How do I help my mother with the transition from her home to an assisted living facility?

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My 76 yr ol mother lives in miami and i live in tampa. I need to place her in an alf in tampa. What steps do i take for this transition. I dont really know where to start. I have talked and met with my moms social worker who explained i needed to find an agency here to help me with the steps or process. Once all that is done I will be faced with cleaning out her condo and getting it rented. Some family members can help me with that but for the most part it is on me. My mom does have a medicaide waiver that would pay for her stay but i am not aware of a sliding scale or how much. I dont want to start looking and going in the wrong direction. i hope you can provide some resources. thank you. lisette in tampa

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Top Answer
Hi, Lisette:

I know nothing about the Florida area, its laws, or resources. However, here are some generic ideas:

1) Your mother's social worker should be able to give you additional help. It appears you have a relationship there; leverage it as much as you can.

2) AARP may be able to help. I have never used them, but they have a good reputation.

3) Many large cities have elder care agencies through city government; I'd give them a call. They may refer you to other not-for-profits as well.

4) Are you employed? If so, does your employer offer an employee assistance program? If you do have access to an EAP, this is an excellent time to take advantage of that resource. Depending on the EAP plan, you may even have access to one free or reduced rate visit with an attorney (you will want one who specializes in estate planning or elder care) who can give you some local advice.

5) Have you spoken with either your or your mother's primary care physician? They may be able to make recommendations or referrals.

6) Was your mother married to a US veteran?

Your mom is lucky to have you. Hope these ideas help.

OMG, what a wealth of information you have provided. Thank you so very much!!! I will be happy to share what I find in hopes that it may help someone else out that may be facing the same journey. Thanks again wf.
I am a social worker in St. Petersburg, and work in the field of home health. I am intimately involved in placements, Medicaid Waivers, and family issues. For seniors in Florida, Area Agency for the Aging, and Dept. of Elder Affairs both can assist with information and referral for ALF placements. The ALF can advise as to the application for Medicaid Waiver, and whether they will take a resident before the waiver is approved. Currently there are waiting lists, so it is good to start the process as soon as possible. The senior's doctor can prescribe a home health agency to visit, and most home health agencies have social workers who can do much of the heavy lifting in recommending specific facilities with good reputations. Also, the publication Senior Living Guide is a wonderful resource for ALF's, nursing homes and other medically related services. These guides are free at the local library. Since I don't know if this publication is state wide, a similar guide may be available in other areas. Look online or in your phone book for good facilities. You just need a facility that you like and who will work with you for financial issues. The VA has a program, "Aid and Attendance" for service members who served even one day during a war "era." Their surviving spouses, even if divorced, are also eligible for financial assistance, if they meet criteria. Call any VA and ask for the Veteran's Benefits Office and they will guide you through the application process. Lastly, it is good to visit an ALF simply to get more information about placement in general. Just call any good sized one in your area, and set up an appt. This can be where the journey starts.
Lisette I feel your pain!!!! I am going through it myself. My suggestion would be Elder Source in your area. Get on a waiting list ASAP! Assess the level of need. Try looking into smaller places. Google search your zip code and call and call until you beat the horse dead! Try nursing home care APEX and medical care MD@U while waiting. There is also 211 or United way. All of these things I have done over the past 19 months!

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