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Father’s Day with Dad in Assisted Living

Are you celebrating Father’s Day with your dad at his assisted living community this year? No matter your father’s mobility level, there are Father’s Day activities for senior living residents that are sure to help him feel loved and celebrated. From day trips like museum tours and baseball games to planning a special Father’s Day celebration at the assisted living community, we’ve put together some ideas to help you make this Father’s Day one he’ll remember for years to come.

The Best Father’s Day Activities for Dads in Assisted Living

  • Decorate his room – if staying in at the assisted living community, can make it feel special having family decorate his space
  • Bring him his favorite food or a restaurant meal – if he can’t leave the property, bring him something he loves from his favorite place that he doesn’t get to go to
  • Make a scrapbook together – rather than bringing one to present to him, bring supplies and sit together as a family and look through pictures, reminisce and assemble the book together
  • Play family-friendly games – board games with the grandkids, lawn games if the weather is nice and celebrating outside, etc.
  • See what the team at the assisted living community might already have planned. Many assisted living communities, like Five Star Senior Living, offer special activities to celebrate the dads and grandfathers in residence on this special day. From movies to barbecues, games and karaoke contests, you may discover activities that every age can enjoy.

Put on a family talent show or singalong with the grandkids

A Father’s Day celebration doesn’t have to be elaborate or involve a road trip. Let the grandkids put on a skit or sing songs. The play can be as involved as they want, with costumes and set design, or can be as simple as the kids singing some of your dad’s favorite songs with help from your iTunes downloads.

Create personal Father’s Day tributes

You might also consider creating a slideshow video of favorite family moments – including past Father’s Day celebrations. With a laptop, a little bit of tech savvy, and an hour or two of free time, you can easily produce a video of favorite family photos. Set the slideshow to one of Dad’s favorite songs, whether he prefers golden oldies or classic rock, and let the images kick off an afternoon of reminiscing and storytelling.

If your dad is mobile and comfortable leaving the property, try these Father’s Day day trips for senior living residents:

1. Take Your Dad out to a ball game

Minor league ball games offer major fun for the whole family – at a fraction of the price of a major league baseball game. This allows you to share the special experience of a ball game with Dad without so much overwhelm and waiting in lines. To avoid the crowds, show up just after the first inning begins and leave before the bottom of the ninth.

2. Visit a museum

Is your Dad interested in military history? Airplanes? Natural science? Whatever his interests, he’s sure to love discussing them with you and his grandchildren. Take the whole family to a museum and listen as your Dad shares his own stories of years passed.

3. Go to the movies together

Don’t overlook a family movie outing. Whether a recent blockbuster or a classic movie from when your dad was younger, sharing the experience of watching a movie with family can provide an engaging and comfortable activity to share. If Dad would prefer to stay at the community for Father’s Day, find out what movies the assisted living community has coming up. You may not have to leave to view a family favorite classic. Just remember to ask if you should bring your own snacks or if the community is providing popcorn.

Additional tips for planning a safe and memorable Father’s Day in an assisted living community

Plan ahead for your father’s special needs

While your father might enjoy a short day trip, he may also get tired spending too much time outside, especially if your travels put you in the center of large crowds. Expect to spend no more than two or three hours away from home. You can always continue the celebration back at his assisted living community by enjoying a meal together or playing games in one of the common areas.

A Father’s Day celebration doesn’t have to be elaborate or involve a road trip. Let the grandkids put on a skit or sing songs. The play can be as involved as they want, with costumes and set design, or can be as simple as the kids singing some of your dad’s favorite songs with help from your iTunes downloads.

You might also consider creating a slideshow video of favorite family moments – including past Father’s Day celebrations. With a laptop, a little bit of tech savvy, and an hour or two of free time, you can easily produce a video of favorite family photos. Set the slideshow to one of Dad’s favorite songs, whether he prefers golden oldies or classic rock, and let the images kick off an afternoon of reminiscing and storytelling.

How to Know if it’s Time to Move to a Retirement Community

Retirement is your reward after a lifetime of hard work and planning. It’s your time to have fun and pursue your passions both familiar and new, like writing that novel or spending an entire day as a couch potato watching movies. No matter what it is, you’ve earned it.

Some older adults always knew downsizing would be part of their retirement plan. For others, it took retiring to realize they would like a change of pace. Whether moving to a retirement community is a new idea or it’s always been part of your plans, it can be tricky to know what time is the right time to make such a major life decision. Let’s take a look at retirement living and how to decide when might be the right time to consider moving to a retirement community.

What is a retirement community?

The term retirement community is a broad one, but generally refers to senior living neighborhoods or housing complexes designed for older adults.

Retirement communities give older adults the option to spend their time doing what they love without the stress of the day-to-day chores, home maintenance or driving. There’s a wide range of communities to choose from, from 55+ communities and independent living to assisted living or memory care. No matter what kind of lifestyle you want, there’s a place just for you.

Signs it’s time to consider moving to a retirement community

Only you will know when it’s the right time to move to a retirement community, but there are some tell-tale signs to know when you might want to make the move.

You want to enjoy stress-free living

You’ve spent your life working, keeping your home clean and cooking meals. Now it’s time to reward yourself with the freedom to do what you love and have a retirement community handle the rest. Retirement communities offer in-house dining with customizable menus, housekeeping options and more to make sure nothing gets in the way of what makes you happy. Even planning what to do with your free time is easier with scheduled events, classes and entertainment.

Your friends and family have moved or passed away

Social circles can shrink for older adults due to reasons outside their control like family moving to a new area or friends passing away. If you find yourself wanting to move closer to family or forge new bonds with friends, it might be time to move to a retirement community. Retirement communities bring older adults together to enjoy each other’s company with a wide range of amenities to let you live life to the fullest.

Transportation has become a problem

If driving at night has become difficult or the thought of getting in the car to go to the grocery store is stressful, a retirement community might be right for you. Retirement communities are strategically located close to shops, services and other amenities for convenience. Plus, there are all kinds of transportation options available at retirement communities like buses, excursion vans and scheduled trips that bring you where you want to go. Moving to a retirement community also doesn’t mean you have to give up your car—plenty of retirement communities have parking lots or parking garages nearby.

You want to build strength after an injury

Building your strength back up after an injury, surgery or illness can be tough, but retirement communities can make it easier. Most retirement communities have a rehab and fitness partner who can help you in recovery. Five Star Senior Living communities partner with Ageility, a personalized rehab, fitness and wellness provider for older adults. You can try out a retirement community with a short-term stay and you may find you’d like to stay even longer.

Access to personal or nursing care is important Many retirement communities offer close and easy access to the care you need. Maybe you need some extra support throughout the day through personal care or you need daily nursing care. No matter your needs, you can find a community that will support you.

Find a retirement community near you

Remember that the right time to move to a retirement community is when you’re ready and moving to a community has never been more exciting, due to the abundance of options and amenities that are available. When you decide it’s time to consider moving to a retirement community, Five Star can help you find the right retirement community to enjoy this new stage of life exactly the way you want.

7 Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Seniors

Whether it was fixing you chicken noodle soup on sick days as a kid, being your biggest cheerleader at your college graduation or volunteering to take the grandkids for ice cream over the holidays, you’ve always been able to rely on your mom for love and support. You may appreciate it even more Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Seniors now as a mom, yourself. Figuring out what to give someone who’s given you so much, though, isn’t easy.

With Mother’s Day approaching, you might feel overwhelmed trying to pick out the perfect way to say thank you, especially if Mom is a senior and already has so much. Though it truly is the thought that counts, here are seven creative, thoughtful and easy Mother’s Day gift ideas for seniors from our Senior Gift Guide eBook to help you get inspired and show mom just how much she means to you this Mother’s Day.

1. Family photos

A photo of the family is a perfect senior gift idea that will be treasured for years to come. It’s versatile, too—for example, you can incorporate the photo into personalized gifts, like comfy throws, photo books, mugs or calendars with birthdays and special dates highlighted with family pictures. Visit your local CVS or Walgreens for options.

2. Crochet tools

Not only will you likely end up with a slew of handmade blankets and scarves, but the hobby provides a range of sensory stimulation for older adults. If they’re a beginner, a basket of crochet hooks, yarn and scissors, plus a handy guide, is a great start.

3. A group or partner fitness class

Working out is more fun with a friend or family member, so give the gift of fitness to both your loved one and yourself. Exercising together means more time spent together, and more accountability, too. Of course, not all fitness programs are ideal for older adults. Check out Ageility Rehab & Fitness, which offers individual, partner and group senior fitness programs specifically designed for older adults. Or find a fitness trainer who has experience with seniors.

4. Journal

Penning thoughts and experiences is a great way to keep the mind sharp, not to mention it leaves a legacy. Keep your family’s story alive for future generations with The Story of a Lifetime, a book that asks hundreds of questions about all of life’s great relationships, milestones and traditions. Also check out The Best Journal Ever, a daily positivity journal for happiness, wellness and self-care, or 642 Things to Write About, which offers prompts for writer’s block.

5. Homemade gift cards

Remember when your folks smiled as you presented them with cards you made as a kid? You know, the ones where you promised to do the dishes, mow the lawn and handle any other chores? Those handmade cards are a great Mother’s Day gift idea guaranteed to still make them smile today!

6. Birdfeeder

Birdwatching can have a positive effect on the mind and engage the brain. A birdfeeder can make a great Mother’s Day gift for seniors, and for an extra special touch, get a bird feeder that’s custom engraved. Then, hang it in an ideal spot where they can see from a window.

7. Tablet

A tablet computer will keep your loved one connected to you, allow them to follow the news and stories that matter to them, offer some fun games to play, and is a nifty way to listen to audio books. Plus, being a tech-savvy tablet user is the perfect way to stay in touch with the grandkids! Five Star Senior Living—Where Every Day is Like Mother’s Day

No one deserves a break more than moms. That’s why, in a Five Star Senior Living community, they can finally kick back, relax and let someone else take care of those pesky chores for a change. We handle those, along with providing transportation and dining so moms can spend more time doing the things they love with the people that matter most. Now that’s the Mother’s Day gift that keeps on giving! Find a community near you to learn more.

Coping with the Loss of a Spouse – 3 Ways Seniors Can Find Healing

Losing your life partner is heartbreaking. All those memories you made together—the sparks flying on your first date, wedding bells chiming as you both said “I do,” your children laughing as you chase them around the house…they aren’t as vibrant without your spouse there to share them with. As an older adult, coping with the grief of the death of a spouse can be even more difficult due to the decades you may have spent together. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can start to sink in—especially if you live alone—making it harder to find purpose and joy in the day to day.

The road to healing after the loss of a spouse is different for everyone, but nearly all are paved with the power of genuine human connections. Whether it’s attending a grief support group, leaning on family and friends or simply reaching out to your neighbor for help, a community of support is crucial to making it through the hard days, and celebrating the good ones. Engaging in activities where you can pursue your passions and find companionship can also bring newfound comfort, meaning and vibrancy to your life.

Grief never really goes away, but it doesn’t have to define your later years after the loss of a spouse. Here are three powerful ways to cope with the pain of losing a loved one and find healing so you can create new, joyful memories and live life to your fullest.

1. After the death of a spouse, take it one day at a time

Herculean task. Overwhelming feelings of sadness, shock and even guilt make it hard to get out of bed, let alone go about your “normal” day. The reality is life goes on even in our grief. Giving yourself time and space to mourn the loss of your spouse is crucial to the healing process. Still, there comes a time when each day—and your overall wellbeing—becomes what you make it.

Eating nutritious food, staying active and keeping busy with work or hobbies are some of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy routine. A routine can provide that reason to get out of bed each day, take care of yourself and move forward amidst your grief. Some days will feel like breakthroughs. Some will feel like steps back. Each is a part of the journey of healing and should be celebrated.

2. Find activities that provide meaning and purpose

Many of us find meaning and purpose in the life we share with a partner. Perhaps it’s in helping raise grandchildren, supporting charities you both cared about or catching the sunset every evening from your favorite park bench. After the loss of your spouse, though, these activities can feel empty and you may even feel guilty for continuing them without your loved one by your side. That’s why finding a healthy outlet for meaning and purpose is so important to the healing process. It could be reconnecting with one of your passions or discovering new ones that allow you to explore what brings you joy even without your partner there to share it with.

A great way to find activities that can provide that sense of purpose is by considering the Five Dimensions of Wellness that make up a healthy, fulfilling life. Here are a few ideas of activities for each dimension of wellness that can help you find an outlet for healing and meaning.

Five Dimensions of Wellness Activities
Physical Tai chi, walking club, pickleball
Intellectual Book clubs, trivia nights, lifelong learning programs
Social Volunteering, poker club, concert outings
Emotional Gardening, painting, creative writing
Spiritual Church services, journaling, meditation

3. Build a support system

Coping with the loss of a spouse can feel like something you should go through alone and not burden others with. It takes courage and vulnerability to ask for help when the grief and loneliness becomes overwhelming. Finding and building a support system of people—whether it be family, friends, or a grief support group—allows for a setting where you can feel more comfortable expressing your grief, lightening its heavy load.

It’s important when building a support system to find people you trust that can also speak to your experience, particularly for older adults. Tom, 90, found that support and companionship when he met Mary Lee after he moved into Calusa Harbour, a senior living community in Fort Myers, FL. Both had lost spouses and Tom was still in mourning. Mary Lee and others offered support and helped Tom find renewed purpose, joy and love—culminating in marrying Mary Lee and starting a whole new chapter of life. “Life isn’t over after you lose someone,” says Mary Lee. “You can live and love.”

Finding healing, purpose and support after the loss of a spouse at Five Star

At Five Star, a community of care and support is always there for life’s hardest moments. In our communities, neighbors become more than friends; they become family who know your pain on a deep level and can provide a shoulder to lean on when the burden of grief gets too heavy. Our innovative LifeStyle360 wellness program that incorporates the Five Dimensions of Wellness also offers a wide range of engaging activities to help you explore what gives you meaning and purpose. To learn more about how life at Five Star can help you through the healing process and provide a new home full of hope, joy and belonging, find a Five Star community near you.

4 Huge Benefits of Selling Your Home to Pay for Senior Living

Home is where the heart is, and that makes the decision to sell your home not just a difficult—but also emotional—one. Homes are full of memories of laughing children, Thanksgiving dinners, late nights chatting on the porch…the list goes on. Yet, there comes a time when home is quieter and lonelier than before, particularly for older adults. Many seniors live by themselves after the loss of a loved one. Aging in place can also become expensive with upkeep costs for maintenance, taxes and utilities, not to mention the cost to renovate so your home is safe for your changing needs. After a while, what was once a place of joy can start to feel like a burden.

This is when selling your home to pay for senior living could help you combat loneliness and give you the freedom to live life to the fullest. Losing what’s familiar is never easy, but moving into a senior living community doesn’t mean you have to give up your hard-earned independence. In fact, it opens a whole world of stress-free living full of joy, purpose and companionship. And that’s just one of the huge advantages of selling your home to pay for senior living. Here are a few other big ways you can benefit from selling your home and moving to a senior living community.

Hot housing market = more money in your pocket for an active senior lifestyle

It’s no secret that the housing market is booming. According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices are up 15.8% on average year-over-year across the country as the demand for new homes continues to far outpace supply. Still, you might be wondering, should I hang onto my home as prices rise, or have they peaked? The important thing to remember is that it’s impossible to predict the top of the real estate market and playing the waiting game could backfire. With home prices already at record highs, selling now means you’ll likely come out ahead with a hefty sum that will make senior living far more affordable.

Lock in equity now to pay for future senior living needs

The future is hard to predict, especially when it comes to your home’s value and your health. Delaying a decision to sell leaves open the risk of both taking a turn for the worse. However, if you do your homework now, you can determine based on your current home value whether it can pay for some or all the costs of senior living. Consider the money like stock. Unless you’re selling, the increase in market value isn’t money in the bank. Only if you sell can you plan on how to leverage those dollars.

No more mortgage bills and home maintenance

You’ve worked hard to reach your retirement years and finally relax. There’s just one problem. Your home won’t let you. Cleaning, cooking, running errands…keeping up with it all your at-home to-do lists can feel like its own 9-5. If you don’t own your home outright, there’s also a pesky mortgage payment that keeps chipping away at your savings for that cruise you always dreamed of. By selling your home, you can knock out your to-do lists and mortgage payments all at once and never have to worry about them again. That means more time—and money—for doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

Experience stress-free senior living

As attached as we get to the space we live in, it’s easy to forget that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. It’s the comfort of being part of a close-knit community, the joy of waking up with a sense of purpose each morning and the peace in knowing you’re right where you’re supposed to be. That’s why so many seniors refer to their senior living communities as “neighborhoods” where they’ve found their “home sweet home.” Without the burden of owning a home weighing them down, residents enjoy the freedom to live life on their own terms and explore an exciting new chapter full of rediscovered passions and companionship. The best part? The money you make selling your home doesn’t just cover your rent in a senior living community. It also includes other big home expenses like meals, housekeeping and utilities. It’s like having all the comforts of home—plus a whole lot more—without all the hassle.

Five Star Senior Living — welcome home

Everyone deserves a home where they feel cared for and treated like family. That sentiment is at the core of Five Star’s mission to help every senior find their new “home sweet home” in communities across 27 states. With living options that include independent living, assisted living and memory care, Five Star is able to deliver award-winning hospitality, innovative programming and signature health services that meet your specific needs and preferences. To learn more about how selling your current home can help cover the cost of senior living at Five Star, call one of our senior care experts at (757) 797-6866 or find a Five Star community near you.

What is the Aid and Attendance Benefit for Veterans?

When it comes to financing senior care, older adults are often unaware of how many financial options there are that can help. From life-settlement funds to bridge loans, there are a variety of programs designed to make it easier to finance senior care. One benefit that is often overlooked was created for veterans and their surviving spouses. It is the Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefit and is commonly referred to as the Aid and Attendance for Veterans Benefit.

What is the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit?

This benefit, managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides financial support to veterans to assist with the costs of long-term care. The purpose of this program is to ensure that veterans who served our nation receive the care they need.

Aid and Attendance support is available only to veterans and surviving spouses who meet eligibility requirements. In general, the veteran needs to have served at least 90 days of active-duty service with at least one day during a recognized period of war.

There are other eligibility requirements for the Aid and Attendance benefit for veterans that must also be met:

  • Age or disability: To receive this pension, a veteran must be at least 65-years-old or be totally and permanently disabled. Seniors who receive home care, live in a senior living community or receive skilled nursing care may be eligible, as can veterans who are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
  • Physical condition: The veteran and/or their surviving spouse must also meet one of these conditions to be eligible:
    • Need regular, although not full time, supervision due to a physical, cognitive, mental or developmental condition OR
    • Require the aid of another person to perform 2 activities of everyday living tasks (e.g., dressing, bathing, feeding, toileting)

How much does the VA pay for Aid and Attendance?

The 2022 Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit rates are:

  • A Veteran with a spouse may qualify for as much as $2,431 per month
  • A single Veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 per month
  • A well Veteran with an ill spouse may qualify for as much as $1,608 per month
  • A surviving spouse may qualify for as much as $1,318 per month

These amounts have historically increased by the same cost of living adjustments as social security.

Commonly Asked Questions about Aid and Attendance

Q: Is this benefit different than a monthly military pension for veterans?

A: Yes. This benefit is separate from and in addition to a monthly pension from a branch of the Military. This pension is from the VA and can be granted in addition to a Military pension. You cannot receive disability compensation or Death and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Pension with Aid and Attendance at the same time. If you qualify for both disability compensation or DIC and you also qualify for the Pension with Aid and Attendance, you can choose whichever is most advantageous for you. Surprisingly, the lower paying benefit is occasionally the better financial choice.

Q: How does a veteran or surviving spouse apply for this benefit? Can you apply in person?

A: Veterans or a surviving spouse can apply through their regional Veterans Affairs office. However, it is a complicated and time-consuming process and, similar to filing your taxes, you might want to work with a professional with expertise in the Pension with Aid and Attendance benefit. At Five Star Senior Living, we partner with Elder Resource Benefits Consulting to help our residents and future residents with consultation and guidance regarding the VA Aid & Attendance benefit.

To learn more about this benefit and to book your appointment for your free benefit analysis we invite you to contact Elder Resource Benefits Consulting at 833-822-9273 or 508-485-0039 or go to and select the Book Now option on the home page.

Please have the following information ready before you call:

  • Monthly gross income from all sources
  • Estimated other annual income—interest, dividends, IRA contributions, capital gains, etc.
  • Monthly health and/or long-term care insurance premiums
  • Monthly projected residency fee
  • Understanding of applicant’s assets, including IRAs

Q: Are veterans eligible for any other senior living benefits?

At Five Star Senior Living, we’re proud to serve those that have served us. That’s why we offer 5% off monthly rent to veterans in our communities. This discount never expires and can be combined with other offers, like the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. Connect with your community’s sales director to learn more about this unique Five Star veterans benefit.

Five Star Affordability: Download our Cost of Senior Living Guide

We understand that senior living financing options can be confusing, so we created a resource to help. Download our FREE “Your Complete Guide to the Cost of Senior Living” eBook to get the answers you need. Learn about typical cost ranges, services offered and financing options, from Aid and Attendance to using bridge loans. We’ve also included how to contact a senior living counselor who can help answer any further questions. Find out if there’s a Five Star community near you to learn more.

What are ADLs and IADLs and What’s the Difference?

A big source of pride for many folks is being able to take care of themselves without assistance. Whether it’s home upkeep, managing medications or personal hygiene, being able to do these tasks independently can be very fulfilling. Yet, as we age and our bodies aren’t able to function like they used to, many of these once routine tasks can become more and more challenging. Knowing when additional help is required—and how much of it you need—can also be difficult. That’s where Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) come in.

ADLs and IADLs are both services offered by senior living communities that help residents—particularly those in assisted living—stay independent for longer. Though they have nearly identical names, ADLs and IADLs have key differences in the services they include that together form a holistic level of care. Here’s what you should know about both terms so you can determine how much extra care you or your loved one needs to maintain independence.

What are Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs?

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are routine tasks most people are able to perform on a daily basis without assistance. Most senior living providers and health professionals group ADLs into the following categories:

Common Categories of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)


Being able to dress and undress, choose appropriate clothing for the weather and have the dexterity to manage buttons, zippers and other fasteners.


The ability to feed oneself (not including cooking).

Bathing or Showering

This includes grooming activities such as shaving and brushing teeth and hair.


Being able to control bowels and bladder or to manage incontinence independently.


The ability to use the toilet and get to the toilet independently.


This refers to functional mobility. For most people, functional mobility is being able to walk, get in and out of bed, and into and out of a chair. If the person is not ambulatory, they should be able to transfer from bed to wheelchair on their own.

What are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, or IADLs, and how are IADLs different from ADLs?

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are more complex tasks that often build on basic ADLs, but require a certain amount of physical dexterity, sound judgment and organizational skills. IADLs are not essential functions of living like ADLs, though they are key to being able to live independently. Instrumental activities of daily living typically include the following:

Common Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

Managing finances

Paying bills and managing financial assets.

Managing transportation

Either by driving, using public transportation or by organizing other means of transport.

Shopping and meal preparation

Grocery shopping, cooking and any other activity required to prepare your own meals.

Housecleaning and home maintenance

Keeping one’s living space reasonably clean and tidy and overall maintaining of the home.

Managing communication

Using the telephone and managing mail.

Managing medications

Obtaining medications and taking them as directed.

How do I know if and which ADLs and IADLs are needed?

The signs that it’s time to consider help with ADLs and IADLs can take a while to appear and be difficult to spot. It’s common to need a little more assistance with our day-to-day as we get older and we’re not as spry as we used to be. That’s why one of the best ways to evaluate the need for ADLs and IADLs is through a functional assessment performed by a doctor, rehabilitation provider or senior living specialist.

Difficulty managing instrumental activities of daily living is often an early indicator of other health problems. This assessment can help seniors determine what kind of assistance is needed on a day-to-day basis. An inability to perform two or three activities in a functional assessment is often a sign that one would benefit from outside help, or by considering moving to an assisted living community where ADL and IADL services are available.

Five Star Care: All the services you need, when you need them

In our Five Star Senior Living communities, no two residents are alike, so we personalize our level of care to fit your needs. That includes any help with ADLs and/or IADLs that you or your loved one needs to embrace and enjoy their best life and live stress-free. Call one of our senior care experts at (757) 797-6866 or find a Five Star community near you to learn more.

How to Know When to Move to Assisted Living

You’ve earned your retirement, and you deserve to kick back, relax, and enjoy your golden years without the challenges of working. But getting older can pose challenges of its own. If home upkeep, hygiene, and other activities of daily living have become difficult for you or a loved one, it may be time to consider moving to assisted living, also known as personal care in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

When older adults (or their caregivers) hear the words “assisted living,” the image that comes to mind is often an institutional facility that marks the end of the road—a cold place where seniors are meant to live out the final years of their life. But the truth is that transitioning to assisted living can be the start of a wonderful new chapter of life where the to-do list is tossed out and the focus is on what brings joy.

What is Assisted Living?

Falling between independent living and full-time nursing care, assisted living offers a stress-free lifestyle where extra help with activities of daily living (ADLs) is always near so residents can maintain much of their independence.

Signs It’s Time to Move to Assisted Living

No two situations are exactly alike, and there are a lot of factors to weigh when considering moving to assisted living, whether for yourself or a loved one. Here are five signs that it might be time to start thinking about making the move to assisted living.

You Want to Expand Your Social Circle

As you or your loved one gets older and enjoys retirement, social circles can sometimes feel like they’re shrinking. Your friends may have moved away to be closer to their children or relationships you had during your working life have drifted apart.

Moving to an assisted living community is a great way to enjoy a stress-free lifestyle while meeting new people and making new bonds. The life enrichment and wellness activities offered at assisted living communities give you the opportunity to meet people with similar interests and experiences. Five Star takes a holistic approach to active community living with LifeStyle360—whether it’s in art class, on a cultural excursion, or during happy hour you’re bound to make new friends.

Accidents and Falls are More Frequent

As the leading cause of injury among older adults, falls are often caused by an older home that isn’t designed with senior safety in mind. Car accidents also pose a major risk for serious injury for older adults. Especially if you or a loved one lives alone, making driving a necessity.

It can help to reflect on the past year. A question to ask yourself if you’re thinking of moving to assisted living is: have you made two or more trips to the hospital due to a fall or an accident? If you notice any pattern of injuries, you may benefit from moving to an assisted living community where bedrooms and communal areas are made with safety in mind plus trained staff to assist you.

Home Maintenance Struggles

Aging often causes physical strength to decline. This can make it more difficult for you to keep up with housework and yard maintenance. Mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and cleaning out the refrigerator can be difficult and even unsafe.

If taking care of your home has become increasingly difficult it might be time to look at an assisted living community. The stressors of home upkeep, housekeeping, and laundry are all handled by welcoming and trained staff letting you focus on your hobbies and pursue stress-free living.

Difficulty Leaving Home

Whether it’s mobility impairment or a lack of transportation, getting out of the house can become difficult as you or a loved one gets older.

If you are having difficulty leaving your home you may benefit from moving to an assisted living community. Most communities offer expert staff who work with your needs. Plus all kinds of life enriching activities, fun programs, and transportation services are included to keep you engaged and comfortable.

Getting the Right Nutrition

One of the best things about assisted living communities is the restaurant-style dining rooms with well-balanced chef-inspired meals, snacks, and catered meal plans. You or a loved one might benefit from an assisted living community if you find yourself skipping meals or relying on unhealthy convenience foods.

Enjoy The Freedom of Stress-Free Assisted Living

Still not sure if it’s time to think about assisted living? Take your time and reach out to a family member, friend, or an assisted living community directly to start the conversation.

Moving to an assisted living community is a major life decision for you or a loved one to make. There’s a misconception that assisted living means giving up your independence or that someone is watching over you 24/7—this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

At Five Star, assisted living is designed to enhance independence. With no more chores or errands to worry about, you have the freedom to do what makes you happy and rest easy knowing your every need is met at a cost you can afford. Most importantly, though, you are welcomed into a new home sweet home where you’re treated like family from the moment you walk in. Find out if there’s a Five Star community near you to learn more.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

Growing old can be a beautiful thing, full of new experiences and joys like finally taking that trip you always planned on or helping raise grandchildren. Yet, there comes a time for many seniors when worsening health conditions make basic daily activities—like bathing or managing medication—require assistance. These may be signs it’s time to consider moving into an assisted living community.

Moving into an assisted living community can be a difficult—and emotional—decision. It doesn’t help that searching for assisted living costs online brings up all sorts of confusing fees, contracts and services that vary widely. You might be wondering:

  • How much does assisted living actually cost? And is it worth it?
  • How does assisted living cost compare to the cost of in-home care?
  • How can I pay for assistance living?

Here’s the good news: there’s no need to keep searching. We’ve got you covered with simple and straightforward answers to the most asked questions about the cost of assisted living. Here’s what you need to know about assisted living costs so you can make the best choice.

What is an assisted living community?

Assisted living communities are far more than just places that provide senior care. They should also be a home where everyday burdens—like transportation and chores—are taken care of so your loved one can stay active and engaged doing the things they love most. Assisted living can be best thought of as a busy, involved community atmosphere that lies on the continuum between independent living and full-time, nursing-provided care. It’s best for seniors who need a little extra help with some activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing and medication reminders so they can live their most independent life.

What is the average cost assisted living?

Assisted living costs can vary greatly depending upon what area of the country you live in. The size of the apartment you choose, and the types and number of services also impact the monthly cost of assisted living. According to Genworth Financial, the average cost of assisted living in 2020 was $4,300 per month. Compare that to the cost of hiring a home health aide and housekeeper in 2020: an average of $9,000 a year! While the monthly cost of assisted living may cause an initial senior living sticker shock, the services and amenities included in the monthly cost make a move to an assisted living community a smart financial decision.

What is included in the average monthly cost for assisted living?

The true value of assisted living goes far beyond a new place to call home. Assisted living communities offer a wide variety of amenities and services included in the monthly cost to meet your loved one’s needs like:

  • Housekeeping, maintenance and laundry services.
  • Nutritious, chef-prepared meals served restaurant-style in the dining room.
  • Utilities and basic cable television.
  • A full calendar of life enrichment programs to participate in each day.
  • Transportation services for errands, appointments and other community outings.
  • Wellness programs and senior-friendly fitness activities.
  • Emergency call systems in apartments and/or an emergency call pendant option.

How can I pay for assisted living?

No matter your budget, there are ways to make assisted living more affordable. Though most seniors pay with private funds, the monthly cost of assisted living can become much more manageable through senior living financing options like:

  • A Bridge Loan or Senior Line-of-Credit: These short-term, “interest-only” loans help fund assisted living costs until the necessary money comes in.
  • Deferred Annuity with Long-term Care Rider: Rather than making monthly insurance payments, the investor places a lump sum of money into a deferred annuity. They can then withdraw the money, tax-free and without any IRS penalties, to pay for assisted living.
  • Life Settlement Accounts: With a life settlement agreement, a senior sells their life insurance to a third party and receives a lump sum payment.
  • Veteran’s Benefits: US veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans can receive monthly benefits to pay for assisted living through the Aid and Attendance Benefit.

The Five Star Difference: Affordable, stress-free assisted living

We know how hard the decision to move into an assisted living community can be, especially when it comes down to figuring out the cost and how to pay for it. That’s why Five Star’s senior living experts are happy to help answer your questions about assisted living costs and work with your budget so you can make the most informed decision.

In a Five Star assisted living community, our residents receive the services they need in an engaging, active lifestyle they deserve at a cost they can afford. Most importantly, though, they are welcomed into a new home sweet home where life is stress-free, and friends become family. Download our FREE Guide to the Cost of Senior Living eBook and find out if there’s a Five Star community near you to learn more.

Home Care or Assisted Living: A Comparison

Exploring different senior living options for you or an aging loved one can feel overwhelming. You want to make the right choice for you or your loved one’s health and happiness, while also respecting your family’s desires regarding staying at home or transitioning to a senior living community. Both senior living arrangements have benefits and drawbacks worth considering. In this article, we’ll help clarify your options when choosing between assisted living and non-medical home care for seniors so that you can make the best, most informed choice for you and your family.

What is Non-Medical Home Care?

When you hire non-medical home care, a home care aide will come to you or your loved one’s home and stay—either round-the-clock or on a pre-determined schedule. This person, sometimes called a senior care companion or home aide, can help perform daily tasks provide companionship.

Non-Medical Care versus Skilled Home Health Care

It’s important to note the difference between non-medical care and home health care. Nearly anyone—even without a medical license—can perform non-medical care. In fact, the burden often falls on a family member, who isn’t paid for these services.

On the other hand, home health professionals are skilled medical professionals who can often administer medications, offer occupational therapy services, change wound dressings, and assess overall health. If you or your loved one is experiencing health concerns or if you’re worried about moving safely around the house, home health care is worth considering. Unfortunately, home care for seniors, both medical and non-medical, can be expensive and the costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars a month, particularly if round-the-clock care is needed.

What Is Assisted Living?

In an assisted living community, staff is available 24/7 to provide non-medical care services. You or your senior loved one receives care and companionship she or he whenever it’s necessary.

In addition, an assisted living community often provides social activities from group yoga classes to movie night to keep residents engaged with life. Many also offer wellness programs, healthy meal options and transportation. If you opt for in-home non-medical care, you’ll have to pay separately for these types of services.

Non-Medical Home Care or Assisted Living?

Caregivers and seniors often believe non-medical home care is a suitable, more affordable option to assisted living. They might even believe non-medical home care gives a senior more freedom. For an older adult who wishes to age in place, in-home care may be the right option. Here are some of the key differences between the two to consider:

Assisted Living vs. Home Care Comparison Table


Assisted Living

Home Care

What types of care are provided?

In assisted living, residents may need some help with transportation, medication management, housekeeping and other specific activities of daily living such as dressing and personal care, but still live independently.

Care may include:

  • Bathing and personal hygiene
  • Medication reminders (although in most states they cannot administer medication)
  • Getting dressed
  • Help eating

What other services are offered?

Residents receive three nutritious meals each day and access to life enrichment programs and social activities like yoga classes and movie nights to keep residents engaged with life.

Services may include:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Cooking
  • Transportation
  • Companionship

What is the living situation like?

Assisted living communities are designed to feel home-like and residents typically live in their own apartments or suites with private baths and kitchenettes.

Home care allows for aging in the comfort of your own home, but modifications to the home might be necessary to maintain independence.

How much does it cost?

The median cost of assisted living in the United States in 2021 was $4,300 per month, according to Genworth’s most recent Cost of Care Survey.

In 2021, the average cost of a home health aide $5,148 per month.

Another major benefit of assisted living is that your care is spread out across an entire team instead of one individual. If your home health aide calls in sick or needs to care for someone else, few alternative options are available. Assisted living means your loved one will always have the care they need, when they need it. 

Note: Your money also goes a lot further in an assisted living community since large expenses like rent and dining are included, along with a wide variety of activities and close companionship with other older adults you can’t get with a home aide. Download our FREE Guide to the Cost of Senior Living eBook to learn more about how assisted living may be more affordable than you think.

When analyzing all factors, including costs, it’s important to remember the following:

  • A senior who uses non-medical home care must pay the home aide, along with all the usual expenses such as meals, mortgage, taxes, and utilities
  • Assisted living includes non-medical care, as well as a place to live, transportation, some meals, home maintenance (including lawn care), and utilities
  • Assisted living provides services when you or your loved one needs it, round-the-clock

Move or Stay?

The decision to move to assisted living or to age-in-place with help from a home aide is a difficult one. Find a Five Star Senior Living community near you to see if the environment, services and amenities would be the right fit for you.