When family members begin the search for a new living arrangement
for their loved one or find themselves with concerns after they have
finally chosen a place it can be incredibly overwhelming. This is a very emotional time and sometimes we forget to ask things or are afraid that if we ask too much to ask too much the facility won't take us. Here are a few questions to help you get started.
Why would you hire a consultanat like me when you can do all the research yourself?This is a good question. You could absolutely do the research yourself and make a decision just fine. However, if you have never had someone in a facility before or hired a home health care aid then you may not know a lot of things I know. For example there are many things these facilities tell you when you go to visit that are not always accurate. I know the follow-up questions to ask becasue I know what does and doesn't happen. I know where the issues come into play. I also know a lot about the financial aspects of cost having been in several facilities with my mom. I have a lot of inside information that will benefit families in the long run which is why I created this website and business. I want to help people with this very stressful process.
What should I expect to pay for Assisted Living?There are four main types of facilities: Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Homes, and Memory Care. Within those main types are variations. It depends on how much care you need. Usually they are priced by the type of apartment you choose, the additional care you need and the optional amenities you choose. An Example: The first place my mom lived in was an Assisted Living. We paid for a studio apartment and the cost was $4,200 a month. That was solely for the apartment. Then we paid fees for the personal care, medication care, cable, internet and toileting assistance. All of these had extra fees associated with them. Follow my blog for other personal experiences with these issues.
What type of Senior Living place do I need?This depends on your loved one's needs. These listed below are the main options in senior living, but don't take any of these titles at face value. Before you go to visit any facility, make sure you call to confirm that they are in fact the type of facility you need and that they will be able to provide the services your family member needs. Many facilities say they “assist” but the assistance may not cover your specific loved one's needs. Remember to consider future needs in your choice. Your loved one will only need more services as they get older. You do not want to choose a facility and then a few months later find out they need something the facility can’t provide. Independent Living Communities offer private places for active older adults. Dining facilities, housekeeping services, transportation, and 24-hour staffing may be offered on site, as well as medical, dietary and other assistance when needed. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)offer many levels of options under “one roof” providing a continuum of care. It is different from other housing and care options for seniors because it usually provides a written agreement or long-term contract between the resident and the community, for housing, and services. Assisted Living Residencesprovide a combination of housing, personalized support services and health care designed to meet the individual needs of seniors who require help with daily activities. Nursing homes or Skilled Nursing Facilities provide 24-hour skilled nursing care for residents who require a high degree of assistance and medical care. They provide care for chronic conditions, short-term convalescent or rehabilitative care. Memory Care Communities have specially trained staff, licensed nurses, secure facilities, and cognitive and physical therapies for person-centered care designed for residents with Alzheimer’s and other related dementia illnesses.
Should I hire one of those companies to help find a facility for me?There are some helpful companies and websites out there that will help you find a facility that has what you need. They can be helpful but there are some downfalls as well to consider. Most services are free to you but they usually get a commission when you choose one of the facilities they recommend. Some of the pitfalls of using these services are that they do not know all the options available and usually are unaware of the existence of many facilities. They often have only paper information and not personal experience visiting the facilities so you may do better looking yourself and getting referrals from friends. The companies also tend to call non-stop (attempting to sell you on a facility), once you place the first call. You'll also find the companies rarely have the most up to date information either and while they say their services are free there are questions as to whether or not your cost to move into the chosen facility includes a “fee” somewhere to compensate companies that the facility works with.
How can I find out about the state inspections for facilities I am thinking about visiting?If you go to www.medicare.gov and go to “find a nursing home” you can put in your zipcode and see the health inspections, staffing, number of residents and more for many senior living facilities. It gives you some very important information that you can add to your research. Keep in mind that all facilities have health inspections issues and that does not make them bad facilities. You look for recurring problems and how serious those problems are. You should also look for those issues, when you go visit the facilities.