Mom just moved into an assisted living facility this past week. It's a nice place, but of course we couldn't get in for a tour, virtual tours only. Mom is in a wheelchair and the counters are too high for her so she can't reach the sink in the bathroom or kitchen. I was astonished and feel guilty for not asking that. I assumed all places are set up for all levels of disability.

I asked if others there are in wheelchairs and they have a few, but they are able to remove cabinet doors underneath and roll closer. Mom is shorter and her chair hits something below so she can't get close enough.

I'll give them credit, they are working with someone (carpenter or contractor of some type) to get them remodeled. Just one more frustration for my mom, who has been in quarantine for basically 3 months. I just want to get in there and get things set up for her but I can't. So frustrating, but I get it. Just wanted to vent.

Also, aren't places required to meet all ADA requirements; wouldn't this be one?

Maybe get high seat cushion that is recommended for preventing sores on bottom? Assisted living facility are for the patients who have more ability than disability. Did she get nursing assessment? Since they’re For Profit they wanted to make sure that they got their $$$ before you took a tour. I would discuss this with Director & CEO to get some discount. If your mother can’t do the activities of daily living by herself, you have to pay for a higher level of care. I don’t know what to tell you...honestly. You have to continue to check on her to see how she’s adjusting. Don’t just take their word that everything is fine. Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL

Squatch, one of the probs with ADA is that the measurements are based on “average American” which is a white male. Meanwhile the majority of those in LTC facilities, whether AL, MC or NH, are female which are just flat shorter and smaller and less muscle strength. My moms 1st NH had built drawers bedside unit with the cord pull and light unit, and really she, as a tiny, petite woman, could not open it. Totally useless as too heavy for her to pull out if filled.

if your mom is tiny, you might want to look at kids furniture, IKEA stuff or “dorm” furnishings as the scale is so much smaller and usually stuff is way cheaper, & see if the AL can swap out their stuff so you can bring in smaller scale items for her.

Can she even work her closet? My mom couldn’t reach up that high. I found Umbra rod extenders at the Container Store for her. Just great.
if she has trouble reaching up to turn on lamps, I’d suggest that you put up a couple of high narrow shelves (use that 3M repositioning system & tape) and set battery operated candles on them set to have them cascade light from sunset to maybe 9AM. So there’s always a bit of soft light for her to see where she is.

if You’re years away from looking at college for your kids, “dorm” is a whole category nowadays. Items are scaled down, bright colors and pretty user friendly. Btw “dorm” is often taken to the extreme.... google “dorms at Ole Miss”, whoever said the MRS degree plan was dead never saw a southern girls freshman dorm room, not a desk in sight, it’s all cosmetics, clothes, accessories & Greek, rothflmao.
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Reply to igloo572
Squatch33 Jun 25, 2020
Great ideas, thanks! They have torn out the bathroom cabinet and sink and replaced with something functional (though it looks very unfinished.)

It's so hard right now. If I could get in there, I could have everything set up and organized in an afternoon. As it is, although the staff is helpful, they don't really have time to do stuff like that. I think they will put some lower shelves and clothes bar which would be good.

Funny about the dorm stuff. I have small kids but I'm old enough to have had dorms that were more like what I would imagine military barracks would be!
Yes it is an ADA requirement.

Hopefully they ensure that she can safely utilize the fix.

It is great that they are stepping up and doing what they can.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

If AL was built before 1995, no ADA compliance required.
for AL after that only 50% of the rooms must be ADA compliant, like wider doors for wheelchairs, roll in showers, lower cabinets. The public spaces however must be ADA accessible. But this just might mean handrails on the walls, non-skid walkways, larger signage, ramps adjacent to all stairs.

The issue for AL is that in theory it’s AL, & not skilled nursing care, so they might need help in getting dressed, might need help with medication management, might need help to transition into & out of the shower. They do not need to be disabled to live in AL. If in AL they are supposed to be kinda ok on thier ADLs perhaps with some assistance & sometime. The problem often is that families or elders want to go into an AL as it’s significantly less $ than a SNF but they really are not good enough on thier ADLs to do for themselves. AL aren’t staffed to be hands on all the time. So gaps in care or gaps on equipment available but allowed as it’s just AL.

The facility sounds like they are doing what they can as carpenter is in her room retrofitting. If this just doesn’t work, then I’d suggest that you try to place her on a list to move to one of the total wheelchair accessible rooms. If she’s like tiny, petite, even ADA compliant is going to be too high For her. If after the retrofit done, it’s still problematic, I’d suggest that you ask the SW at the AL about her getting a needs assessment done. It may be that she actually needs SNF and not AL.
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Reply to igloo572
Squatch33 Jun 17, 2020
Thanks, that is helpful.

She was in a SNF and they recommended ALF, though she does need quite a bit of help at this point yet.

The place is only two years old, so I guess I was just a little surprised there weren't any rooms. set up a little more accommodating. Hopefully they can get the work done quickly. She was having to get drinking water from the shower faucet. They brought in a bunch of bottled water for her to use.
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