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A Guide to Retirement & Senior Living in Florida

Retire to Florida, Retirement Communities, Senior Living Facilities      Continuing Care Retirement Comm.

Independent Living / Assisted Living

Assisted Living Facilities

Skilled Nursing / Subacute Care Facilities

Home Health Care Services.
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Continuing Care Retirement Communities


CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES (CCRC) guarantee lifelong shelter and access to specified health care services. Residents enjoy an independent lifestyle with the knowledge that if they become sick or frail, their needs will continue to be met.

Most CCRC'c have minimum requirements for incoming residents based on age, physical health and mobility, income level and financial assets. Residents are expected to move into the community while they are still independent and able to take care of themselves.

PAYMENT: CCRC's have three basic types of contracts; extensive, modified and fee-for-service.

The extensive contract includes living quarters, community services and amenities, with unlimited long-term nursing care, without an increase in monthly payments. Entrance fees and monthly costs are higher than the other contracts, but the advantages should be considered. In the event of catastrophic health care, the expense is absorbed by the entire community so that no single person faces financial ruin.

The modified continuing care contract also covers living quarters, community services and amenities, plus a specified amount of nursing care. Beyond that point, the resident must pay for care at current monthly rates.

The fee-for-service continuing care contract covers living quarters, community services and amenities. Emergency and short-term nursing care is usually included, while long-term nursing care is guaranteed only at daily nursing care rates. Entrance and monthly fees are less expensive than the others because each resident takes responsibility for individual long-term nursing and health care expenses. It is advisable to have an attorney review the CCRC contract before making any commitments.


ADVANTAGES: 1) Residents can maintain an independent life style.
2) Activities, meals and health care on one campus as needs change.
3) 24 hour security.
4) Emergency call system.


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Independent Living / Assisted Living


INDEPENDENT LIVING / ASSISTED LIVING is designed for individuals who wish to live independently, but not in a singular environment. They can come and go as they please and know that if they become in need of assistance, it will be provided. They can then receive all the benefits of an Assisted Living Facility, but should not need nursing care on a daily basis. Services generally include assistance with meals, bathing, dressing, continence care, housekeeping, and other routine daily needs.

The Assisted Living Facilities Association of America defined the term "assisted living" as: "Any group residential program that is not licensed as a nursing home and that provides personal care and support services to people who need help with daily living activities as a result of physical or cognitive disability."

Independent Living / Assisted Living Communities are labeled a variety of ways: adult homes, personal care homes, retirement residences, sheltered housing. These communities offer both independent living and assisted living with access to nursing care. Many independent living / assisted living facilities also have professional nurses and other health care professional on staff or on-call should a resident require special care.

PAYMENT: Most facilities charge a monthly rent. Some cover only a few basic services, while others are all-inclusive. Some long-term care insurance covers assisted living.

To learn more about long-term care insurance that covers assisted living, contact United Seniors Health Cooperative (1331 H Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20002; or call: 202.393.6222).

For lower income elderly, some financial assistance is available through an Optional State Supplement program, Medicaid Waiver or through the Veterans Administration as long as skilled care is not required.


ADVANTAGES: 1) Activity programs supportive of various levels of capabilities.
2) All services are included in monthly rate (Be sure to confirm).
3) An abundance of facility settings (Small/homelike, apartment/hotel style).
4) Allows for total independent living and maximum independence that is monitored.


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Assisted Living Facilities


ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES (ALF) cater to individuals who cannot function in an independent living environment but do not need nursing care on a daily basis. Services generally include assistance with meals, bathing, dressing, continence care, housekeeping, and other routine daily needs.

The Assisted Living Facilities Association of America defined the term "assisted living" as: "Any group residential program that is not licensed as a nursing home and that provides personal care and support services to people who need help with daily living activities as a result of physical or cognitive disability."

Assisted living communities are labeled a variety of ways: adult homes, personal care homes, retirement residences, sheltered housing. These communities are often associated with independent living and nursing care facilities that offer a continuum of care for changing needs. Many assisted living facilities also have professional nurses and other health care professional on staff or on-call should a resident require special care.

PAYMENT: Most facilities charge a monthly rent. Some cover only a few basic services, while others are all-inclusive. Some long-term care insurance covers assisted living.

To learn more about long-term care insurance that covers assisted living, contact United Seniors Health Cooperative (1331 H Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20002; or call: 202.393.6222).

For lower income elderly, some financial assistance is available through an Optional State Supplement program, Medicaid Waiver or through the Veterans Administration as long as skilled care is not required.


ADVANTAGES: 1) Activity programs supportive of various levels of capabilities.
2) All services are included in monthly rate (Be sure to confirm).
3) An abundance of facility settings (Small/homelike, apartment/hotel style).
4) Allows for maximum independence that is monitored.

Back to Assisted Living Facilities Listings


Skilled Nursing / Subacute Care Facilities


SKILLED NURSING / SUBACUTE CARE FACILITIES are for residents who need skilled nursing care and / or rehabilitative services but do not need to be hospitalized. The care is administered by nursing professionals under the direction of a physician.

Subacute Care is for the seriously ill patient who is medically stable after hospitalization. These are individuals who require continued nursing and / or rehabilatative services.

An obvious benefit to this type of facility is its cost-effectiveness as opposed to continued hospitalization. According to capabilities, planned activities are coordinated to enhance socialization and physical / emotional recovery. All facilities are regulated by the state and local boards of health.

PAYMENT: Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and personal assets are all used accordingly to pay for services. To be covered by Medicare and Medicaid the facility must be certified. In general, Medicare pays for skilled nursing care for a limited period of time following hospitalization for the illness or condition. Medicaid, a government program for the indigent, covers nursing home care for individuals who meet strict medical and financial eligibility requirements.

Some long-term care insurance pays a fixed amount for a specified number of days. Write or call: United Seniors Health Cooperative, 1331 H Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005; 202.393.6222. Also, contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council for Sarasota at 941.338.1493, for objective information and/or complaints that may have been lodged against the facility.


ADVANTAGES: 1) Services are provided by licensed medical staff.
2) Activity programs generally are available for controlled socialization.
3) Three daily meals in room or dining facility.
4) Cost-effective, on-site rehabilitative services.

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Home Health Care Services


HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES have registered nurses to determine the need of the client, then prescribe the necessary services. Services range from having companions to full 24 hour care. The services are intended to promote, maintain, or restore health or minimize the effects of the illness or disability. There are two categories of home care; skilled care or home support services.

Skilled care is prescribed only by a physician to be dispensed only by licensed professionals. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses administer medicines, help with wound or catheter care, teach recipient or family members about special procedures, and provide other skilled services. Medical social workers counsel and make referrals to community resources that can help recipients and their families cope with physical, emotional, and financial stresses. Nutritionists help plan special diets. Therapists perform physical, speech, respiratory, and occupational therapies in the home.

Home support services performed by certified home health aides include personal care (bathing, dressing, eating, exercising); homemaker services (meal preparation, housekeeping, shopping); and companion services.

PAYMENT: After hospitalization, Medicare pays for a limited number of physician-approved home-care visits by skilled professionals. Some private long-term health insurance covers home health care, but policies must be read carefully for skilled and unskilled care. In many cases, home care is paid for entirely out of private funds.

Whether you use an agency or independent provider, you should ask for references and check them carefully. A hospital social worker, or Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council can assist with reliable home care providers.


ADVANTAGES: 1) A cost-effective solution for temporary needs.
2) Can provide relief for attending family members.
3) Can be used as an interim service until an appropriate setting is found.


Back to Home Health Care Services Listings



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