Assisted living "aging in place" - A possible choice over the traditional nursing home...
Just wanted to share our recent experience with looking for a nursing home for my dad. He's become quite weak, and though he could walk to the bathroom and to the Kitchen to sit at the table, he was unsteady and fell, twice in one week. On top of that, he wouldn't leave his Oxygen on and confusion would set in, and he'd wonder outside without telling anyone. My sister in law was beside herself, hardly getting any sleep and her own health was faltering because of it. It was time to find him a nursing home.
After checking out all the nursing homes in the area we were so depressed. None has a higher Medicare rating then 2 stars. None were suitable for dad as far as we were concerned. I came across an Assisted Living facility that also had Memory Care. It looked very nice from the outside so I decided to go in and talk to the administrator. Dad did have confusion sometimes, so maybe I could get him in the memory care area (I had little hope of getting him in Assisted Living as he needed quite a bit of care). It was then that i found out about "Aging in Place". I was told that if Dad could transfer himself from bed to bathroom with a walker or transfer from bed to a wheel chair to come to the cafeteria to eat, he would be accepted into the Assisted Living facility! Once there, if he needed more care later on, they would provide it at no additional charge. There would only be a charge if the AL facility raised their costs to all residents, or if medically he required more daily nursing visits above the norm (additional visits would be charged to his insurance).
He's been there for two months now and he loves it. He's not fallen once and he seems to be better now then when he went in. He has gotten involved, loves playing bingo in the day room and has made a couple of friends. He can still transfer from bed to bathroom and to wheel chair, but he does spend most his time in the chair and that worries us. We'd like to see him walk more, but I guess we can't ask for too much. At least now, if it turns out he needs help transfering, they will provide that help. We couldn't have asked for any better place for him.
So if you're looking at having to choose a nursing home, check to see if your state offers Assisted Living "Aging in Place". Not all states have it...but if your state does, it might be a viable choice you wouldn't even know to consider. We didn't but am so glad we found out. It's been a giant win for all of us!