We've been "priced out" of the assisted living facility. What should I do? - AgingCare.com

We've been "priced out" of the assisted living facility. What should I do?

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Yet another day where I'm spending precious work time (I've missed several deadlines already) worrying about Daddy. ...So, it appears that the ALF nickling and diming has reached an EPIC proportion, and I can't afford it anymore. I initially thought that the exorbitant rent covered everything. My Dad is really only at the facility during the day 4 days a week. He goes to an Adult Day Center 3 days and only has breakfast and dinner at the ALF. The Adult Day Center bathes him so we don't need that service, and he honestly only eats a bowl of soup in the evenings for dinner. On weekends, I bring him food. Dad still dresses himself, so the only services he's using are Med Techs for medicine, assistance with oxygen and the safety of the facility. I typed all that to try to justify the extra $534 they now want to charge for "Personal Service" I currently work a second job to cover the difference between Dad's expenses and income, but I don't think I can do it much longer. Working more isn't an option, and I can't even claim Dad as a dependent. Dad loves the ALF, and compared to the facilities that accept Medicaid, it's a palace. Those places were depressing. The VA facility is an hour away from me and looks "institutional". We tried putting Dad in a senior apartment with nurses coming in, but he was miserable and the nurses were awful. I don't know what to do. This may sound terrible, but I am NOT cut out for caregiving. I tried having Dad in my home and spending 3 overnights with him when he was in the apartment. It was NOT a good thing. I don't know what to do.

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I agree with Barb. Why are you paying for your father's care? Who is going to pay for yours when the time comes?

It is good to be kind to your father, absolutely. But putting your own health and future at risk doesn't make sense.

I can afford a short vacation in a nearby state this year. But I would really, really, like to have a month abroad. Do you think my kids should scrimp and pay the cost of a trip abroad for me because I would like that a whole lot better? I don't!

Staying at the "palace" is awesome if your dad can afford it. Otherwise he will need to make-do with what he can afford.

(And BTW some of those places that look institutional or not well-decorated, etc. provide first-rate care. And some of the palaces don't. You can't always judge by appearances.)
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Tiny, this is probably not the answer you want to hear.

Dad's resources should be paying for dad's care. Not yours.

I've gathered from your posts that you come from a pretty dysfunctional family (13 ex wives, right?).

In my relatively functional family, none of us would think of paying for Mom's care. We are none of us poor, but neither can we afford to give mom everything she might 'want'. She is in a 12000$ per month nh, shared room. Would she like a private room? Probably, but she can't afford that and we are not going to make it happen.

Your dad is so very lucky to have you, but you need to stop killing yourself.
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Is your dad a war-time vet? If he is, VA will supplement. It takes a few months to get the benefits, but those are retroactive to the date of the application. It's a lot of paperwork, but so worth it!
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I'm wondering why he is going to day care 3 days a week if this is a "palace." At $12,000 a month, they should be providing all the activities andvthen some.
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I HAVE A SUGGESTION! My mother is almost 96 years old, and I am the daughter completely 100% in charge of her care, happiness, safety, and finances. Therefore I retired, moved from LA to Orange County, and my husband and I bought a unit right next door to her in a nice senior living community (we are 70).--- After several years of this successful arrangement she had to move to Assisted Living (at 91), and two years ago to a Memorycare facility as she has severe dementia and is now blind and wheelchair bound. Here's my suggestion that I think may help: HIRE AN EXPERT IN THE FIELD OF SENIOR LIVING and/or FINANCIAL ADVISORS. I worked as an Administrator for a large Internal Medicine / Nephrology Group in LA, and I had never heard of this specific field of Advisors who can assist you with all financial options, and who intimately have solid knowledge of the care provided by the various AL and Memorycare facilities in your area. I've been 100% thrilled with the choices I have been given. My mother is getting incredible care (did at both facilities) and we are not paying $12K in pricey Orange County. For recommendations ask your family doctors, local Senior Centers, anything that has to do with Senior Help - Look up Senior Living Advisors - Senior Financial Advisors. I paid zero to my senior living advisor to find local MemoryCare, and just hired and paid a very reasonable fee for a highly recommended Senior Financial Advisor as my mother's funds are waning. She is 96 but may well have many more years despite her disabilities, that is why I needed the Financial Advisor who deals with the issue of care facilities as funds are running out, i both Residences and Financial Options categories. I hope you do this as it provided "peace of mind" to me. I am very involved in my mother's health, care and happiness, but I could not do it myself, at my age, with my spine fusion, in my own little unit. (BTW, these advisors make appointments and take you in their car to see various facilities, just like a realtor would take you to see houses, and they know the reputations and prices, sometimes they can negotiate a lower fee for you. I am so grateful to both of my Advisors, it is so confusing, but we have a lot at stake: the happiness and health of our loved one.
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Definitely contact the VA - they helped my friend with her AL. Our AL also charges $500+ for each service. Find out what this new service will cover. Doesn't sound like he needs anything more.
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Board-and-Care Homes - a GOOD Option: One more thing I wanted to share. Here in Orange County CA our Advisor showed us (when we were searching for less expensive options) the multitude of Board and Care Homes. They can be a wonderful option (if you do your homework) whereby up to 6 people share a nice residential home with 2 caremanagers. You could pay 1/3 what you are paying now, but you do need to do the work, go on the tours, see many homes, ask questions, look at his possible house-mates, talk with them, and get a feeling. Here in OC, there are MANY Board-and-Cares, and some are in very fancy neighborhoods (...though fancy is not a criteria for me - I'm looking for happy, vigilant, meds services, food, Activities, and healthy care - as well as cognitive level of residents.) I always ask the owners, "what happens if my mother rolls out of bed in the middle of the night - who responds?" It is a good question because some have better "night staff" options than others. So check out Board and Care facilities and night staff costs a few bucks more. Check out the individual homes on Yelp. They are licensed by the State. Your dad will adjust to a new setting, and the caremanagers are usually (in my experience) very kind and nurturing.
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.... sounds to me you are lost within yourself, caught between fighting guilt and actual (true) responsibility, so clear and concise thought in unable to rule your decisions and actions. Take a little time, take a deep breath sit back, ask another (one who's mature and practical) to sit down with you and think about and discuss what's going on, and about what's going out of your pocket and why. Weigh things out, create balance and rational decisions based on reality and not emotion. (understand that your love and caring about him is not going to change if you change some things to allow you to live  (and that includes financially.   (... one more thing, I get the feeling you are thinking the more you do for you ur dad the less the facility charges, so read the facility's contracted obligations of what's built into the monthly rent. Facility's charge for 3 meals per day and 24 hour care no matter the food you bring or the time he's out of the building, they don't give you reduced charge credit for doing anything out side of the contract, keep that in mind while you "re-think, the entire situation.)
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Palaces or great front entrances always are for 'show' but what is actual care? - that is generally wasted space if it not set up for residents usage but to hook new people into coming there - it is the room size & care that is more important - I think it could be close to 'bait & switch' because they are switching what is included once he is comfortable & doesn't want hassle of a move - a bit unethical in my opinion

I went to one with huge entry but it was also part coffee bar with nice seating for residents to talk with each other - another has smaller lobby but rooms were nice size - it depends on the needs of each person - a minimalist needs a smaller room than someone who wants book shelves full of family pix

I agree dad's money should pay for him not yours - you sound stretched too thin now [both money & mentally] & where are your savings for your old age - this may sound harsh but he made choices all his life that put him in this position, unless he too supported his parents, where did his money go? -

Don't try to remove old guilts this way if that is what you are doing - it seems you are 'oversupporting' him with bringing food regularly etc - that reads as old problems you are trying to fix but what is happening is that you might be creating new ones of possible resentment for how you live now with your robbed time - what else is going on in your life as you don't seem to have time for much else! - do some rethinking particularly on why you're breaking your back working to support him in luxury!!
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Definitely check out the VA if your dad is a veteran. They have a nursing home benefit of up to $2000 a month, but your father can't have assets of more than $80,000. My understanding is that when a person first goes into a care facility, they have to pay for it until their money runs out, and then legally they can't be removed, Medicare has to kick in. That's one of the reasons the costs are so high for new people coming in, they are sort of subsidizing the care of others who are on Medicare (from a book, Bittersweet Season, by Jane Gross). My dad has been very anxious seeing his money fly out of his account every month, and asked me to find something cheaper. You may need to look further afield for a decent place. For instance, I am in a very expensive area, so my mother's care is $8,000 a month. But if we leave our immediate area and find something an hour away, the price drops to $4700 a month. We have since moved my mother to a shared room which is cheaper, in the same place. For some reason, the place neglected to tell us that was an option. Anyway, you are going way beyond the call of duty working two jobs to pay for your father. And of course it's totally understandable that it's too difficult to care for him yourself. Does he have access to Medicare? If do, it may take some research to find a reasonable place. I also recommend the website A Place for Mother. The advisors there will work with on the phone and are very helpful , and don't charge anything.
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