All at once, you begin to notice the little changes in your mom or dad. They can’t keep up with the chores as they once used to. They get confused a little more often than normal.
Now what? You can’t provide care on a regular basis; you’ve got a family to take care of and a job to go to.
So you look to your options. Assisted living – you’ve heard about that again and again; maybe its time.
But what exactly is assisted living? What do they provide? And are they really the right choice for you, your family, and your situation?
Assisted living is an industry term that lumps together a variety of services aimed at people that need care throughout the day. It can mean a variety of things, so its important to define what you truly need before visiting assisted living facilities, so you aren’t “wow’d” by the possibilities, especially when many of them are beyond your needs and potentially even your budget.
Assisted living typically provides a type of living arrangement in which it provides some level of personal care. It also brings a level of security and comfort to the resident and the family. You may find assisted living called a variety of things, including:
- Residential care
- Personal care
- Board and care
- Adult living facilities
- Supported care
- Enhanced care
- Adult homes
- Retirement residences
- Adult foster care
The difference usually comes down to licensing and what the facility offers. This is where you need to be careful. What sounds great in a brochure or a walking tour may not be exactly what you thought it was before you moved your loved one in.
For example, the facility may have promised laundry services and meals provided three times per day. Then once you are in you discover laundry means sheets and linens, not personal laundry services. The only way to have personal laundry services is to pay another fee, or take it home and do it yourself.
Or the concept of three meals a day may have been comforting, until you discover your loved one won’t eat the food the facility provides. In order to have a custom meal plan, a higher, customized food package must be purchased, and your budget is quickly way out of line.
Assisted living facilities may be necessary for some. Yet more and more are turning to in home care because of the customized level of support you receive. You pay for what you need, and ignore the rest.
In home care focuses in on the individual. An in home care specialist works for one person – your loved one – and provides the exact service needed for that moment in time. If your mom needs a ride to the doctor’s office, a caregiver goes with her and takes notes to pass along to you to keep you informed. If she wants soup for lunch, an in home caregiver can make it to her liking, ensuring she eats it as well.
And because she is comfortable in her home – without the extra fees that go along with purchasing an assisted living room – her health may be better overall because she is in the comfort of her own home.
Yes, there are options. If you’re faced with a difficult choice for your loved one, give us a call for a complimentary consultation, to find out the best choice for you and your loved one. You may be surprised at how truly affordable other options may be.