Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sonata Senior Living in Florida

Are you looking for a senior living solution in Florida which would allow you to transition from Independent Living, to Assisted Living or Memory Care, as needed?  Whether you are looking for a residence for yourself, your spouse or your parent, the nine Sonata Senior Living communities in Florida could be a good choice.  They provide a range of living arrangements, 24-hour care and high quality amenities, including a variety of fun and interesting activities.

Where are the Sonata Communities Located?

Below is a list of the various communities and the services they offer.  They are all located in Florida:

Sonata Viera in Melbourne - Assisted Living
Sonata West in Winter Garden - Independent Living & Assisted Living 
Serenades in Winter Garden - Assisted Living & Memory Care
Serenades in Longwood - Assisted Living & Memory Care
Serenades in The Villages - Assisted Living & Memory Care
Sonata South in Boca Raton - Assisted Living & Memory Care
Sonata South in Boynton Beach - Assisted Living & Memory Care
Sonata South in Coconut Creek - Assisted Living & Memory Care
Sonata South in Delray Beach - Assisted Living & Memory Care

As you can see, their communities offer memory care facilities on the same campus or nearby.  These facilities are arranged in home-like villages or neighborhoods designed to help people with dementia feel more comfortable.  Most residents begin their Sonata lifestyle in an independent or assisted living apartment.

Resort Style Florida Retirement

Sonata West is their newest community and will have both independent living and assisted
living facilities.   The management also emphasizes what a great value it is.  Compared to many other senior living facilities, it does appear to be an affordable option.

Unlike many Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Sonata does not require the residents to "buy in."  The monthly rental fee includes a private apartment with full-size appliances (including your own washer and dryer), cable TV and internet, regular housekeeping and linen services, flexible dining options (including continental breakfasts and a variety of options for lunch and dinner), weekend brunches, scheduled transportation and other amenities.  If you no longer drive, you can use their "At Your Service" chauffeur service to go shopping, to doctor visits or the theater.  They even have an activities director to help plan parties, entertainment, outings and special events for the residents.  This is not a boring, old-fashioned senior apartment complex or nursing home.

The Sonata Harmony Assisted Living residences are also rentals and include all of the services listed above, as well as a personalized care plan and a 24/7 staff, including trained nurses, whose goal is to encourage physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.  People who need a little extra help are sure to feel pampered in a Sonata Harmony community.

The Sonata Serenades Memory Care facilities are focused on helping residents feel as normal as possible.  They are designed in neighborhoods or villages with extra safety features and dementia certified caregivers and staff.  Their design elements were chosen to be soothing and safe, while giving residents some freedom to roam around the community, including the outdoor spaces.  They have open floor plans, color-coding (to help residents find their way around), and reduced glare lighting.  They also have special programs to keep the residents active, well, and able to enjoy the best quality of life possible.

All the facilities encourage socialization through the use of elements such as front porches, courtyards and multipurpose areas.

Estimated Cost of Florida Senior Living Facilities

In addition to being able to rent rather than buy into a Sonata Senior Living Community, there are other factors which may help you afford to live in one of these facilities.  The facility directors will be happy to discuss options with you.  The amount of your rent will be calculated on a base price plus the cost of your specific level of care.  Therefore, the exact monthly rental will vary from resident to resident.

While Sonata does not list their base rent on their website, another website,, does give an estimate of what it costs to live in an independent living apartment in the state of Florida.  According to their estimates, prices range from $1,174 to $4,700, with the average cost of independent living being around $2,545 a month.  The average cost of assisted living in Florida is estimated at $2,877 a month.  The average cost of memory care is $3,817.  As stated above, your individual fees could be higher, depending on the amount of personal care you need and the quality of the facilities.  However, these averages will help you determine if you personally believe you are paying a fair price to live a Sonata community, especially considering all they have to offer.

Solutions to Help You Pay for Your Care

The primary way to cover your costs, of course, is your normal retirement income.  Social Security, pensions, and interest or dividends from your retirement savings should cover a portion of the cost, if not all of it.  With most of your expenses included in your monthly rental, you will not need a great deal of additional income above your rent.  Your only additional expenses would be the cost of your Medicare premium, medications, co-pays, deductibles, other insurance, auto expenses (if you still drive), incontinence products, haircuts and similar personal expenses, plus whatever you might want for gifts, travel, shopping and similar luxuries.  In addition, residents should be prepared for their monthly rent to rise an average of 4 to 6 percent each year.

If you are selling a home when you move in, the equity in your home could be invested or used to purchase an annuity, and that income can be added to your Social Security benefits and other sources of income to also help cover your monthly rent.

If you have a long-term care insurance policy, it may be used to help pay the extra cost of your memory care and assisted living services in the Serenades communities.

If you, or your spouse, is a veteran, you may qualify for a special long-term care benefit of $1,000 to $2,000 a month to help cover your costs, but only if you need assistance with dressing, undressing, bathing, toileting, transitioning, or eating.

If you have tapped all other sources of income and still need a little financial assistance from other family members, the money they contribute can sometimes be used as a deductible medical expense on their federal income taxes.  They would need to consult with the CPA who handles their taxes in order to confirm they can qualify for this deduction.  However, if it works out that they can take the deduction, it could make it a little easier for your adult children or other family members to help you out financially.

How to Get More Information

If you believe that you or a family member would benefit by living in one of the Sonata Senior Living Communities, you can get more information at:

If you are interested in more information about where to retire in the United States or abroad, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, common medical problems, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

Watch for my book, Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement, which will be published by Griffin Publishing in 2018.

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Photo credit: Photo of new Sonata West facility from the Sonata Facebook page

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