wide range of services and facilities to support seniors with their individual needs. The options are divided into two categories: Independent Living and Assisted Living. Independent Living covers situations like Aging in Place and Retirement Communities for people 55+.
Assisted Living covers Nursing Homes, Respite Care, Memory Care, Hospice, and more. These options vary in regard to how much support is given to the seniors but include some additional support to make the lives of the seniors in the care more comfortable and safer.
1. Aging In Place
Aging in Place is a great option for seniors in good health who are happy where they are currently living. It offers seniors a chance to stay in their homes. For many, it is a gentle nudge for things to come. There are dozens of home care companies offering a range of services as seniors need a bit more help around the house. These vary from house cleaning, cooking, bathing, and even medication management and nursing care. Aging in place allows for a slow introduction to senior care as needed.
If adjustments to the home are to be made, i.e., ramps, lifts, or bathroom accommodations, those are decided by you and not a facility. When making the improvements be sure to look for a contractor with experience in this field. Many contractors are Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) and will help you make your home safter, more comfortable, and more accessible for your golden years.
What is the cost of aging in place?
The cost of aging in place on Cape Cod will depend on your current housing situation, and what, if any, improvements, and modifications you need to make to your home. Examples of modifications include stair chairs, elevators, installing a downstairs shower or handicap accessible shower, adding railings, and ramps.
Homeowners need to think of the modifications as an investment, and one that may ultimately increase your home’s value. They also adhere to the idea of universal design, so the modifications won’t change the feel of your home and will still feel comfortable and not like a hospital.
If you’re already living on Cape Cod, you’re familiar with the taxes and other costs of your home and lifestyle. In addition to these annual expenses, you can expect to pay for any modifications and upgrades to your home, the cost of which will depend on what is needed, and the specific projects chosen.
In addition, be sure to budget for any in-home care that may eventually be needed. These services can add up, with Senior Care estimating costs of up to 7,000 per month for Home Health Aid costs in Massachusetts.
2. Retirement Communities and 55+
Retirement Communities that offer +55 are ideal for the active senior, and a great way to avoid the loneliness and isolation that can accompany aging. These communities have a wide range of services and activities. They are also a great option for those who are finding home upkeep to just be too much to deal with. Restricting the age of the residence allows seniors to make friends with people their age, enjoying amenities and services to make their lives easier.
What is the cost?
Once again, the cost of retirement communities can vary, even within a set geographic area like Cape Cod. Many +55 and older populations offer an array of living arrangements. Seniors have the choice of a single-family home, condo, or apartment. Some facilities also offer a spectrum of services and housing options. That way seniors can enter living in their own apartment, and progress to nursing care as it’s needed.
These communities offer yard work and house/home repairs. Many of these areas provide swimming pools, leisure clubs for those who have hobbies, and book clubs as well as transportation for residents.
Caring.com notes that the cost of independent living communities in Barnstable County, MA averages at about $4,511 per month, higher than the national average of $2,570.
Assisted Living Options:
While Independent Living options are perfect for some seniors, others may require a bit more day to day care. This is where Assisted Living services come in. While the services offered differ from facility to facility, assisted living facilities are in place to take care of an individual’s daily needs. This can include bathing, toileting, dressing, cooking meals, activities, and the occasional outing.
Often there is no professional nursing staff making daily visits. However, a skilled team will be there when needed if the need arises.
Who would best benefit from an Assisted Living arrangement?
Many caregivers struggle with the decision to move a parent or loved one into an assisted living facility. If a caregiver does everything for the senior and can’t provide all the care needed, it may be time to seek these accommodations. Family members will get peace of mind, while the senior will get the day to day care they need. Most assisted living facilities are overseen by state health organizations. Each state has different requirements the facility must meet.
How much does it cost?
The cost of an assisted living facility depends on a variety of factors from the location, level of care, room size, amenities, and more. According to a Genworth study, the national average is around $4,000 per month. The cost of assisted living facilities on Cape Cod is higher than the national average, with the 2020 Genworth study finding an average cost of $6,338 per month on the Cape.
3. Nursing Homes
A nursing home is yet another step up in care. Skilled nursing facilities provide an environment where a nursing staff administers all care on a 24/7 basis. The qualified nursing staff is needed when working with medication and in caring for various age-related ailments. A nurse in a professional facility can take care of daily meds, check glucose levels, start IVs, and address dressing wounds.
How Much does it Cost?
Since the level of care is increased, so does the price. All services, medical or otherwise, are included in the cost. Much of the cost is determined by the cost for a semi-private or private room, and of course the type of care provided. Caring.com reports that the average cost of nursing care in Massachusetts for a semiprivate room is $12,621, higher than the national average of $7,756.
4. Respite Care
The facilities that offer respite care vary from location to location. These care facilities take care of patients who will only need care for a short time. These patients may be coming from the hospital after a lengthy surgery. Others have programs or ‘Day Away’ activities for seniors. These locations can give the caregiver a rest for a day or two. Some respite care facilities offer services to those recovering from severe illnesses.
Many of these locations have a physical therapy area allowing patients to strengthen their muscles, joints, and bones while these body parts heal. Different kinds of therapy are obtainable. Speech therapy and occupation therapy are just a few of the respite care services
Respite Care Cost
Costs for short term respire care on Cape Cod range from $341 per day up to $638 daily, according to Senior Advice.
5. Memory Care Facilities
Memory Care can be essential or many seniors suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Most senior memory care facilities are attached to or associated with the nursing home and respite locations. This type of care encompasses the dementia areas of health care.
Memory Care staff are specifically trained to care for Alzheimer’s and dementia seniors. Most have locked doors to prevent patients from wandering. These units are also set up to make people with dementia feel more at home.
The general rule for a Memory Care Unit is the nursing home costs are at least $1,000 per month, additionally depending on the level of care according to the AARP.
Once it has been determined that the patient has a life-limiting illness, Hospice care provides dignity and comfort to the dying.
Hospice will administer pain medication and make the most of the time remaining.
Cost many times is not a factor. The Hospice Foundation notes that many hospice groups are supported by donations from the community, and many of their services are covered by Medicare.
Overall Cape Cod is an excellent place for seniors to retire and spend their golden years without worry. There are a wide range of options from resources for seniors looking to age in place, to those who need a higher level of care. With so many excellent facilities the hard part will be choosing one!