The Seniors Blue Book is Southwest Florida’s most comprehensive and reliable source to find and compare Senior Housing such as Retirement Communities, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing. Health at Home options like Home Health Care, Non-Medical Home Care, Hospice and Senior Resources.
The mission of The Seniors Blue Book and SeniorsBlueBook.com is to provide seniors, caregivers and senior professionals a comprehensive source of services, senior housing options, resources and information that enrich the lives of our elder population while affording those businesses and individuals serving that population a unique medium to present their products and services
The Seniors Blue Book was first published in 1983 by Clifton Chadwick. At the time Cliff was 69 years old and enjoying his retirement when his wife experienced a debilitating stroke. Cliff became her full-time caregiver, a job he cherished, but he was distraught that there was no place to turn for a comprehensive list of resources and services. It was from the love for his wife and commitment to his community that the Seniors Blue Book was born.
It wasn’t until fifteen years later in 1997, when Cliff was 83 years old, that Gil & Marion Hersch crossed paths with Cliff and the Seniors Blue Book. With a history in publishing and Gerontology Gil & Marion were very impressed with the publication Cliff had nurtured along and wanted to become a part of it. After Cliff was certain that Gil & Marion had enough integrity to take over the guide and keep intact the many free listings and helpful editorials that he had published, Gil & Marion took over the Seniors Blue Book and soon joined forces with their children Oliver & Samantha. SeniorsBlueBook.com was launched soon after their arrival in 1999.
In 2009 Gil & Marion went into “semi-retirement” and the majority of the day-to-day operations are now controlled by Oliver. The Seniors Blue Book and SeniorsBlueBook.com has grown from a small 40 page publication serving one market into serving 27 markets throughout the United States. Our largest guide, South Metro Denver, is now over 300 pages. We print over 2.7 Million Senior Blue Books annually and SeniorsBlueBook.com receives over 500K page views annually. The Hersch family truly appreciates and values the opportunity we have had to work with and help the many communities we serve. We are looking forward to continued growth and providing this incredibly valuable resource to more communities in the future.
Senior & Caregiver’s Resource of Choice
The Seniors Blue Book and SeniorsBlueBook.com is the resource of choice in every market we serve. We are committed to providing the most complete and comprehensive resources available and are constantly working on compiling new information, expanding our distribution and enhancing existing categories. We list over 70 categories of information, most of which are free resources that support the community. We understand that there are many valuable services available, whether they are paying advertisers or not, and we are proud to support the communities we serve by listing all options available to our readers, not solely based on advertising. Seniors and Caregivers also love our senior activities calendar where they can find out about local events and activities, many of which are free, all of which are worthwhile.
Professionals Resource of Choice
The Seniors Blue Book understands the value of having a strong relationship with the professionals that serve the senior population, particularly with Case Managers, Social Workers and Discharge Planners. We now publish a special printing, just for Case Managers, Social Workers and Discharge Planners, that not only lists the comprehensive comparison grid information they have become accustomed to, but also lists address and fax #’s to help make their jobs a little easier. Additionally we offer a professionals networking calendar and a job opportunities page as well.
For more information, go to www.seniorhousingsolutions.net
ADVICE FROM A SENIOR LIVING EXPERT
Selecting a senior living community is not an easy task. These are common questions we get asked.
My children live up north, should I move to be with them?
As a son whose mom lives nearby, I truly understand the importance of having family close. Fortunately, we both live here in Southwest Florida, and we can be part of each other’s lives. The idea of moving out of state to be nearer to children is a big decision that involves many factors and changes. First and foremost, is the question of whether you are ready to give up your current lifestyle? Do you have friends or a social network in their area, or will you be depending upon your children to provide you with the socialization you need? Will you live with them, or will you find a place of your own? You will need to think about changing your primary care physician and specialists, your bank, and your church. How comfortable will you be driving during winter conditions? Will the winter weather hamper your activity level and lessen your independence? Are your children committed to continuing to live in that area, or could their careers take them to another location? What happens if they retire, will they want to stay in that location? As you can see, there are many factors involved in deciding to move closer to your children. I would recommend before making that decision, to visit the senior living communities in this area. You may be able to fulfill yours and your children’s desire for security and peace of mind without such a drastic change.
If I move to a senior living community, do I need to change doctors?
When you live at a senior living community, you can continue the relationship you have with your primary care physician and specialists. As a convenience to the residents, many communities do have relationships with physicians and these doctors maintain clinic hours at the senior living community. You are under no obligation to use these doctors; however, residents find it time saving and worthwhile to establish a relationship with a physician on site. If you decide to keep your physician, most senior living communities provide transportation to and from your medical appointments to make life a little easier for you.
I want to move to a senior living community, but my husband does not. What should we do?
It is very common for one spouse to not be on the same page as the other when considering a senior living community. Many times, it is hard for someone to think forward and contemplate scenarios when they are less independent. Most likely, your current residence will not be suitable as you advance in age. It is not sensible to believe your health will remain as it is for the rest of your life. Share with your husband that not putting a plan in place now would place the entire burden on your shoulders if something should happen to him in the future. It is easier to make the move when you are both able to select a community together, sell your home together, pack and move together, and make new friends together. Hopefully, he will recognize the importance of protecting you and creating a life which you both can continue to enjoy for many years.
There are so many senior living communities to consider in our area, where do I start?
Locating a senior living community that meets your needs and preferences is not easy, especially if you try to do it alone. As a senior housing advisor, this is exactly what we do. We get to know you and discuss which options best fit your needs and preferences. We are familiar with all the options in the area and the nuances of each. We help you narrow down the search and create a road map of places that meet your requirements. We are also familiar with the new communities on the horizon and have much insight about a community’s operational history. If desired, we can join you on your tour and ask questions you may not know to ask. We help you understand the terms of the contract and even negotiate the fees, as appropriate. Trying to do it alone is a monumental task. The last thing you want to do is move somewhere and be unaware that the community is experiencing financial or operational issues. Taping into a knowledgeable resource will help you avoid these pitfalls.
Please explain how the refund programs work at Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)/ Life Plan Communities?
CCRCs/Life Plan Communities offer a variety of entrance fee refund programs – 0%, 50%, 75% and even 95% refunds. The entrance fee is typically earned by the community at a rate of 1% to 2% per month. There is usually a 2% to 4% administration fee earned during the first month. Each month that you live at a CCRC, a percentage is deducted (earned) from the entrance fee that you paid. If you select the 0% refund plan, your entrance fee refund will decline over 4 – 7 years until your refund reaches zero. On the other hand, if you select the 50%, 75% or 95% plan, your estate will have a set amount refunded. If you opt for a higher refund program, you will pay an “up charge” for these plans as compared to the 0% refund program. Basically, you pay more upfront to be guaranteed a higher refund.
Some communities will offer different refund programs based on their health care plans. For example, a community might offer a 95% refund, but you would also be responsible for paying for higher levels of care as needed. It is wise to consult with your attorney and financial advisor to determine which plan best fits your needs.
Are there resources available for low income seniors in our area?
Collier Senior Resources at the Golden Gate Senior Center has funding to provide financial assistance to low-income seniors in need. Call Maritza for more information at 239-252-4550. The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is another valuable resource. The Area Agency on Aging is committed to connecting older adults and adults with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safely with independence and dignity. They can be reached at 239-652-6900.
Are there any upcoming educational seminars for area seniors?
The Leadership Coalition on Aging (LCA) is conducting their Empowerment Series Panel Discussion on Sept. 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Collier County South Regional Library. The topic will be Advanced Planning – Getting your Affairs in Order. It will feature an attorney, a physician, an accountant, and a real estate professional. The event is free. For more information, please call 239-595-0207.
To have your senior housing questions answered in a future article, please submit your questions to: [email protected]
Senior Housing Expert and Advisor Bruce Rosenblatt is the owner of Senior Housing Solutions.
As senior housing advisors, we speak with many clients who need assisted living and not sure how to pay for it. There are some resources that you may be unaware.
Medicare will only pay for care in Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility or through Medicare-certified home health or hospice agencies. It will never pay for care in an assisted living facility.
The Medicaid Waiver Program is available throughout the state of Florida, however interested applicants should be aware that unlike other Medicaid programs, this is not an entitlement. One may meet all the eligibility requirements only to find that there are no available rooms and they are put on a waiting list for services. It is important to note that not all assisted living facilities accept the Medicaid Waiver Program and it might be necessary to move out of the area to find a facility that accepts it. Typically, the Medicaid Waiver Program only pays for a portion of your rent and does not pay for care-related charges. One should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to learn more and determine if a wait list exists in their geographic area.
Other state programs?
One program is called PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly).
If you qualify, PACE will cover all the medical, social and rehabilitative services you need, including items that Medicare does not cover, such as social work services, meals and nursing home care. You will receive all your health care (Medicare and Medicaid benefits) through the PACE program.
There are eligibility requirements of the PACE program as well as stipulations that you must agree to qualify. Like the Medicaid Waiver program, only a limited number of assisted living facilities in our area accepts PACE. In addition, PACE is a state funded program with limited resources, therefore there are times when PACE stops accepting new candidates. For more information, contact the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
Veteran’s Administration (VA)?
The Aid and Attendance Benefit offered through the Veteran’s Administration is not a well-known benefit, yet it could be one of the most important benefits you could receive. This program was established for eligible Veterans and their Spouses to help pay for assisted living, skilled nursing and home health care. The Veteran or Spouse qualifies for this benefit if their service, medical qualifications and financial criteria are met.
To medically qualify, you would need assistance with two or more “activities of daily living’ (ADLs). These would include:
- Medication management
- Bathing or hygienic tasks
- Meal management
The Veteran must have service one day of active duty during a wartime period and was honorably discharged. Spouses who have been divorced are not eligible.
Based on your income, the Aid and Attendance program could pay:
2017 Maximum Monthly Benefits:
Veteran with Spouse: $2,127
Single Veteran: $1,794
Surviving Spouse: $1,153
Dependent Spouse: $1,408
This program pays the Veteran or Spouse and not the assisted living facility, therefore it is applicable at all assisted living facilities.
For more information, contact the Veteran’s Administration.
Long term care insurance?
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you should review your policy to determine what it covers and what it doesn’t. Every policy is different. Many policies have an elimination period, typically 90 days and have specific guidelines about which type of facility they will reimburse.
Usually, the long-term care insurance carrier pays you the benefit; therefore, providing the assisted living facility meets the criteria for reimbursement, you would be paid the benefit amount, not the facility.
The most common way to pay for assisted living is out of pocket. People use their own investments or the proceeds of the sale of their residence. Family members also contribute. It is wise to speak to your financial advisor BEFORE you need assisted living and develop a plan for your future health care needs. These might include annuities, trusts, reverse mortgages and other investment strategies.
Meals, housekeeping, home maintenance, transportation, social activities, utilities, cable, taxes and care are typically included in your rent, therefore your overhead expenses are many times less than what you are paying at home.
We are here to help.
Senior Housing Solutions is familiar with all the assisted living facilities in our area and can help find a ‘solution’ for you. Our services are 100% free! We are not financial advisors, therefore cannot provide financial advice. We recommend resources to help you every step of the way. For more information, please call (239)595-0207 or visit our website at: www.seniorhousingsolutions.net.
The Role of a Senior Housing Advisor
Do you handle your legal affairs without consulting with your attorney? Do you file your own tax returns without consulting with your CPA? Do you handle your financial matters without speaking with your financial advisor? Seeking the advice of an expert is a wise decision. An expert has years of experience in the specific area you are considering and has much more knowledge and resources available to give you the best possible advice.
Selecting and moving to a senior community is a life-changing decision. It involves a financial commitment, lifestyle choice, downsizing adjustment and many emotions. The last thing you would want to do is move somewhere and not be happy or find out the senior community has some financial or operational issues. Yes, you can try it do it on your own, however wouldn’t it be better to seek the advice of someone who truly knows the ins and outs of all the places you are considering?
Be wary of senior housing internet search providers. These companies aggressively advertise on the internet. What you don’t know is that once you call them or fill out their online form, they basically “own you” and will sell your contact information to third parties. You will be bombarded with phone calls and emails. The worst part is that these internet search providers know very little about the senior communities they are recommending. They seldom visit these places and are not current on any issues the senior community could be experiencing. They provide you with a list of places that they have under their contract, which may or may not fit you needs. It is much better to work with a Senior Housing Advisor who is knowledgeable about the local market and all the senior living options.
We know what you don’t know!
As a trusted senior housing advisor, our role is to provide you with the possible advice. We are familiar with all the places in the area and keep current on pricing, availability, significant operational and staffing issues as well as future trends in the market place. We do our best to match your needs and preferences to the best options available. We know that some folks are ready to make the move, but want the peace of mind of knowing they have reached ahead for their future options.
Senior Housing Solutions is locally owned and operated and has over 30 years’ experience in the senior housing industry. Our personalized approach allows us to get to know you and help you every step of the way. Our proven 5 Step process provides you with a comprehensive and objective information to help you with your decision. Best of all, our services are 100% FREE! It’s what we do!
- Step 1: We meet with you to get to know you, most of the times, this is done in the comfort of your own home. We discuss your needs and preferences and provide you with a list of assisted living options best fits your needs.
- Step 2: We schedule visits with communities of your choice and join you during these community visits to help represent you. We ask questions on topics you may not know to ask and follow up with you to discuss pros/cons of each of your options.
- Step 3: We review pricing, level of service plans and residency agreements to make sure you fully understand the fine print at these communities. We review State of Florida Health Care survey reports and negotiate pricing, as appropriate.
- Step 4: We provide you with comprehensive and trusted resources to assist you with the move transition and provide you with recommendations of key professionals, as necessary. We also provide you with resources to assist you with your Veteran’s Benefits.
- Step 5: After you move in, we will follow up with you to make sure you are happy with your decision. We will discuss any issues with community staff for resolution and communicate with your family, as appropriate.
We are in your corner, every step of the way!
We hear reviews from many of our clients who tells us that could not have done it without our help. Personally, I am not sure how anyone can make this type of decision with our expert advice and why would you want to? Our services are free so why wouldn’t you utilize them? We look forward to speaking with you.