Our City Rating for Seniors = 5 Stars
Introduction to Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ is another city in our list for “The Top 10 Best Assisted Living Cities for Seniors.” With warm temperatures, one of the cleanest air quality indexes, plenty of hospitals, and over 350 care options, Tucson makes an ideal place for any senior to live.
Tucson is located in Pima county, an hour and forty-five minutes south of Phoenix off of the Interstate 10 Freeway. The city captures the progress and innovation of a metropolitan community while maintaining the friendly and caring atmosphere of a small town. With a population over 500,000 and plenty of history, Tucson celebrates its diversity with plenty of cultural and historical attractions.
If local safety is a concern when choosing a care facility for your loved one, it’s good to note that Tucson’s crime index is 46% lower than the averages in Arizona. Also, on a national level, the city is 25.4% safer compared to the rest of the cities in the U.S. (source: Area Vibes)
A very unique fact about Tucson is its air quality index which is 172.9% better than the national average. In fact, the air is so clean that during WWI, soldiers that were gassed in the war were actually brought to Tucson for respiratory therapy.
As for the temperature, summers average about 98 degrees in the summer (74 night) and 65 degrees in the winter (42 night). If your loved on prefers the warmer temperatures, then Tucson is a very attractive city to consider (source: weather.com).
Types of Senior Living
Assisted living facilities in Tucson are great for seniors who want to live independently but also need some assistance with activities of their daily living such as eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, and minor house chores. These types of facilities are considered non-medical facilities and are not required to have nurses and doctors on staff. However, they do have medical staff on call and caregivers on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can find in Tucson larger communities that specialize in daily activities and socialization like Atria, Emeritus, Brookdale and Sunrise Senior Living. These facilities provide plenty of daily and frequent activities, socialization with residents, outings and events, music and pet therapy and many have an Alzheimer’s wing for residents that wander.
If your Loved One prefers a home-like environment in a smaller residential care home with a lower 1:3 caregiver-to-resident ratio, these facilities might be the right fit. They provide their residents with music and pet therapy, regular meals, activities and transportation to and from the doctor.
With over 350 care options, you should not have a problem finding great care for your loved one.
Local Assisted Living Costs
With the densest area of Assisted Living options across the U.S., costs on average are $3,500 per month. However, whether you prefer high-end care or have a tight budget, the cost of care in Tucson can start as low as $1,900 per month and go as high as $5,355 per month (source: Genworth 2013)
Always remember that monthly cost will vary depending on the level of care the senior needs and the assessment performed by the facility. Some other factors that will affect the cost of care will be location of the facility, private or shared room, staff experience, age of the facility (or if renovated), amenities and services provided.
Paying for Assisted Living
Assisted Living is typically paid by the resident or their family out of pocket (private pay). Medicare and Medicaid unfortunately do not cover the costs of care. However, other options may be long term care insurance or if the resident or their spouse was a war veteran. They may qualify for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance which would subsidize the cost of assisted living.
Should your Loved One need medical services for their routine check-up or emergency care, Tucson has 12 local hospitals including Tucson Medical Center, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, University Medical Center and more.
Getting to and from doctor’s appointments, mass service and other activities can be tough. The good news is that Suntran, Tucson’s public transportation system, caters towards the needs of Seniors and those disabled. Their “Sunvan” program can accommodate those who are unable to access the regular bus vehicles and fixed routes. Should your Loved One need assistance, they can get more information on Sunvan’s website.
As another option, you can always check with the assisted living community or board and care home as they can usually accommodate your loved one with transportation. Some assisted living facilities include the service in the monthly cost and some facilities require an additional fee. When you are touring the facility, remember to ask the facility staff if they can accommodate your Love One with transportation.
Senior Community Center
Tucson is caters towards their Senior population and has 3 dedicated Senior Centers. These include The Armory, El Pueblo and the Carol W. West Senior Addition at Udall. These senior centers are open throughout the week and offer social lounge areas, multipurpose rooms, dance halls and stages, computer labs, weight rooms, pool tables and libraries. If your Loved One is still very active, this may be an attractive place to keep them active during the day.
Local Shopping & Dining
Mixed in with the historical landmarks, Tucson has great dining and shopping areas scattered throughout the city. For premier shopping and dining, you can take your Loved One to visit La Encantada, Park Place Mall, and Tucson Mall.
One unique area to visit is Downtown Tucson which underwent a revitalization effort with shopping stores and dining. You will also find there some of the historical landmarks that include the Hotel Congress (1919), the Art Deco Fox Theater (1929) and the Realto Theater (1920). If you’re looking for a place to eat, don’t forget to check out the El Charro Café. This is Tucson’s oldest restaurant and also located in Downtown Tucson.
Activities for Seniors
Some of Tucson’s great spots for Seniors and families are:
Tucson Museum of Art – They boast a collection of contemporary and historical art exhibits
Tucson Symphony Orchestra – The oldest continuing professional performing arts operation in the state of Arizona
Kitt Peak National Observatory – The world’s largest collection of optical telescopes
Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Consisting of a zoo, natural history museum, aquarium, and botanical garden all in one place.
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About the Author: Catharine D. Allado is a Senior Care Expert and the COO of SeniorCareHomes.com – An extensive online directory of Assisted Living, Memory Care and other types of Senior Housing across the U.S.
Kate’s Grandmother was sadly a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease and Kate is determined to make a difference in the lives of other families.
Note: Ratings and Grades are based on our staffs’ personal opinions and experiences in the referenced City. SeniorCareHomes.Com has visited and inspected hundreds to thousands of assisted living facilities all across the U.S. While we make every effort to visit as many facilities as possible, we do not claim that we have visited and inspected every single licensed assisted living facility across the U.S.
Sources: AreaVibes, Weather.Com