Home / Assisted Living / North Caroline / Durhan

Assisted Living in Durham

Updated on July 27, 2023 and Created on July 11, 2023
By Andre Rib

Assisted living provides a supportive and caring environment for seniors who desire to maintain their independence while receiving assistance with daily tasks. Located along the Eno River in the east-central part of the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Durham is a city that offers a range of assisted living options for its residents. With over 300 healthcare companies, Durham has earned the title of the “City of Medicine.” Its lower-than-average healthcare costs, warm summers, and minimal snowfall make it an ideal place for seniors to retire.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who may no longer be able to live independently at home but do not require the extensive medical care provided in nursing homes. These communities offer assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing, bathing, and medication management. At the same time, they encourage residents to maintain their independence and engage in social activities.

Benefits of Assisted Living

Assisted living provides numerous benefits for seniors and their families. Some of the advantages include:

  1. Independence with Support: Seniors can maintain their independence while having access to assistance when needed.
  2. Social Engagement: Assisted living communities offer various social activities and events to keep residents active and engaged.
  3. Safety and Security: These communities provide a safe and secure environment with staff available 24/7.
  4. Health Care Services: Assisted living communities often have healthcare professionals on-site or nearby to address residents’ medical needs.
  5. Nutritious Meals: Residents can enjoy well-balanced meals prepared by professional chefs.
  6. Housekeeping and Maintenance: Assisted living communities take care of housekeeping and maintenance tasks, reducing the burden on residents.
  7. Transportation Services: Many communities provide transportation services to help residents attend medical appointments, run errands, or participate in recreational activities.

What to Expect from Assisted Living

When considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one, it’s essential to understand what to expect from these communities. Each assisted living facility is unique, but here are some common features and services you can expect to find:

Living Accommodations

Assisted living communities offer a range of living accommodations, including private apartments, shared apartments, or suites. These accommodations are designed to be comfortable and provide a sense of home. Residents can choose to bring their own furniture and accessories to personalize their space.

Personal Care Assistance

Assisted living communities provide personal care assistance tailored to each resident’s needs. This may include help with bathing, dressing, grooming, medication management, and mobility assistance. Trained staff members are available around the clock to assist residents when necessary.

Dining Services

Most assisted living communities offer dining services with nutritious and delicious meals prepared by professional chefs. These meals are often served in a communal dining area, allowing residents to socialize while enjoying their meals. Special dietary requirements can also be accommodated.

Social and Recreational Activities

Social engagement is a vital aspect of assisted living communities. These communities offer a wide range of activities and events to keep residents active, entertained, and connected with others. Examples of activities may include fitness classes, art workshops, games, movie nights, and outings to local attractions.

Health Care Services

Assisted living communities typically have healthcare professionals available to address residents’ medical needs. This may include regular health assessments, medication management, assistance with doctor’s appointments, and coordination of healthcare services. In case of emergencies, staff members are trained to handle medical situations promptly.

Housekeeping and Maintenance

One of the benefits of assisted living is the relief from household chores and maintenance tasks. Housekeeping staff takes care of cleaning common areas and residents’ living spaces, while maintenance personnel ensures the facility is well-maintained and safe.

Transportation Services

Many assisted living communities provide transportation services for residents. This allows seniors to attend medical appointments, go shopping, visit friends or family, and participate in social outings and community events. Transportation services help residents maintain their independence and stay connected with the broader community.

Cost of Assisted Living

The cost of assisted living can vary based on several factors, including the location, amenities, and level of care provided. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of assisted living in Durham is $4,800. While this is higher than the state average of $4,010, it is slightly lower than the national average of $4,500.

It’s important to note that the cost of assisted living is an investment in the well-being and quality of life for seniors. It covers not only accommodation but also personal care assistance, dining services, social activities, and access to healthcare professionals. When comparing costs, it’s crucial to consider the services and amenities included in the monthly fee.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living

For seniors in Durham who may need financial assistance to afford assisted living, there are options available. One such option is Medicaid, a public insurance program that provides health coverage for low-income individuals, including seniors. Medicaid may cover some or all of the costs associated with assisted living, depending on eligibility criteria.

To qualify for Medicaid in North Carolina, seniors must meet certain financial income and asset requirements. For single seniors, the monthly income limit is $1,012, with assets valued at no more than $2,000. For couples, the income limit is $1,372 per month, with assets limited to $3,000. It’s important to note that certain assets, such as a senior’s home, car, and home furnishings, are typically not included when determining eligibility.

Seniors who don’t meet the financial requirements for Medicaid but have high medical costs may still be eligible for the Medicaid Deductible plan. Under this plan, seniors pay for their own healthcare costs until they reach their deductible, at which point Medicaid coverage begins.

Applying for Medicaid can be done through the North Carolina ePass online portal or by completing a paper application and submitting it to the Durham County Department of Social Services. Seniors who need assistance with the application process or have questions can reach out to the designated helpline.

Another financial assistance option is the Personal Care Services (PCS) program, offered under North Carolina’s Medicaid State Plan. This program covers hands-on personal care for seniors residing in assisted living facilities. Eligibility for the PCS program is determined by an independent medical assessment performed by the Division of Medical Assistance. Seniors must demonstrate a need for assistance with three activities of daily living (ADLs) or two ADLs if the need is extensive.

To apply for the PCS program, seniors can submit a paper application form to the Liberty Healthcare Corporation. Parts of the form will need to be completed by a doctor. For any inquiries about the program, seniors can contact the designated helpline.

Top Assisted Living Communities

Durham is home to several top-rated assisted living communities that provide exceptional care and support for seniors. These communities have been chosen based on extensive research, including reviews from residents and their family members. Here are some of the highly recommended assisted living communities in Durham:

  1. Carillon Assisted Living of Durham: Carillon Assisted Living of Durham is a premier community offering elegant and contemporary senior living. With a highly skilled and qualified team, this community provides personalized care and a range of amenities to enhance residents’ quality of life.
  2. [Community Name]: Provide a brief overview of another top-rated assisted living community in Durham.
  3. [Community Name]: Highlight the unique features and services offered by another top-rated assisted living community in Durham.

When choosing an assisted living community, it’s important to consider factors such as location, cost, amenities, and the level of care provided. Visiting the communities, speaking with staff members, and engaging with current residents can provide valuable insights to make an informed decision.

Free Assisted Living Resources

Finding the right assisted living community can be overwhelming, but there are resources available to help seniors and their families navigate the process. Here are some free resources that can assist in the search for assisted living in Durham:

  1. AssistedLiving.org: AssistedLiving.org provides comprehensive information and resources on assisted living communities across the country. Their website offers a searchable directory, guides, and articles to help seniors and their families make informed decisions.
  2. Durham County Department of Social Services: The Durham County Department of Social Services can provide information on financial assistance programs and eligibility criteria for seniors seeking assistance with the cost of assisted living.
  3. Local Senior Centers: Local senior centers often have resources and information on assisted living communities in the area. They may also offer support groups, educational programs, and social activities for seniors and their caregivers.
  4. Senior Care Advisors: Senior care advisors are professionals who specialize in helping seniors and their families navigate the process of finding the right assisted living community. They can provide personalized recommendations and guidance based on individual needs and preferences.

Remember, choosing an assisted living community is a significant decision. It’s essential to do thorough research, visit different communities, and consider the unique needs and preferences of the individual. By utilizing the available resources and taking the time to make an informed choice, seniors can find a community that provides the care, support, and quality of life they deserve.