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I lived in an assisted facility when I first began having problems with my mobility and needed surgery for my back, When I first went there I did need that assistance and I really like it and I and my daughters thought it was a very nice facility. Then as time went on and I became more able to get about and socialize and do things it was still okay, I was there for over two years when it all went to pot more or less, a person was hired off the street to be a CNA cause she was so loved, her words, not anyone elses, she knew more than any aide there and knew just what needed to be done and she soon wormed her way into the administartors good graces, in other words she became a snitch, aides were being turned in for anything and everything, getting fired, then would hire new ones only to go throught the same thing, then the DON was fired, but we were told she was just taking a leave because he mom was ill, but her name was removed from her door and then there was an influx of nurses coming in who were RNs. Six of the were hired, six of them quit soon after, more were hired, we never knew who the nurse was going to be and when they were working, meds were not given as they were supposed to, they controlled everything, if you said I did not get my meds they would argue with you that you didn't get them at that time and you always got them like in the am instead of pm, well I was pretty savvy, knew what my meds were for and when I got them every day, then they would to go the administrator and try to make it out like I was in the wrong and it wasn't them, well since I have a daughter who is an RN that soon got resolved, the food was not that good, they would run our of stapeles like bread, milk, butter, would not put condiments on the table and would come around with a bottle of say catsup and pour it on your food etc. in other words the head honchos wanted you to become addled minded. I could go on and on but lets just say that facility needs to be checked out by the state and the sooner the better, no one knows what to do except some of us just moved out. And they are trying to make us sound like we were kicked out which by the way is and was not true. Anyway my daughters said no way are you staying here and they found this independent place just across the river and I now have a very nice apartment with a kitchen with stove and refrig. two large closets with doors, a nice living room and alcove for my bed and a whole private bath, and it is about four hundred cheaper than the assisted living, I still have 3 meals a day furnished, room is cleaned once a week, no one bothers me or wakes me up, I can eat in my room if I choose to do so, I can come and go as I please, no signing in or out, can have company anytime I want. In other words I am happy. I set up my own meds and take them on my own, I take my own showers when I want, I do my own laundry, that is the only thing different then the AL but that is okay. So people be careful, be on the alert for signs that just because it is nice and expensive don't be fooled, Make sure the head honchos are out in the living areas and talking with you, you should not have to go to a closed door office and knock before you enter and if you did there was always another head honcho who would knock and just walk in as she wanted to know what you were talking about, It was and is a red flag. Also if they have an Alzheimers Wing which this one I was in had just built, it is till not sanctioned because the state has not okayed it cause they don't have locked doors, they don't have an RN 24/7, Keep your eyes and ears open that is all I am saying. Don't get sucked in as I was.
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Yes they can be worth it! Again as others said depends on what is needed! Dad hated cooking and cleaning. So a non assisted place has worked out great! He has the social, food and cleaning. Yet if he falls/stroke someone can get to him faster than I! He has a medical necklace as part of his rent. If I got the necklace and brought him meals he would never see anyone. So for us it has been GREAT!
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Yes they are worth it; but overpriced; sometimes it is considered cheap when compared to them living with you and you having to quit your job and live in a Fed Housing in order to afford to take care of her.
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My mother-in-law hates spending $3400.00 a month for asst living (who wouldn't ?) but it's been the best decision we've made so far. It's not that big of a building, and we toured some really massive places. They know her name, they know her problems with vision, memory & sometimes a little ornery behavior, but are wonderful to her. It's a load off our minds knowing that she's under 24/7 supervision, especially since she has fallen on numerous occasions. She's well fed, has lots of room to walk the halls and courtyard if she wants (she does a lot of walking with her walker) they bring in people who play the piano, guitars, singers etc. She has a small fridge in her room which we keep stocked with her favorite yogurt, along with Pepsi etc that she likes. She has a running appointment with the hairdresser for every Wed. to have her hair washed and set (she seems unable to wash her own hair). Plus knowing that she's taking her pills when she's supposed to is great. When she was living at home, she would forget to take her pills even though we had them in a weekly dispenser. Or we'd find a pill on the floor that she'd dropped and couldn't find. Then there was the loneliness she would feel when no one could come and see her that day. She became angry when I was with other people instead of her, and I had to straighten her out on more than one occasion. We (especially me) became her sole entertainment, and when I couldn't see her, she'd throw a hissy fit. Now she has the option of socializing if she wants, no more loneliness. So when she complains about the money, I always tell her how grateful we all are that she even HAS the money to live there. If she lives long enough she'll go though her money, then one of us (probably me) will have to have her come live with us. But until then, it's been great for our family.
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It all depends on what you are looking for and what you expect. I read the above article and it raises a lot of serious concerns that in some circumstances are very real especially when it comes to Assisted Living. The question though is about addressing Independent Living and that is a whole different arena. Independent living is just like an apartment complex but often with added benefits. Most have included in their price the cost of one meal a day, housekeeping, on site activities, transportation for shopping and doctors appointments etc. They provide for a socialization and activities not usually found in an apartment complex. If a person is living alone and would benefit from and go to these activities- it's worth the price. If they are loners and don't enjoy socializing and being with others ( which for many is their preference) then it's probably not worth the money. Independent living is not for the sick or frail who need additional assistance from others. Some Independent facilities know that being truly independent as we age is often not a reality and so allow people to remain in them providing they have an aide or another person to help them with preparing meals or dressing, grooming and bathing. You will need to check with the administrators and get everything in writing before you sign the contract. Go onto the web for your state licensing board and find out if there have been any complaints and check with the BBB. Also, spend some time at the facility and speak with some of the residents- look to see how many are independently mobile. See if your loved one can stay in a furnished room for a month to see if they like it (some places have monthly or short term rentals available)- that way your loved one can check it out before making a firm commitment. Hope this helps.
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In my humble opinion: NO. When I looked into these for my Mom, I found that most were just overpriced senior apartments. They will happily show you the brochures showing all the "free" amenities like a pool, library, lobby, etc....most of which you can get at any nice apt. complex and pay much less. All the things Mom really needed were "extra." It really added up fast. Around here, most ALFs are around $3000./ mo. Also, Mom cannot maneuver herself to the communal dining area. Some places did not allow food to be brought to the room - others charged for it. I still do not see the value in these places. I think they try to give a shiny veneer on a basic institution. If you parent is well enough to get around and do the basics for themselves, I would recommend gov. subsidized housing. The apts in this area are very nice.
Take a look at this article that one of our members posted recently: https://www.agingcare.com/143425
good luck
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