I would like to investigate a living arrangement for Mom in a home of 5-6 guests. Where to start?

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My Mom is 95, blind and in good health. She currently lives with us and we have caregivers who come to our home for a few hours 6 days a week. I have heard of 24-hour homes that are managed by a caregiver where there are only a few live-in guests. I have heard very good comments about these homes and would like to explore the possibility for my Mom. I don't know what these homes are called, where they are located or how to get in touch with them. Can you help please. Thanks so much, JanMarie

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I don't want people to think that I ignored the two requests for specific information on my mother's AL facility - I answered in private messages.
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A Place for Mom is an excellent referral service. They can give you options and set up walk through visits. Ask for Residential Care Homes.
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My mthr's Memory Care is classified by the state as personal care because of a change in definitions after they opened. It is a traditional AL in most ways except the door is locked and they require a doc's signature that memory care is needed. It's $3500 for a single occupancy room, including meals, cleaning, & laundry, medication management. We are in the South near a major city where there is lots of competition.
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Make sure the home is licensed by the state and they should be receiving a survey every 12-18 months. You can ask to see their last survey results. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Bureau of Senior Services, the local ombudsman should be able to give you information on how to look for a home and would also be able to give you info on other options.
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Startsong, could you please tell us the name of that facility that charges only $2800 a month for everything. I would like to see if there's an opening for my mom. Evrything I've looked into has been $4, 000 and up, and charges a lot extra for medication management, etc.
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No additional funds at all. I pay $2800 per month for my mother in AL, full memory care, private room, private bathroom. All inclusive including adult diapers, etc. The only thing I bring in is almond milk because she is lactose intolerant, but sometimes likes to have cereal.
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I am from CA I can't believe Star Song you were placed for $2,000-$2,800 unless they are receiving add'l funds through the medicaid waiver program on top of what you pay? Let me know who you use-I'd move in a heartbeat if I could get that rate! The cost here is approx $2500-$3000 a month for Adult Care Home or ALF/SNF is running $7,000 to $10,000 a month...save your pennies folks!I was paying $7,000 a month at an ALF and they parked them by the nurses station all day and I had to change and clean my mom everynight with the last CNA on duty because the day staff didn't feel like it!This place employed over 75 people....really!Also food was awful she wouldn't eat it I had to bring it in at an add'l cost. Just do your research.
They have just been written up on the AHCA list again for negligence but sometimes the fancy furniture and chandeliers don't mean a thing go behind the scences-does it smell, are patients just parked or attented to?It all comes down to the STAFF that is doing the care! It's very frustrating.......strength and peace on your venture!
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In Arizona, these are considered Assisted Living HOMES. It is estimated there are over 1,800 throughout the state with the majority in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas. While some provide excellent care for their residents, as others have stated above, you must do your due diligence in checking out these type of care homes as they are not regulated by the state. Again, ongoing interactions with your loved one and the staff/owner should be maintained to ensure that the resident is cared for in the manner you are expecting. Words in a brochure or on a website sound good but nothing beats unannounced on-site visits anytime 24/7.
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Hi JanMarie,

My mother was in a resident situation like this for nearly a year, a situation that I now realize was ultimately not to her benefit, and is not one I would recommend. During her time there I became quite familiar with the residential care setting, both where she lived and in other homes of the same sort, so l'll expand a bit on egiuffre's comments (above).

In my experience these places tend to be understaffed for the kind of care needed. The same people who lift, roll, shower and toilet residents are also responsible for cooking, cleaning, laundry, entertainment (typically placing residents in front of a TV for most of the day), feeding, dressing, undressing, etc., every resident.

Most times the caregivers also live in the residence, which means they are on duty 24/7. To be brutally honest, taking care of memory impaired or physically impaired elders is a similar to managing toddlers, but far more labor intensive and much less emotionally rewarding. Would you be willing to fully care for 6-8 toddlers for 16 hours a day with only one assistant, plus manage all the other aspects of running that household? I sure wouldn't. But that's what residential care is like.

The caregivers themselves are exploitable by the residential care owners because they need work and/or a place to live, but lack something vital that would enable them to have a better opportunity, whether that is legal resident status (no green card), poor education, poor work record, poor English skills, or all of the above.

Cutting corners becomes a survival skill for the employees. To describe their work as physically, mentally & emotionally exhausting plus a fast track for burnout would be massive understatements.

I moved Mom to an AL facility and cannot believe the difference in her care, much of which I attribute to long-term, trained staffers (many with 5-10 year seniority) that put in a reasonable amount of work. They're on duty only 8 hours per day, rotate throughout the facility and go home to their own lives at the end of their shifts, returning refreshed the following day.

In the Los Angeles area's San Fernando Valley suburbs, resident care runs approximately $2000+ per month, so it's not inexpensive but is indeed less costly than many AL facilities. Mom is 92, has vascular dementia and is in the memory care unit of a fairly large facility (about 125 residents). The cost is $2800 total per month. She can feed herself but otherwise requires full care.

I learned that it was naive to imagine that Mom would receive better care from a residential care setting with an inferior caregiver to patient ratio than she had in our own home. If we want our parents to be well cared for and can't do it ourselves, that comes at a price.

My recommendation is to look into a bona fide AL facility that has professional, well paid staff who have remained long-term, or to consider short-term respite care.

Just my brutally honest opinion. I hope it helps.
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I don't know if there is one term used for these type of homes - maybe assisted living group homes? My father has lived in a group home with up to 8 residents for about a year now and it has been very good for him. It is a single family home with 8 bedrooms, a dining room, a large kitchen and a big living room. Each resident has their own private bedroom and some have their own bathroom. They have nice comfortable lazyboy chairs all around the living room which I think it great. There is a nice deck off the back of the house and a patio in the front we can sit out on during the nice weather months. They have two caregivers working during the day. At night, one caregiver is awake all night, checking on each resident and one sleeping - she can be woken up if there is an emergency. Other staff also coming in during the day, They have a woman who comes to do activities for a couple hours per day, a visiting nurse, the owner (she owns 3 of these homes) and her house manager. A doctor visits the house once per month to check on the residents and anytime he is needed. The visiting nurse is always on call if the caregivers have a question or want her to come see a resident. All the food is home cooked and made fresh daily. The situation is not perfect, but my father was in a skilled nursing and rehab for 6 weeks last year and I did not feel like his needs were being met. He has Parkinson's with dementia and is in a wheel chair. He is not capable of pushing a button when he needs help. Even when I was at the skilled nursing home, if we pushed the button for help to use the toilet, it could take 20-30 minutes for someone to come to his room. If I wasn't there, he could not be left in his room by himself, so they'd just park him by the nurses station and he would sit there all day, sleeping on and off in the wheelchair. They did have a few activities, but he didn't like Bingo. It was awful and he was only there temporarily while he did some rehab after a fall. I would go to work and spend the rest of my day with him, so I could move him around the building, talk to him, be there while he had dinner every night. In the group home, he gets much more attention. I still visit every other day and make sure he is being taken care of properly. The cost is far less than the skilled nursing home too. Two of the three homes (in this organization) do take a few residents on Medicaid, if money is an issue. I have read on this site that group homes don't take Medicaid - but that is not always true. We are close to a large city and there are many group homes around and they vary in cost. You should go visit each one and get a feel for the staff. One thing I'd look for is staff that has stayed there for some time - it they have tons of turnover, I would say that's not a good sign. ON the other hand, being a caregiver is not a high paying job and it is a very difficult one. Most of the staff in my father's home are foreigners. Most are very caring, but sometimes it is difficult to communicate with them because there English is not great. The owner gave me phone numbers of other families who had residents in the home too and I talked to them before we decided to move my father there. For my father, it has been much better getting to know 4 or 5 caregivers than when he was in the big facility and there were 20 or more staff in contact with him. I think it is important for family or friends to be friendly to staff and show you are involved to make sure your loved one receives good care.
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