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Hi all—I posted awhile back about my mom transitioning home from a nursing home. She is 69 years old and had a year of bad falls and hospitalizations which led her to spend a lot of time in a SNF.


She's doing a lot better and can walk around her apartment on her own with a walker. She has aides at her house 8 hours a day which has proven to be enough (though the 1-1 attention is driving her insane). The biggest issues are socializing—I live across the country so I'm only there every few weeks. She can't easily get out without transportation (her front door is very far from the parking lot so she cant walk there safely in the winter). We found an ALF that takes Medicaid and has a very large studio available for move in in 2 weeks.


She is willing to go, but I am scared about whether she will find it more depressing to be there than at home? She doesn't have dementia as of now. She lives with her mentally handicapped brother in law who will be moving to a group home down the street if she moved. He can visit as he wants.


Can a younger senior without dementia thrive in a ALF or should I be considering another living situation?

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I used to joke that I would be ready to move into one right now! Seriously, it depends on the facility and the needs of the person living there, if the other residents are mostly active and mentally "with it" and there are real opportunities for meaningful recreational activities then it will be better than living in isolation. Even if she chooses to remain mostly in her apartment the meals, housekeeping and opportunities for outings and ease of arranging transportation to appointments can't be overstated. I know of a younger senior who moved into one after his wife passed away from cancer (he was partially disabled from a stroke) who rode his scooter into town every day to shop, visit and eat out - it is what you make of it.
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Since your Mum does not have dementia, she has a choice to thrive or not in a new living situation. If she is missing socializing, she will have many more people to interact with on a daily basis.

A dear, but older friend of the family has just moved into a facility, her husband could not look after her needs any longer. Mentally she is sharp, but a stroke 40 years ago has taken its toll on her.

Many of the residents have dementia, but she has decided to make the most of the situation. She is getting the physical care she needs, yes she misses her husband, but he visits often. There are daily activities that she can choose to participate in or not. She can have her door open to encourage visiting or close it when she has had enough.
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My mom went into AL and took part in everything they had going on. She even got the aids to take her to another building to get her hair cut. Went on the grocery shopping trips, to all the parties, did her own laundry and did a WHOLE LOT of talking to other residents. If your mom is willing (and it sounds like it) to take part in what they offer she should be fine. My mom even had me come and do a concert on my dulcimer and on the 4th of July to make balloon animals for everyone. So get involved too as you are able.
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Does she like the ideas of regular meals with others? Do you think she might benefit from activities within the facility as well as traveling to ones the facility plans? Given what you have stated I think she might benefit from an AL but a certain amount depends on her desire for independence. There are other factors of course but as these have so much to do with daily life I think these should be considered first. The facility administers her medication. That should be explained to her. It certainly helps as one ages making certain that it is not forgotten. If she needs help with bathing or dressing they also provide that but that is not mandatory. There could be added monthly costs for these services. I think the factor that her brother is near is very positive. I wish you the best moving forward.
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AshleyNicole, the Assisted Living facility where my Dad had lived had younger people who looked like they were in their 40's and 50's..... who were there because they were wheelchair bound and needed the extra help. For them it probably was more budget-worthy being in Assisted Living than having the much higher expense of having 3 full-time caregivers each day at home.

And I noticed that those younger people were happy helping the much older individuals guiding them to where ever they needed to be :)
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It sounds as though you might be transferring your own fears onto your mom in your own mind. There are many types of facilities out there. It’s best to check them out and see. It’s a bit like having your own apartment or being in a dorm because it is community living. If you can find a place that also has an independent living area associated with it, she will have increased options to interact and meet people as well as activities. If she truly needs assistance then better to do it early than later. She will have an extra set of eyes on her as well as transportation.
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Did the ALF appear depressing when you visited? The ones we toured were very engaging, happy, no smells and lots of activities. My local ones didn’t accept wheelchairs so Mom never made it due to that but she would have loved it. Your Mom can socialize and get out much more than she’s doing now with her BIL. And she may find some happiness even helping with activities and getting to know a few residents with her same interest and abilities, or some that may be starting to decline she could take under her wing. If you can make her room pleasant with things she treasures from her current home, it can be a happy place for her. And she’s willing!! That’s awesome. Try to be positive and not to give her any vibes. Remember it’s not jail...if eventually she finds it’s not a good fit, you can help her find another after a good trial of a few months or so.
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It's unlikely the ALF will be worse than home and she can always move back to an independent apartment if it doesn't work out. It's worth a try, especially since she's willing. She'll have the necessary attitude to make new friends and seek out other residents who aren't 'on their last legs' and are still cognitively intact. The staff should help her.

The one-on-one care would drive anyone nuts. There are ways in which it's more isolating than being alone.
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What I experienced was that the staff tried to set my dad next to people of similar abilities at meal times. This gave him some social interaction and all the guys seemed to love telling each other tales.

I think if you have your own space that you can adjust to anything. She can make it her own and if she wants to crawl in and be left alone she has that option.

From your previous posts, I would get her and uncle moved. You will sleep better knowing she has 24/7 help a push button away.

There is always an adjustment period, so be prepared to hear how awful it, you and life are. Know that 99.9% of that is manipulation trying to cause you grief because she's not happy and when mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy. She will adjust and she will be just as happy there as any other place her body lives.

Hugs!
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ALs have dementia residents but not all residents do.
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