Assisted Living Facilities, or ALFs, are retirement living that allows the senior more freedom to their lifestyle than the typical retirement home. Senior apartments and the assisted living concept was developed in the 1990’s as an alternative to average nursing home care in order to give the resident more freedom while receiving minimal health care. Most retirement communities remain full to 80 percent capacity at all times, and they often combine different levels of continuing care on one campus. These would include independent senior apartments, ALFs, nursing care and long term nursing care. Facilities often include Alzheimer’s and Dementia care and Hospice care also.
ALFs are ideal facilities for those seniors who have a problem with one or more ADLs. The newer ALFs are very similar to an apartment built around a socializing area. Assisted Living Facilities provide all of the necessities that the resident needs, including three meals a day, house cleaning and 24 hour nursing care. The older facilities resemble hotel rooms or dormitories, but what is significant is that the seniors can socialize, and they have the freedom to come and go.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City is the home of Mt Rushmore and is the second largest city in South Dakota with a population of approximately 70,000. South Dakota has four seasons that range from below freezing to 90*F. Rapid City is a major hub in the five state region both for transportation and major medical care. If your elderly mother or father finds retirement housing here, they will be insured superb medical care. There are two Veteran Affairs hospitals, Rapid City Regional Hospital and the Indian Health Service’s Sioux San Hospital, including a number of smaller medical services.
Rapid City has long been known as the city of the presidents because of Mt Rushmore, so as you walk or drive around the city there are many statutes of the presidents. There are many parks and attractions that make a perfect outing for the afternoon, such as the SD Air & Space Museum, Bear Country USA, the Reptile Garden and Story Book Island to name a few.
In neighboring Black Hills, the Badlands National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park, all allow the elderly and their visitors beautiful scenery for walks and picnics.
Statistics show that approximately 70 percent of seniors over the age of 65 will need assisted living or long term health care in their lifetime. In South Dakota, the annual care costs compared to the five surrounding states, with a private one-bedroom ALF at approximately $32,900, a semi-private room in a continuing care nursing home is approximately $65,700 while a private room typically runs over $68,000. The costs do not include out of pocket expenses, which average $5,000 a year.
Searching for the Right Retirement Community
There are many factors to consider and compare when searching for a retirement community, but don’t get overwhelmed. SeniorLiving.org has information on retirement communities along with other information on senior independent living and elderly care in each state. Remember that the most important feature for your loved one is to still be considered important by their loved ones.