Assisted living - a caveat

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Kirk

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So many of the activities provided in the facilities I've seen aren't to my taste (games, arts, crafts, etc.).
Probably not a good choice for you. We have some of those but we also have trips to the arboretum, to museums, to historic sites, factory tours, a casino, the symphony, several different types of musical programs, restaurants, and pretty much anywhere that they can get enough people to go. Overnight trips from time to time, with a Branson trip in the planning stages. We often have dinners with entertainment and we have an inhouse movie theater complete with popcorn and drinks. Golf course is next door. I also drove a bust to a veteran's event at one of the WWII museums and we had our own veterans day activities.
 

winona

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Indiana
And as a new point, don’t just visit great Aunt Nan every Sunday at 2 pm as staff will have her all spiffed up. Be the dreaded drop-in / pop-in. I saw this all the time when I worked for an independent, assisted, and healthcare facility.
 

HappyWanderer

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There is a 55+ community near us with a serious “granny dumping” problem. This is a condo complex with 2,500 individually owned units, not a care center by any stretch of the imagination. A good number of units have been purchased by kids who move their elderly parents in, while they live out of state. Of course no one is available when mom or has a problem.

I worked there as a first responder for several years, nights and weekends. Trying to get help for these folks after hours was frustrating, with social services closed and kids nowhere to be found.
 

JudyJB

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In various places in Arizona for the next month or
When my aunt and uncle first had signs of dementia and were not doing well at home, one of my cousins moved then into what he and the facility called "assisted living." However, we did not discover until the facility contacted my relatives lawyers because they were wandering in the parking lot day and night that this was really independent living with some extra care. It was not a locked facility, and there was not even anyone at the door after 6 pm. In addition, my slimy cousin had signed their names on the contract and written out the check from their account to pay for it.

Everyone in the family knew that I and another niece had been appointed POAs 10 years earlier, but my cousin was working hard to get that and their will changed into his name, which is why I refer to him as "slimy." Anyway, with the help of my aunt and uncle's law firm, we real POAs took charge and found them a more appropriate facilty where they could not go out, hail a cab, and go to the bank to withdraw thousands of $$s. We also set up legal notice that no one could take them out of the building without our permission in writing. We also moved their money to a place where someone could not help them withdraw it. We have been very careful to document everything we do and every penny spent and to get their accounts balanced and verified each year.

Both of us POA nieces live out of state, but we care and are constantly checking on my aunt (uncle passed away) and people to check on them for us. Luckily, they can afford all of this, and we do not hesitate to spend money if needed. We also fly out and do drop ins, plus this past week I have spent 1-3 hours each day on phone calls to doctors, nursing directors, and private caregivers after aunt had flu and then pneumonia.

I found out that in some states, all memory care facilities are classified as "assisted living," and that in some states you can call just about anything assisted living. And most facilities that we checked out promised they could handle everything up to and including end of life, but that does not always happen. Shocking that that bus driver could even brag about tossing people out. And really shocking is that so many elderly people do not have relatives that really care about them and are making sure they are getting the right care.
 

Isaac-1

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Part of the issue is many of the people in such "communities" can still lead mostly independent lives, they just need some sort of support system. An ex-neighbor of mine is 99 years old, and still lives mostly on his own in the same house he has been in since the 1960's (his wife died 2 years ago), though his 70ish year old daughter lives in the house next door so is available to care for him. She happens to be a good friend of my sister as they were co-workers for many years. Anyway both he and his daughter caught Covid a couple of weeks ago, yesterday my sister called to check to see how he was doing, and the daughter answered saying she was at day 9 post positive test result, she was still taking it easy, her father was at day 10, and was not home, he had went to the gym.
 

Isaac-1

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Judy, a good friend of mine went through something similar with one of his Aunts, who was in a nursing home with Dementia, his cousin checked her out at the nursing home at some point, took her to a lawyer and had her will redrafted to remove those relatives that did not visit her regularly in the nursing home. Anyway the short version is she died, and the will was challenged, and since my friend did visit her when he was in town he got stuck as being both a plaintiff and a defendant in the case since he was still in the will, but at a reduced inheritance compared to the original valid will. The whole mess took a couple of years to get sorted out in court.
 

Kirk

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Part of the issue is many of the people in such "communities" can still lead mostly independent lives, they just need some sort of support system.
Most of the residents choose to live in independent living for the amenities and the lack of maintenance & lawn care responsibilities. Most of the people where I live are here because they chose to move here, the same as we did. It was not our children's decision and they were not ever a part of the decision. It is intended for people like us who are still independent!
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
Most of the residents choose to live in independent living for the amenities and the lack of maintenance & lawn care responsibilities. Most of the people where I live are here because they chose to move here, the same as we did. It was not our children's decision and they were not ever a part of the decision. It is intended for people like us who are still independent!
We’re you able to take your table saw and drill press with you? 😅😂🤣🥲
Sounds like you are happy there. That’s all that counts
 

Bobtop46

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Bronson FL
Now a days most facilities have a progression of care. This is where we started. Assisted living, mostly just meals and meds taken care of, then progressed to memory care as things slowly got worse. So here we are with both in memory care. I installed a bed monitor yesterday to make sure they aren't getting out of bed at night, which is when most of the falls were happening.
 

Skookum

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Our most recent experience was with my husband's grandparents who insisted on living out their days at home. They both eventually encountered health issues and weren't able to care for themselves or keep up around their home, and it wasn't fair to any of us who helped as we weren't able to care for them full-time and certainly not equipped to handle some of the nursing/skilled nursing functions. So the answer was they couldn't stay in their home and had to go to a "facility". We helped them move into the nicest one we could find in that part of Idaho. It was very tough for all and it came at a cost of more than $12,000/month in the final stages when it was just grandma left and she needed to be in memory care with skilled nursing services.

These are conversations and plans you NEED to have with those who will eventually be the deciders of your care. You can't just say "I'll never go into a home!" and expect your loved ones to leave you on the floor to die. That's generally not how it works and having an agreed plan, before decisions need to be made in the moment, can go a really long way in easing stress and worry for all.
 

Kirk

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We’re you able to take your table saw and drill press with you?
Actually, I laid claim to the third slot in my son's garage as his wife is blind so they only have 1 car. We built a temporary partition and my shop is there. It would be a lot more handy if closer, but that was the biggest negative to my moving here. I am also a part-time bus driver for the community which is mostly to stay busy and involved.
$12,000/month in the final stages when it was just grandma left and she needed to be in memory care with skilled nursing services.
WOW! That is about double what memory care costs here.
 

Isaac-1

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What someone needs to do is start an assisted living community with things like group woodworking shops, etc. I have heard there is at least one RV park community with such things in south Texas.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Lots of the big snowbird resorts have things like woodworking shops with classes and open shop time. And let’s face it that some of the folks who stay in them do so because it is similar to assisted living with no exterior maintenance, planned activities, and meals provided in the grill or restaurant. They almost always have a bar too! Housekeeping can be purchased pretty reasonably for a small space, and you have lots of neighbors to keep an eye on you. Not a bad alternative.
 

Larry N.

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Lots of the big snowbird resorts have things like woodworking shops with classes and open shop time.
Housing communities such as Sun City have a similar deal. My folks lived in Sun City West for several years, and dad loved the rock and mineral working facilities, as well as the woodworking shop (his lifelong hobby), while mom loved some of the social options, including a choir -- she loved to sing, and was quite good, almost operatic quality (her brother was the same way). We visited there several times, and it was a nice quiet community, well maintained, and a number of residents used golf carts for most transportation on the streets.

The only problem I saw with this place is that there was nothing but older folks there (I was in my 40s then), even in the nearby stores and restaurants, and it felt like a place where people were waiting to die -- no children, and the only people under 55 were visitors.

But when assisted living becomes desirable, many such facilities work out well, from what I've observed.
 

Old_Crow

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Arkansas
The one time I sat on a jury, it was a case against a nursing home. We sat through 4 days of testimony, and when we came in the last day, there was a delay while the lawyers hashed out a deal. Smart move by the defense lawyers as they were fixin' to lose big.
That led me to hope that I simply drop dead at some point like my wife did. No way I want to be in one of those places.
 

jscottt

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United States
There have been a lot of ugly stories on the news of bad things in eldercare facilities but little reporting of the good things or good locations. Both exist and at least some of the stories we hear are true, good or bad. My mother lived her final years in a full-care facility and they were wonderful with staff who seemed to be angelic.

That story strikes a cord with me because we presently live in what can be termed an "age in place" facility, which has 3 levels of independent living, assisted living, memory care, full care, adult day care, hospice, and in-home assistance, all in different facilities on a single campus. We have several residents who live in independent facilities while a spouse is in memory of full care. I am both a resident and a part-time driver for the facility. More than half of those in independent living do have cars and drive but not all. Drivers are available for medical appointments and other similar things and we also run a bus to Walmart and grocery stores weekly and to many other places either monthly or as needed. Drivers here do assist residents within reason but there are situations that can limit that. If the resident is living in independent living it is expected that they can do most things for themselves and while we try to help, there are times that it simply isn't possible. Medical appointments can be problematic since parking is often very limited or far away in many of the medial complexes which means that we simply can't do a lot more than drop the resident and pick them up.

Residents in assisted living do get significantly more help than those in independent living but even then if a driver is sent to pick up a resident and they are alone, we simply can't be in 2 places at once and the parking issue can still be problematic. On shopping trips, our assisted residents always have either staff or volunteers who do with them, a person for every 2 residents. The fact is that in all senior care situations, the staff are very limited in what they can do or require due to legislation on citizen rights and we are very dependent on the family of our residents to step in when a resident has dementia or such and needs help with professional assisted living websites, but all too often that doesn't happen and we are left to manage as best we can. In our community we recruit volunteers from our independent living residents to ride along and assist those residents as much as possible, but if that resident resists there is nothing that we have the authority or ability to do.

I don't understand that statement at all. If the resident is in independent living that might be true in some facilities, but I have never heard of any with that sort of attitude for assistant living. That sounds like one of those homes in the news stories.
Since placing my 101 year old mom in an assisted living run by a management company with homes all over the country (I won't say which one), it has come to my attention that here in AZ we have hundreds and hundreds of elder care group homes, in regular houses, in regular subdivisions. There is a manager and aids who care for the people. I wish i had known , before putting Mom into the facility. These homes have only 4-6 residents. They have their own bedrooms or share a br with another. They have great meals with the others in the home. They are ALL licensed by the dept of health and you can read the reviews on line. My mom is lost in the facility now all the time. And she cannot understand the rotation of caregivers there (who does what.) She lives on the second floor and there is ONE elevator. I have asked what happens if there is a fire??? All these residents have walkers or wheelchairs. How would you get them off the 2nd fl.? I have enlisted a company called "A Place for Mom" to help me locate a more appropriate place for my Mom. Of course the ALF does NOT want to lose her (cause of the money.) but I am viewing 3 of the group homes tomorrow. Just am curious if other states have this same arrangement? Or is AZ the elder care capital of the nation? Granted, we do have alot of old people here, but are they coming from out of state to live here also? Or do other states take care of their own??
 

Lou Schneider

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A couple of weeks ago we found a similar elder care group home in Fresno, CA for my mom. The company has about a dozen single family homes each with their own permanently assigned staff. I talked to my sister yesterday and she said Mom seems to be doing better there, she's coming out of her room and starting to interact with the other residents. About 6 months ago we tried placing her in an assisted living apartment in a large facility and she never left her apartment.
 
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