HomeAssisted LivingAssisted living in Winston Salem: Weighing the options

Assisted living in Winston Salem  helps residents remain as self-sufficient as possible and offers assurance of assistance when needed. Assisted living communities are a great choice for individuals who can no longer live on their own, but do not need skilled nursing care. However as needs change these communities can offer different levels of care at different costs.

If you and your loved one are considering assisted living, here are some steps to help begin your search:

The first step is to find a community. Make a list of residences to visit. Here are some resources that can help:

▪   The state or local Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

▪   Friends and neighbors.

▪   Retirement guides.

▪   North Carolina Assisted Living Association (NCALA), which provides lists of its member residences in North Carolina.

▪   Eldercare Locator helps you find the closest Area Agency on Aging

(AAA) office and the state long-term care ombudsman’s office.

The federal government does not regulate assisted living facilities; each state determines how they are licensed. Check with the AAA or your state’s health department to determine how your state licenses. Ensure that all the residences on your list are licensed appropriately. You can also check with the state licensing agency and ombudsman’s office to find out if any complaints have been filed against any of the residences on your list.

Check, too, with the state licensing agency and ombudsman’s office to see if there have been complaints filed against the facilities on the list. Don’t assume that a state license ensures quality care.

Make the Call! Call each residence on your list to ask for a general overview of their community. If you’re still interested after the call, ask that more information be mailed to you and/or your loved one such as:

▪   Brochure

▪   Price list

▪   Map & floor plan

▪   A copy of the residents’ rights and rules.

Review these materials with your loved one. Write down any questions you both have and remove any residences from your list that do not you’re your criteria.

Plan a visit. Tour each residence and bring along your questions that you jotted down while reviewing the mailed materials.

As you take the tour pay attention to how you feel and your surroundings. Spend time with the staff and residents. Ask them what they like and dislike about the place. Make a second, unannounced visit on a weekend or in the evening. You may find out important information by dropping by unannounced.

Sign the Contract. This is the legal document that states arrangements, regardless of anything promised verbally or in marketing materials. The more specific the contract, the greater your loved one’s legal protection. Compare information in the sales brochure with that in the contract, paying close attention to fees, level of care, health care services and discharge policies. Benefits that a residence promotes in a brochure should also appear in the contract.

  • Make sure you understand what the contract by getting any and all questions you have answered before signing.
  • Ask that any information not included about care, rights, costs and services, etc. be added to the contract.  —don’t sign a contract until you see these additions have been made (brochures are not legally binding but a contract is.)
  • Do not sign your contract on the day of your first visit.
  • Take the contract home and review it with family members.
  • Consider reviewing the contract with a financial adviser and a lawyer.

Consider the cost. Assisted living in Winston Salem can be costly. About 90% of people pay for assisting living out of pocket. While Medicare does not cover assisted living some states cover some services under Medicaid or other government programs. State Medicaid agencies can provide information about eligibility and covered services. There are alternative sources of funds available to some residents who need help paying for assisted living.  Long term care insurance is certainly beneficial if your loved one had the foresight to purchase a policy in the past.  Veterans and spouses of veterans may qualify for funds through a program called Aid and Attendance.  If the resident has a life insurance policy, she may be able to use it to help pay for their care by converting the Death Benefit into a Long Term care Benefit through a partnering financial group.

For more information on assisted living in or near Winston-Salem, NC, please call Cheri Malek, at Vienna Village Assisted Living.