"To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent that is to triumph over old age." -- Amos Bronson Alcott

Types of Assisted Living Facilities in Palm Springs

As one of the United State's top cities in which to retire, Palm Springs, California, has every type of elder care facility available from luxurious 55+ plus communities and resorts to simple and comfortable board and care homes. However, if you are looking for assisted living, Palm Springs has that covered, too.

About Palm Springs 

Comparatively speaking, Palm Springs is a small city with roughly 45,000 residents, more than 25 percent are older than 65. Seniors move to this area of Southern California not only because of its abundance of outdoor and cultural activities, but because the weather is mild year-round. Palm Springs has more than 350 days a year of sunny weather. Temperatures range from the mid- 70s during the winter to triple digits during the summer. For those used to frigid, snowy winters, Palm Springs is a welcome change.
Because of its location and proximity to the Los Angeles area, Palm Springs is a haven for retired celebrities. Over the years, this area of Southern California was home to Bob Hope, former President Gerald Ford, Walt Disney, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Loretta Young, Dean Martin and many more. Of course, it pays to have this type of stardom in your backyard.
Palm Springs' cost of living is almost 18 percent higher than the U.S. average, meaning some of those costs roll over to the price of elder care, including assisted living.

About Assisted Living in Palm Springs 

There are more than 100 assisted living and residential care facilities in Palm Springs, some of which are luxurious while others are low-cost residences. However, all offer the same basic services as outlined by the California Department of Social Services, which oversees this type of elder care in the state.
Assisted living combines minimal healthcare, support services and housing for seniors who require a little extra assistance to make it through the day. They can receive help with:
  • Meals
  • Medication management
  • Dressing
  • Transportation
  • Bathing
  • Mobility
  • Incontinence
The goal is to offer each individual ways to remain autonomous while maximizing his or her independence, safety and privacy.
Facilities in Palm Springs for assisted living include single, one-bedroom apartments, group residential care homes and small board and care facilities. Some provide just the basic services while others offer more such as medical services, planned activities, hair salons, shopping trips, gatherings with friends and families, etc.

Living in Palm Springs 

Palm Springs offers seniors a chance to relax when they retire. Even in assisted living facilities, residents still have a chance to get out and enjoy everything the city has to offer from great parks, enjoyable weather (most of the year) and a diverse amount of cultural activities from food festivals to art shows to golf tournaments.

Popularity of Board and Care Homes in Orange County, California

As the number of senior citizens continues to increase, the need for all types of elder care is imminent. From residential care facilities to skilled nursing centers, large urban areas seeing a growing trend in the number and type of facilities sought by its aging population.
For example, take popular retirement location of Orange County, California. Just like anywhere else in the state, the goal of an elder care facility is to help seniors remain as independent as possible for as long as possible, preferably in their own homes or similar settings. When living alone is no longer an option, board and care homes are the next best thing. They allow seniors to live intimate, residential care settings, similar to their own houses, and receive 24/7 help from caregivers.
Facts About Orange County's Senior Population
Orange County is California's third largest county in terms of population. As of the 2010 census, there were roughly 350,000 senior citizens residing within the county. By 2030, that number is expected to double. While many of these seniors are native to the state, many come here to retire mainly because the weather is nice year-round. Top-notch medical facilities and the number of readily available leisure and cultural activities are other draws.
Most older adults live in the southeast region of Orange County mainly because of the large amount of retirement communities and board and care facilities. However, larger numbers of seniors are found living in:
  • Laguna Woods
  • Seal Beach
  • Newport Beach
  • Anaheim
  • Garden Grove
  • Huntington Beach
  • Santa Ana
Typically, in communities where there is a larger amount of seniors residing, more elder care facilities are also found. Board and care homes are no exception to this, especially since there are more of these types of facilities in Southern California than nursing homes and larger residential communities combined.
Orange County's Board and Care Homes
Most of the county's board and care homes are single family, private residences transformed into care facilities. Licensed by the California Department of Social Services, each home typically accepts up to six residents at one time, although there are facilities available that have licenses for more residents. 
Unless the facility has a licensed nurse on staff, residents in board and care homes are under the guidance of a full-time caregiver. This setting is good for elderly persons who need a high level of care, who are very frail or who are not able to safely take care of their daily living activities. While remaining independent is a goal, it is not expected.

Understanding Nursing Home Care

If your loved one were recently admitted to a nursing home, it is good to understand all the services that are typically provided. For many, it's more than just round-the-clock medical care; it's a chance to rehabilitate from an injury such as a broken hip or recuperate from an illness like pneumonia.

Dispelling the Stigma 

Nursing homes are also commonly known as skilled nursing facilities. They have long been scrutinized for being medical facilities where destitute seniors were sent to live out the remainder of their lives. The facilities were dilapidated and very little medical care was given.
Over the years, though, the federal government put new licensing mandates in place. Unfortunately, not everyone adhered to those guidelines. Allegations of insurance fraud, elder abuse and inadequate care at some facilities made headlines, and again, nursing homes generally received a bad reputation. 
Today's nursing homes are typically managed by licensed administrators, and the staff consists of certified medical and non-medical personnel. The facilities are regulated, inspected, certified and licensed by several state and federal agencies.

Who Works in a Nursing Home? 

Most nursing homes are staffed with nurses, certified nursing assistants and healthcare aides. Some may have a physician on staff full-time to treat patients' needs, while other homes contract with outside doctors who remain on call, but makes regular visits to the facility. Nursing care is provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses or vocational nurses who must be on staff and available 24 hours a day. 
Most nursing homes also employ licensed physical, speech and occupational therapists, social workers, office staff, food workers, custodians, groundskeepers, caregivers and housekeepers.

Services Provided in a Nursing Home 

Each resident, whether there short-term or long-term, receives individual attention while in a nursing home, as he or she is there for a specific reason. Some seniors are placed in this facility after a hospital stay to recuperate and rehabilitate, while others are disabled or have a long-term or terminal illness and need constant medical attention.
However, the basic function of a nursing home is to do things for its residents that they can no longer do for themselves. They receive medical attention while remaining safe and enhancing their quality of life. Some of the services provided in a typical nursing home include:
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry service
  • Basic hygiene
  • Meals and snacks
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medication management
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Medical monitoring
  • Medical treatments
  • Dental, foot and eye care from third-party physicians

Paying for Nursing Home Care 

Nursing home care is not cheap; sometimes, it can cost up to $6,000 a month or more, depending on the type of care needed. There are, however, four ways to pay for nursing home care: Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and personal funds. Before deciding on long-term care for you loved one, it's best to make sure you understand how each of these types of payments are applied to your loved one's nursing home care:
  • Medicare: Federal health insurance plan for those older than 65 years. Medicare will only pay for the first 100 days of licensed nursing home care only if the patient requires skilled care, referred by a doctor and had a three-day stay in a hospital prior to admittance. 
  • Medicaid: This federal/state insurance program is for those who meet specific requirements. Payments from Medicaid may kick only after all other financial means are exhausted, such as Medicare or personal funds.
  • Private insurance: Long-term care insurance can pay for nursing home care. All policies differ, so make sure you understand eligibility requirements, restrictions, costs and benefits.
  • Personal funds: All personal assets must be used first to pay for nursing home care. After that, patients can apply for Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance to cover the excessive costs.

Stay Informed 

Once you choose a nursing home for your loved one, it's up to you make sure his or her care is up to par. Don't be afraid to talk to charge nurses, doctors or even look at medical records. If your loved one can't speak up for him or herself, it's up to you to be that voice.