Making a decision about what to do with mom or dad is difficult at best. And while public opinion has pushed the concept of choosing assisted living, it rarely is the best option you have. Assisted living homes fill a need; but in many cases they hide their true purpose. It’s only after you have your mom/dad moved in that you start realizing all that is missing.
Assisted living isn’t a full time solution
Many people move into assisted living homes thinking they will have a variety of services readily at hand. Assisted living homes, however, are not nursing homes. They don’t require the same skilled nursing staff that is required at a nursing facility. Many of the workers have very little training. And in many cases, if you want extra services, you’ll have to pay for each service you choose. While each assisted living home caters to different needs, you’ll often find what you think you were getting doesn’t match up to what you truly need.
Assisted living homes have specific guidelines
Most assisted living homes cater to a certain type of case. When you enter for a tour, they evaluate how good of a fit you are for the home, not how well they can provide for your needs. Because they tend to offer “rinse and repeat” services, offering generic services for all tenants, they don’t want the special cases that cause a problem. Because you are simply renting space month by month, many assisted living homes reserve the right to end the contract and require you to find space elsewhere once you no longer fit within their guidelines. This can be added stress for the family, especially when it happens quickly.
Most assisted living homes charge extra fees
Where most assisted living homes make their money isn’t in the monthly rent, its in the extras. While most offer a standard level of service, it’s the extras that add up quickly. For instance, they may offer to wash your bedding once per week, but who will help your loved one take the bedding off the bed and put it back on? If your loved one isn’t strong enough for the chore, it can be an added fee. Tiny fees like this are added in all the time. And at the end of the month, the shock of a huge bill can make you wonder what you got into.
Looks can be deceiving
Assisted living homes know they have to please the family, not the senior moving in. Which is why you’ll often find a wealth of amenities right as you enter the front door. New expensive carpeting, beautiful landscaping, flowers in the hallways, all can create an ambiance that is warm and inviting. What is more difficult is seeing beyond the looks and getting into the care. What type of care is provided? What skills do the staff have? What activities are planned for the residents once the family is gone? Too often a family finds out weeks or months later that their loved one isn’t receiving the kind of care they signed up for.
There isn’t a standard rating system for assisted living
If you’ve spent time looking at assisted living, you probably have discovered that rating systems are nowhere to be found. You can look online for reviews, but when it comes to a government funded rating system for quality care, you’ll rarely find any information at all. Inspections are often few and far between. You can ask internally to view records of fines and violations, but keep in mind they rarely will hand them out willingly.
While assisted living homes may serve a purpose for some families, a far better choice is in home care. In home care allows your loved one to remain at home with quality one-on-one care provided for his or her specific needs. If you would like to learn more, schedule your free consultation today.