cjquilter Asked April 2011

How can I tell which is better for my dad - in-home care or a move to assisted living?

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He lives alone, I live out-of-state, and he has some physical limitations and needs transportation and help with hygiene. I think assisted living would be good for him, but how do I know that is what is best for him and not just for me? If he has some phyical limitations, will he be able to take advantage of the social aspects of an assisted living community. I would like to hear from people who have relatives in assisted living.

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skunk88 May 2012
i at the end of my rope,alz is hell,,,,,,,,
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toadballet1 Apr 2011
You really need to visit with him for a week or so and observe the kinds of things he is having trouble with. If he just needs help with bathing, a little housekeeping, and someone to do errands and take him to appointments, you could try in-home help. I suggest hiring 2 people in case one needs to cancel. I have been doing this for the last 3 years and it has worked well...but I do live here and do everything else for Mom.
If he needs 24/7 care, asst. living is your best option because there is always someone there to help. Gather information from ALFs in his area and see what they offer. The one I am considering for my Mom charges a base price which includes rent, utilities (exp. phone), meals, transportation to appt.s, etc., all activities, linen service, and housekeeping. The "extras" are things like bathing, assistance getting to and from the dining hall, medication reminders, and help with dressing. You would probably have to add 200 to 400 additional.
(btw, I agree with you - the social interaction ALFs provide is invaluable. Because of Mom's mobility issues, it is the one thing I cannot provide her. I think she is looking forward to that the most.)

good luck
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cjquilter Apr 2011
Thanks for all the input. We are still talking. My other question is finances. If someone is in assisted living, will they still need to be paying for the extra help? Will that help be cheaper or more expensive in the assisted living facility vs. if he was hiring help from an in-home care service?
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I think you should really consider his needs and his limitations. Weigh things and if you think he needs better and more care and attention then go for assisted living.:)
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vali1712 Apr 2011
I agree with debmcd. Think about future when he cannot do anything for himself. Then it will be the time when you need to move him again. Look for Residential Care Homes, Group Homes, homelike environment, certified to care for any level, small group like 6 Residents in Wa state, cooked food, much, much closer care and supervision and cheaper. In AL he might be OK for now but, as soon as he needs more care it will be extra charge, sometimes they request to have 24/7 caregiver on-site and adds up.
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debmcd1256 Apr 2011
It is important to remember that the nature of growing older means more care. If you dad isn't opposed a very good option if finding a facility that provides multiple levels, independent apartments, assisted living, skilled care. This makes transitions easier and hopefully professions who can oversee and facilitate changes when needed. I so wish my mom had taken this route when diagnosed when Parkinson's. Keep in touch with what you find.
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toadballet1 Apr 2011
You have to assesss how much he can do on his own vs. his limitations. My Mom lived across country, in her home state, and on her own for many years. During my visits I could tell that everday activities were getting more difficult. So I suggested that she move her near me, but she insisted that she still live "independently." She has her own place for now. I help her with most everything - we have caregivers come in twice a week for some personal care and grocery shopping. That has worked well for the last 3 years.
Lately, I can see that she may need more help on an everyday basis so we are looking into an assisted living center than can provide her everything she needs plus give her the social contact she is now lacking. The places I looked at are top-rated and really personalize her care. She mostly has mobility issues, but they also have good facilities for memory care, too. Even though she has problems getting around, they are really good at getting residents out of their rooms to participate as much as they can. They have outings too.
I would suggest that, during your next visit, that you talk to you father about his needs and wishes. He may be okay with some in-home help or he may need to relocate. Do not rely only on what he says he can do - they always overestimate. I used a local agency at first for caregivers. I now hire privately.
If he lives closer to you, it will be easier for you to monitor his care.
good luck
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