Is an Assisted Living Facility a Good Option?
It’s Sunday, a day where the family gets together; Grandma, Grandpa, you two, and your kids. Time will be a little tighter today due to your children’s obligations early this evening. Life today is active, especially for women aged 45 – 55 who care for both their parents and children. These are the people caught in the “sandwich generation”.
Today, mom talked about a friend who had a stroke late last fall. After a 4 day hospital stay, the nursing home did a great job on rehab. His recovery was pretty good, but he cannot come home without assistance and supervision. His family wants to be sure he has the care he needs, but feels he may be able to do so with a less medical care and cost. He is now paying privately about $6,300.00 a month and will run out of money in about 14 months.
Through some suggestions from outside of this nursing home, their family looked at the possibility of this person being able to move into an assisted living center. He was screened by assisted living and was told he could live there and given a price. His all inclusive price was 50% of the nursing home; but most importantly, he could now have more independence, not live in the more hospital like setting and a better quality of life. The assisted living center has daily activities and mini bus trips out to community events.
This is a perfect fit and doesn’t work all of the time, but mom and dad’s friend and family were thrilled with this move. He will have his needs met and the safety he needs, With his income and little other expense, his income will pay much of the assisted living bill and his money will last much longer. However, it doesn’t stop here. This family, and all families, should plan and discuss the plan for the future and look at the “what ifs”.
It is important to know “Senior Living Complexes” vary substantially in independence, services and cost. A person/couple could need an apartment with little to no services up to skilled, hands on daily services, or more likely a place in the middle. In many cases, it may prove to be no more expensive than their current living situation, and may save money on healthcare. As a bonus, people living in a complex have a better chance to socialize, exercise and may enjoy a better quality of life.
The plan for the future can be created to give your parents, you and your siblings’ peace of mind and lessen the whirlwind of a crisis. If there is a medical condition such as Alzheimer’s where your parent will decline in daily abilities, it would be best to consider and visit living facilities. These buildings are designed and built for seniors with the limitations of aging in mind. As many people are reluctant to move from their home, they may find themselves much more socially active and happier in the long run.
Coordinating care for your children and parents simultaneously is not easy. What can you do to manage this? Three words of advice: Plan, Plan and Plan. Legal, financial, residential, mental and physical healthcare elements must be addressed prior to a crisis. A sandwich generationer should guide their parent through these issues and the primary issue of safety, while being careful not to take all control away from a parent. Once again, it is important to start talking, making suggestions and guiding early, do not wait for a crisis.