Rehab Select Blog

Alabama Long Term Care: Costs Versus Amenities

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Apr 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

long term care stethoscopeIf you are exploring long term care facilities in Alabama, you have probably noticed that there are wide variations in the services and amenities offered from one facility to another, as well as differences in costs. So how do those two issues relate to one another? Here we'll outline the basic facts you need to know about costs versus amenities in Alabama long term care facilities.

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About Long Term Care Facility Amenities

Perhaps the most important thing to know about amenities is that there are two distinct categories that amenities and services offered by various facilities can be placed in: amenities that can contribute to improved physical health, wellness and/or recovery, and those meant to improve or maintain psychosocial health by providing additional comfort or amusement, or creating a more luxurious, non-institutional atmosphere. Both types of amenities can provide value to residents, depending on their personal needs, preferences and priorities.

Commonly offered amenities geared towards improving health, wellness and/or recovery include:

  • Person centered care

  • 24 hour RN coverage

  • 7 day access to on-staff physicians

  • On-staff specialists, wound care or orthopedic physicians, for instance

  • Fitness centers

  • Fitness classes

  • Physical therapy facilities

  • Therapy pools

  • Nutritional counseling

  • Foot care services

Common amenities geared towards supporting psychosocial health include:

  • Attractive, home-like décor

  • Cable television

  • Restaurant-style dining

  • Bedside telephone service

  • Personal laundry service

  • Wireless Internet access

  • Social and recreational activities

  • Outdoor patios, recreational areas

  • Indoor lounges, common areas for visits, socialization

  • Daily housekeeping services

  • Beauty and barber shop services

  • Libraries

  • Game or arts and crafts rooms

  • Chapels

  • Social outings

Costs Versus Amenities

So how do the type and number of amenities offered by a facility affect costs? The answer to that question is that it depends largely on the facility. Some amenities may be offered as part of the overall care package, which means they will not add to overall costs, while others are fee-based, which means they are provided at additional cost. The breakdown of which amenities and services are included in your costs and which does not differ greatly from one facility to another.

For that reason, it is very important to ask for a list of amenities, which specifies which are included and which are fee-based, from each facility you are considering for your care. Comparing your costs between several facilities based only on monthly base rate charges alone can lead to substantial miscalculations. Often, a facility that appears less expensive based solely on those monthly rates, yet offers many of the amenities you will use as fee-based services, will end up costing significantly more than a facility with higher monthly rates that has a more generous included amenities list.

Lastly, another important point to consider as you weigh the costs versus amenities question is that Alabama long term care facilities that offer a greater number of amenities as part of the overall care package are more likely to place a greater emphasis on providing high quality, individualized care. That's because offering more than just basic needs to all patients implies a holistic view of patient care that prioritizes mental, emotional and medical well-being, treating individuals, rather than medical conditions.

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Topics: Long Term Care