Financial Planning Tips for Moving into a Senior Living Community

If an older adult you love is contemplating a move to a senior living community, both of you probably have a lot of questions. For most families, financial concerns top the list. And because senior living communities all price their services and amenities a little differently, it can further add to the confusion. While moving to a senior living community might initially seem to be cost prohibitive, it’s important to know that many of the expenses a senior incurs at home are included in the base fee.

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5 Ways to Convince a Parent They Need to Move to Senior Living

In our work with families across Florida, we are often asked about the best way to convince a parent to move to senior living. Adult children worry about senior loved ones for a variety of reasons ranging from loneliness to safety. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to talk an older adult into making a move they are reluctant—or even unwilling—to make. The key is to begin an open and honest discussion and to try to discover what might be keeping your senior loved one from moving.

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Medical Expense Deductions for Assisted Living in Florida

Tax season is a confusing time of year for most of us. With the passage of a new tax bill in Congress, this year is proving to be even more challenging. Tax professionals are still working their way through these recent changes and what they mean for each of us. That includes expenses for assisted living in Florida.

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How Affordable is a Senior Living Community?

If you are searching for a senior living community for yourself, a spouse, or another family member, how much it will cost is likely a leading concern. There are many myths surrounding the cost of independent living and assisted living, including a persistent one that senior housing is only for the wealthy.

Many people also believe that it is less expensive to age in place at home rather than move to an assisted living community because their house is mortgage free. They neglect to take in to consideration all of the additional expenses a senior incurs as they grow older: in-home care, housekeeping, lawn care, utilities, insurance, and more.

So how much does assisted living cost and how do the costs stack up against staying at home?

Here’s what seniors and their families should know before making a decision.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

Assisted living can be an economically advantageous solution for seniors who need help maintaining their independence. It might be assistance to stay on track with their medication schedule or a helping hand with personal care.

In 2016, the median cost for an assisted living community in this country was $3,628 per month. This is based on a one-bedroom assisted living apartment.

The services and amenities in an assisted living community’s basic monthly fee typically include most or all of the following:

  • A private apartment or suite designed with the unique needs of an older adult in mind (grab bars, step-in showers, and more)
  • Housekeeping, linen service, maintenance, and repairs
  • Licensed caregivers onsite around the clock
  • Emergency alert call pendant and call buttons in resident apartments
  • Healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks sometimes prepared under the direction of a chef
  • Basic utilities, basic cable, internet, and local phone service
  • Transportation services for group outings and individual resident appointments
  • An onsite beauty/barber shop for resident use

In most assisted living communities, individual level of care charges are assessed separately. This means the senior and their family pay only for the care and support they need. A few examples of level of care services that you may be charged separately for each month include medication assistance, bathing, and dressing.

Comparing Assisted Living Costs with the Cost of Home Care

Seniors and their families often ask how the cost of an assisted living community compares to the costs of aging in place at home. However, this can be a complicated question to answer.

If a senior only needs a few hours of support each week, family members might be able to bridge the gap. A home care agency can also be employed to assist with tasks such as grocery shopping, housekeeping, personal care, and more.

As the older adult’s needs increase and their care is more episodic (e.g., they need help getting to and from the bathroom in the middle of the night) home care expenses can quickly add up. The average rate for home care is $20 per hour with costs far higher in larger cities or major metropolitan areas.

Added to that are expenses such as the following:

  • Home modifications, including building ramps, installing step-free showers and grab bars, and more
  • Transportation costs, whether it is a private car or a transportation service
  • Medical alert and home security systems
  • Utilities, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, groceries, cable television, local phone, internet, and other household expenses

When you factor all of the costs involved in aging in place at home, it’s easy to see how a senior living community might be the most economical solution.

Funding Solutions for Senior Living

We encourage you to visit Sonata Senior Living Financial Solutions Resources to explore a variety of funding solutions. From benefits for veterans to tax deductions, you can learn more about the options for financing senior living.

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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The Three Phases of Senior Living at Sonata

When you are considering a move to a senior living community, understanding the different types of care and services can be more than a little confusing. Taking time to explore each of them will help you make an informed decision that you will be happy with now and in the future.

At many communities, including Sonata Senior Living, there are three distinct levels of care:

  • Independent, resort-style living
  • Assisted living care
  • Memory care for adults with dementia

Each level of care at a senior living community provides different types of care, services, and amenities.

Independent Living at a Senior Living Community

An independent living community offers a lifestyle free from the burdens of home ownership. Residents trade lawn care and home maintenance for chef-prepared dining and a variety of life enrichment programs. At Sonata, we call it Viva Independent Living. Residents also enjoy and benefit from the following:

  • Executive chef-prepared lunch and dinner menus
  • Daily Continental breakfast
  • Full service bistro bar, hair salon, and spa
  • Fitness Center, dog park, water front pavilion and more
  • Wellness Center with 24-hour nursing on site
  • State-of-the-art emergency call system and resident check in system
  • Overnight security
  • Chauffeured individual and group transportation
  • Weekly Housekeeping, flat linen service, and standard maintenance
  • Deluxe kitchens with full-size appliances
  • Apartments with balcony or porch with a view
  • Basic cable WiFiinternet and local phone service
  • Supplemental care such as a visiting physician, therapy, or home care services available

Assisted Living Care

Assisted living is often described as the best of two worlds: residents have their own private apartment but with the care and support they need to stay safely independent always close by. At Sonata, we call it Harmony Assisted Living.

The assisted living neighborhoods in our senior living communities offer the following:

  • Chef-inspired entrees from which to choose at every meal
  • Individual plan of care for each resident including the support of licensed nurses and certified caregivers
  • Full calendar of events, programs, outings, and activities
  • Weekly housekeeping, flat linen service, and maintenance
  • Convenience of visiting physicians, onsite therapy and homecare
  • Upgraded kitchen with full size refrigerator and built-in microwave
  • Easy-to-access showers with enhanced lighting and retractable benches
  • Basic cable, WiFiinternet, and local phone service
  • Scheduled transportation for outings and appointments
  • Emergency call pendant

Memory Care for Adults with Dementia

Memory care is designed to meet the unique needs of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. By supporting an adult’s remaining abilities and helping them live productive days, memory care in a senior living community helps improve the quality of life for seniors with dementia.

We call our program Serenades by Sonata Memory Care. It is based on the Four Ps Philosophy:

  • Purposeful design: Our dementia care environment is designed to promote peace and calm while also fostering freedom, independence, and confidence. Specialty lighting, color-coded cues, open floor plans, and security are just a few design elements you will find in Serenades.
  • Person-directed care: Personalized resident care plans incorporate structured daily routines that promote success in adults with memory loss. It’s an approach that helps residents feel a sense of belonging that enhances quality of life.
  • Live It Up programming: Our Live It Up approach to programming incorporates the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, intellectual, physical, vocational, social, spiritual, and environmental. Memory care residents enjoy stimulating daily activities designed to help them live their best quality of life despite their disease.
  • Partnership with families: We consider residents’ families our families, too. Part of our commitment to families is helping them learn more about their loved ones’ disease and find ways to stay engaged and connected to their lives.

Senior Living in Central and South Florida

One of the most important steps to learning more about senior living is to visit several different communities in person. Take time to tour the campus and ask the staff questions about the caregivers, care, and community.

Sonata Senior Living has communities throughout central and south Florida. Contact the community nearest you to schedule a time to visit and see what resident-focused, vibrant senior living looks like!


Sonata is At Your Service: Get started on your holiday care plan

Sonata is At Your Service: Get started on your holiday care plan

At Sonata, we understand that the holidays can be stressful caring for a senior loved one and we are here to help. Start on your holiday care plan by calling one of our communities to discuss options.

 

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Paul Markowitz, Executive Director of Sonata Delray asked to serve on local legislative round table - Updated

Our very own Paul Markowitz, Executive Director of Sonata Delray Beach, has been asked to serve on the Emergency Response Roundtable with Emily Slosberg, Florida House Representative. This is a great honor and we are so proud of the leadership that Paul provides. He is a great asset to Sonata and his community as a whole.

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Hurricane Irma Updates

Safety for our Sonata Residents is our Priority! Our current plan of action is below. We will update you daily on any changes that occur.

12:00PM, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

• Sonata’s comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Plan has been activated
• All families to be sent ongoing communication and updates via email
• Emergency Generator on site for back-up power
• Emergency Food on hand
• Medical Supplies on hand

Florida is bracing for the potential landfall of Hurricane Irma and is currently monitoring the Hurricane path as it may effect us and our communities. The latest track does put Irma much closer to Florida as a possible Category 5 hurricane per the National Hurricane Center. Sonata Senior Living is closely monitoring and watching updates from the National Weather Service and local emergency management services. Sonata Senior Living will send messages to families by email and update our website and social media pages regarding any impact Hurricane Irma will have on our Sonata community operations. Please make sure that your contact information is current; Please contact the community with any changes.

 

12:00PM, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

• Sonata’s comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Plan has been activated
• Additional staffing & Management has been secured
• All families to be sent ongoing communication and updates via email
• Emergency Generator on site for back-up power
• Emergency Food on hand
• Medical Supplies on hand

Please be assured Sonata is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and consulting with the National Weather Service and Local Emergency Management Offices. We will be sending messages to family members via email, Facebook and our SonataSeniorLiving.com website regarding any effect on our community’s preparedness status or the need to evacuate on a regular basis.

Please note, we will be reaching out to all family members during the day today to confirm whether your loved one will be staying at Sonata during the storm or whether or not you intend to pick them up prior. If you plan on picking them up, we ask that you notify us in advance and make arrangements and plan on picking them up no later than Friday. All residents remaining at the community after Friday will be evacuated in the event the need arises or an evacuation order is issued by emergency management officials. Should you have any questions, please contact our Home Office at 407-286-6490.

12:00PM, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

• Sonata’s Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Plan has been activated
• Additional staffing & Management has been secured
• All families to be sent ongoing communication and updates via email
• Emergency Generator on site for back-up power
• Emergency Food on hand
• Medical Supplies on hand
• All South Florida Communities will be fully staffed for the duration of the storm        
  beginning at noon on Saturday

Sonata is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and consulting with the National Weather Service and Local Emergency Management Offices. We are sending messages to family members on a regular basis via email, Facebook and our SonataSeniorLiving.com website regarding any effect on our community’s preparedness status or the need to evacuate. We apologize that text messaging cannot be enabled as a means of communication for this storm.

None of our communities have received evacuation orders at this time. We will continue to prepare for the storm to ensure that we have appropriate supplies including food, water. and necessary medications.

Your local communities will be following up with a phone call to the primary contact noted on our resident emergency contact form by the end of day today. If you have not been contacted by the end of the day, please call the community directly.

4:00PM, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Sonata Central Florida looks to be impacted directly by Hurricane Irma. We have listed a few highlights below to ensure you that all precautionary measures have been taken and your loved ones are safe.

•All Central Florida communities have been in contact with the Agency for Health Care Administration and are being advised on best practices and resources.
•Once tropical storm winds have made it to the area, our communities will be locked down and no visitors will be allowed in or out of the community.
•Safe refuge areas within the community have been identified for all of our residents.
•All primary contacts have been called. If you have not heard from us, please contact your local community.
•Utility information and account numbers have been secured and Sonata communities are on the “priority for health care” list as one of the first to be restored once the storm has passed.
•Sonata has already contracted with repair teams to immediately begin repairs after the storm passes.

Please understand that we are experiencing heavier then normal call volumes at this time. If you do not get an answer, please leave a message and someone will get back with you as soon as possible.

12:00PM, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Although Irma has moved a bit west, we are expecting and preparing for heavy winds and rain. All staff will be in place no later then 9:00PM this evening. All of our communities are prepared and all of our emergency plans have been activated. There will be a 7:00PM curfew for visitors coming in and out of our communities. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local community as our home office is closed. Please understand that we are experiencing heavier then normal call volumes at this time. If you do not get an answer, please leave a message and someone will get back with you as soon as possible.

12:00PM, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

Hello Sonata Family,
At this time, we have Sonata Coconut Creek and Sonata Delray Beach running on generators. We had a normal dinner service last night. South Florida residents are participating in activities as they experience Tropical Storm wind gusts. All are safe.

All Central Florida residents are doing well. Management staff is in place and ready for the storm. They have had no power loss at this time.

If you try to call our communities, please understand that we are experiencing heavier then normal call volumes at this time. We may have power loss and have loss of service as well. If you do not get an answer, please leave a message and someone will get back with you as soon as possible. We will continue to communicate as much as we can.

12:00PM, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – Sonata Viera

Dear Families and Friends,Hurricane Irma has now passed. I wanted to reach out and update you on the status of our Residents and Community. We hope that our families and friends are safe and only experienced the minimal impact as we did by Sonata at Viera. In the aftermath of the storm, our primary issue today is no running water due to a city of Cocoa Water Utility line break. Given the significant impact felt by so many, we feel very blessed and fortunate. The Sonata Viera management team and entire staff did an amazing job preparing for the storm, ensuring our resident’s safety, and providing excellent care and reassurance during the storm. During the storm, the community did lose power briefly but the generator provided ample coverage until power was restored. The Community is currently operating with full power and all phones are operational. As far as the water, Viera is on a boil water alert but there is plenty of emergency water on hand for the residents consumption and personal needs. Overall, the building held up very well and only experienced minor roof damage and a few tree limbs were lost. Today, we have asked managers and staff to rotate coverage so they are able to assess their homes and make any necessary arrangements to make sure their families are safe as well. With our phone lines working, we ask that you limit your calls to emergency only as we need to keep them open for supply and staffing purposes and any emergencies that may arise. If you would like to come in and visit your loved one, we kindly ask that you wait until later in the day after emergency crews have had the opportunity to clear roadways and assist those in immediate need. Your safety is our concern as well. The safety of our residents and our staff is our number one priority and it is very evident that Sonata Viera has a compassionate team dedicated to their residents. Although, times like these are never what we want to encounter, it truly shows the character and heart of individuals. I am very proud, blessed and thankful for the Viera team and it’s residents. We will be updating you with communication through our Facebook page and website as needed. Again, we appreciate your cooperation and would like for all of you to be safe.

12:00PM, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 – 

Dear family and friends,
Our home office is still having phone and internet issues so we apologize in advance if you have tried to reach out to us. If you have an emergency or an immediate need, please email info@sonatahc.com. We will do our very best to get back with you.

12:00PM, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

We wanted to give you a quick update on all of our communities and also let you know that our home office phone lines and internet are down. If you need immediate help or have an emergency, please email us at info@sonatahc.com.

Community Utility Status Update:

Serenades Longwood: All utilities are in working order.

Serendaes West Orange: All utilities are in working order.

Serenades The Villages: All utilities are in working order.

Sonata Viera: All utilities are in working order.

Sonata Delray Beach: All utilities are in working order.

Sonata Boynton Beach: All utilities are in working order.

Sonata Boca Raton: All utilities are in working order.

Sonata Coconut Creek: Power has not been restored.  The Memory Care Building is currently operating lights, portable A/Cs and other power on emergency power supplied by the on-site generator.  The Assisted Living generator has experienced mechanical issues and residents are temporarily housed at alternate Sonata Communities with full power.  Service personnel are currently working on this matter and hope to have it resolved soon. Sonata’s back-up generator has been delivered as a contingency plan and electricians are on site to install.   We will keep all our Coconut families apprised of any updates to this matter as they occur.

12:00PM, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Sonata is ecstatic to let you know that power has been restored to all communities.  All of residents are doing well and our community staff are working tirelessly to get everyone back to their normal routine. If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call that community directly.

 

 

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Serenades by Sonata rated BEST of Senior Living

Serenades by Sonata rated BEST of Senior Living

Serenades by Sonata, an emerging leader in the senior living industry for Memory Care, was rated The Best In Senior Living for 2017 by our families on SeniorAdvisor.com. Serenades communities are purposed built memory care assisted living communities proudly serving Winter Garden, Longwood and The Villages.

The SeniorAdvisor.com Best of 2017 Awards recognize senior living and home care providers who receive consistent high ratings and positive reviews from their residents, families and visitors. This exclusive designation is awarded to less than one percent of providers nationwide. It has been presented to Sonata for their Memory Care communities, every year since opening.

Sonata is honored to receive this recognition and honored to offer our residents and their families best in class service as a specialized memory care assisted living provider.

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is wholly owned subsidiary of Sonata Healthcare, LLC. Based in Orlando, Florida, Sonata is an owner, developer and operator of senior living communities offering independent, assisted living and memory care. The Sonata team is comprised of experienced senior housing executives who have been instrumental in the development and operations of more than 20 Central Florida senior housing communities.

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Sonata Senior Living Assumes Management of Viera Manor in Melbourne

Sonata Senior Living, an Orlando based owner, developer and operator of senior living communities, officially acquired the community formally known as Viera Manor. The newly named “Sonata Viera” is situated along the Space Coast in the town of Viera. Our community will offer area seniors, convenience and comfort with all the perks of Central Florida Living.

Sonata Senior Living is looking forward to bringing its tradition of excellence and elevated standards back to the Melbourne/Viera area as the new owner and operator of Viera Manor Assisted Living. As part of the transition, Viera Manor will now be known as Sonata Viera. “Since originally opening in 2013, Viera Manor has offered moderately priced assisted living services with significant veteran’s discounts. Sonata looks forward to complimenting the strengths of Viera Manor already in place, such as the longevity of its management team and competitive pricing, with our professional management, “At Your Service” culture, and commitment to our core values.

Sonata Viera plans include a complete building renovation commencing later this year with plans underway to add a Signature Sonata independent living community and our award winning purpose built memory care community adjacent to the current community,” states Shelley Esden, Chief Operating Officer.

Sonata Viera has 63,000 square foot of harmonious living space with 84 spacious assisted living apartments and will be driven by the same high standards that one would be accustomed to when walking into any Sonata community. This community will offer a nurturing, homelike environment for worry-free and wellness focused assisted living options, with an array of hospitality services and amenities. Sonata Viera offers chef-inspired meals and snacks, activity areas and living room, arts and crafts studio, library and game room – just to name a few.

At Your Service™ is our signature offering that exceeds the expectations of residents, co-workers, and guests while making their lives easier. We have a team of certified and licensed caregiving staff that make our residents our number one priority. Fostering a sense of family and trust between our residents and staff with a “customer service” foundation.

Harmony Assisted Living creates a healthy, fulfilling quality of life for our residents and peace of mind for their families knowing that we have trained staff including 24-hour onsite licensed nursing that is dedicated to nurturing and enhancing the well-being of their loved one.

Live It Up!™ nurtures the seven dimensions of wellness as identified by the International
Council on Active Aging: Emotional, Physical, Vocational, Social, Spiritual and Environmental. The countless combinations of activities and opportunities for engagement we offer to residents allows for highly personalized lifestyles that fulfill their needs, preferences and interests for optimum quality of life.

Sonata Senior Living offers a different brand of senior living. Founded on an unwavering commitment to customer service and resident choice. “We are excited to be back in the Melbourne area and look forward to utilizing our expertise to enrich the lives of Sonata Viera residents with a new and enhanced lifestyle with a million dollars in renovations in the upcoming year,” stated Brooke Ellis, Regional Director of Operations.

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is wholly owned subsidiary of Sonata Healthcare, LLC. Based in Orlando, Florida, Sonata is an owner, developer and operator of senior living communities offering independent, assisted living and memory care. The Sonata team is comprised of experienced senior housing executives who have been instrumental in the development and operations of more than 20 Central Florida senior housing communities.

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

Related Articles