Choices In Care
One size does not fit all! Just because your friend's parents are happy at a Living Care Center means that your will be, too.
One Size Does not Fit All
One size does not fit all. Resort style resort living may sound like a great idea, but its not always the ideal living environment especially if does not align with your loved ones lifestyle. Perhaps a small-house model is a better fit for them - sense of home, connectedness, and ultimately, happiness.
This is not an easy process. There are so many considerations that determine the best choices - price, needs, wants, and location. What is most important for you to know is that you do not have to go through this process alone.
There are different services available that help families make these difficult decisions to transition a loved one into a Residential care facility. Maybe their health situation has changed, maybe you have a rocky relationship with your loved one, maybe your relationship with your spouse is suffering, regardless of the reason, finding a New Place For Mom is the need right now.
Choosing an agency to help you through this process is just as challenging as finding the right living situation for your parent. What is important is knowing that not all services are alike. When choosing a service, don't be swayed by commercials with a famous spokesperson!
Focus on services with real people behind them. When working with smaller agencies, you and your loved one will receive time and personal attention from certified experts. Don't expect this type of dedication from every agency.
Let's get a better understanding of what is involved in this process.
Let's explore some options!
My father-in-law thrived living in a Long Term Care Community. He enjoyed the activities, the camaraderie and the opportunities in participating in activities whenever he likes. If my father-in-law was happy living there, then our Dad would too.
It did not take long for my sister and I to come to this realization after visiting several top rated communities in our area. This was not going to be A PERFECT PLACE FOR him.
Our Dad thrived on hearing his grandchildren come home from school each day, smelling the homecooked meals my sister made everyday, hanging out with his buddies Oskar and Leo (my sister's dogs) and listening to the sounds of the birds while sitting on the front porch of my sister's home.
Going with the Status Quo?
For now, the living situation for your loved one works. But is it always going to work? Do we feel that it is working because everyone may be in a mild state of denial? Is it working because there are misconceptions about alternative options? Making a decision from within a bubble is difficult and ineffective.
It is important for Caregivers to be informed and diligent about having resources readily available to help with reassessing the status quo or for when the status quo changes. This chart from InsideElderCare.com will be a helpful tool.
This chart shows the different types of care facilities available and how they may offer the right type of care your loved one needs now or in the very near future.
One way to measure the condition of the status quo is by visiting some of the different types care facilities in your area.
In doing so, ask yourself -
"Is the level of care offered here; the same, better or less than what my loved one is currently receiving? Yes, the care that I am able to provide my Mom/Dad is better than what they could receive living elsewhere." This answer may give you some earned positive reinforcement.
Another consideration is money. When you begin adding up the costs related to a loved one living at home vs in a community, sometimes it makes "cents" to make the move. Here is another chart that gives an Example Cost Comparison - Private Home vs. Community Residents with "Some" Personal Care Needs from We Care Solutions, a Senior Placement Service.
Perhaps with this information you'll use it as a catalyst to have more discussions with your loved one. Maybe this information will shed some light on whether or not moving your loved one to a Living Care Facility would be an option at all -even when the status quo does change.
Choosing A Place for Mom
When choosing a place for Mom, you will want to work with professional services who understand you. Not all placement services are alike, even though they do the same thing.
There are many different types of placement agencies. Most are familiar with the company called-A Place For Mom which provides personal and professional assistance to families in the search of senior care options. Their primary goal is finding the perfect place for Mom, but here is what Caregivers will not find - A place that understand what you are going through.
A place like this will not be able to relate to challenges the Caregiver will face during this process. Placing a loved one in a Care Facility is a difficult and emotional decision. We have questions and concerns. We want to be sure that we are making the best possible decision. We may need time to process information. We need someone who is willing to listen and who genuinely wants to help us work through the guilt and family drama which is all part of this process.
The best place to find help with placement are from local businesses who have experienced professionals willing to support you and your loved one through the entire process. All you have to do is find the one which aligns with your family's objectives.
How do placement services work? Typically, there is no cost to you from the placement agency. They are paid a referral fee by the communities and care homes.
What differentiates one agency from another? At the end of the day, we are all people. It will be important to make a personal connection with the services supporting you and your family because they are going to become part of this journey. Also, since everyone's situation is different, there may be additional services offered by the agency that may fit your immediate needs.
What additional services do they offer? Sometimes families need help with challenging transitions, endless-decision making and navigating a complex healthcare system. There may be a need for long distance caregiving and finding the right resources, or providing regular visits to your loved-one for a peace-of-mind when you are unable to. Some agencies provide Family Coaching Services by helping families work through the emotional and difficult process as third party mediator.
Every Caregiver's situation is different which is why it is important to have options to a variety of resources.
Meet Erin Dwyer - Busch, Senior Care Authority
"For families seeking guidance in keeping their loved one safe at home or transitioning into a senior community"
Erin Dwyer-Busch, Senior Care Authority
Erin, is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), and Beyond Driving With Dignity professional, who is eager & pleased to assist families with any and all services related to Eldercare consulting, Medicare, senior advocacy and education, senior driving, and determining the best senior living options for your loved ones in St. Louis City & County in Missouri. (Nationwide Referrals Available)
At Senior Care Authority, we have a teacher's heart and a passion for promoting quality of life for older adults. We know most families experience anxiety and fear over caring for a loved one. They are often too close to make an objective decision. We have a hands-on action plan and development process to guide families in making the best senior living and care decisions locally and across the country. Senior Care Authority of St. Louis offers three services: residential placement, Eldercare consulting, and Beyond Driving with Dignity to determine one's mental and physical fitness to continue driving safely.
Meet Gina Cotteta & Beverly Wright, We Care Senior Solutions
"We help place your loved one as if they were our own"
Gina Cotteta & Beverly Wright, We Care Senior Solutions
Gina Cotteta and Beverly Wright are the founders and owners of We Care Senior Solutions, LLC; a locally owned privately held Senior Living Placement Agency in Pennsylvania.
We help seniors or their loved-one find Senior Living Communities and base our search on their Location Wants, Care Needs and Financial Abilities. Whether Independent, Assisted Living or Memory Care is needed, we get to know and understand each individual to help you find a solution....AND our services are FREE! Call us First as we have access to unpublished discounts and promotions. We treat all our clients as if they were our own family!
Services Provided: Click for Brochure
Negotiating the best rates
Provide Concierge services with onsite or virtual tours
Professional referral services available
Making the Transition
The transition into a Residential Care Facility will be a difficult transition for both you and your loved one. There is a bond that is created between the Caregiver and the one they are caring for - regardless if the relationship is amicable or not. So now, your loved one must adjust to relying on someone else which is going to be very different than having you at their beck and call.
Its not going to be easy for them but there are some steps to take which could help improve that transition to this new living arrangement. So lets try to work towards this goal by augmenting some of the support services.
Some Residential Care Facilities may be open to working with families in order to create the best "care" environment for their loved ones.
Maybe Mom/Dad had a great connection with them so hire them to come out once or twice a week to be with them.
Technology may also be a tool to enhance their living experience. There are many devices which are easy to use for making video calls or doing activities.
It will be important for you to remain engaged in your loved one's care no matter where they are. Be open to supplementing services will improve the experience for your loved one no matter where they are. Be patient, you may have to try many different strategies until you find the ones that make things better for both you and your loved one.
Making a Point
Maybe the decision to transition your loved one into a Residential Care Facility is coming sooner rather than later. However, just because they are out of your "care" does it mean that your duties as their Caregiver and/or Care Manager ends?
There is a false sense of relief thinking about moving our parents into a Living Care Facilities someday. It seems like a great idea! Dad has the funds to do it or Medicare will pay for it so why not make the move? For us, it means that our responsibilities as their Caregiver goes away. For your loved one, they will receive the best possible care plus activities, socialization and become someone else's responsibility.
Sometimes what may have seemed like a good idea on paper at the time does not always work out and that's OK. Families are finding that they may still need to have an outside Home Care Agencies come in to supplement the services at the Living Care Facility. In addition, they are finding that their loved one is not thriving in this type of living environment. So now the family is moving their loved one home again.
None of this is to imply that Living Care Facilities are a bad idea. The point is that one-size-does-not-fit-all. It stresses the importance of being aware of the challenges and issues in even in a picture perfect Place For Mom. It also reinforces the importance of families working with professionals who align with their needs and objectives.
If the decision is to move your parent home again, then let's work on creating that picture perfect Aging or Recovering Place For Mom and/or Dad in your home.
Supporting you in the Decision Making Process
Anastasia, Aging Parents Management
Whether it is while you are making the decision to move your loved one into a Care Facility or while making future care plans, make Peter and Mike part of the planning process.
That feeling of not knowing what to do comes with the territory for Caregivers. If moving Mom and Dad into a living care facility is the plan then to move the process forward then here is what you should do:
Raise your concerns with your loved one about their current living situation and care needs.
Engage with one of these amazing Placement Services.
Meet up with a Financial Professional
Visit with an Estate Planning Attorney
The objective here is going to be to let these services do what they do best. Remember, these resources are part of your Care Team. Each one has their specialty.