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I used a local placement agency, and the social worker there was VERY helpful. And her fees were paid by the facilities.
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Reply to chdottir

I called A Place for Mom and the man who helped me was wonderful. No guilt, only helpful. He saved me a lot of time as we are on a budget and if I were to have run around asking all the countless facilities and getting shady answers from them, even one of the facilities was trying to get Mom into her own apartment instead of “memory care” and I found out that is against the law in California if your loved one has been clinically diagnosed with dementia/alz. They are not safe behind their own doors unsupervised. They also were unwilling to give me a copy of the contract to go over. A Place for Mom also gave me rough estimate pricing with the list of places so I immediately knew what places were out of our price range. Lots of time saved and he checked in with me regularly to see how I was progressing and always asked if there was anything he could do to assist me further. No pressure, I felt he was truly looking out for myself and Mom’s best interest. There are bad apples everywhere, but my experience was excellent. Just placed her last Wednesday, it was definitely a stressful experience regarding the mountains of paperwork that must be completed between the facility and her doctor, that is the main unpleasantness I have experienced. Now I am going through the sadness that comes with placing your parent when you know they did not want to go, however, there is a point where you know it is the safest and best thing to do for your loved one and yourself.
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Reply to Rainey69

You first need a diagnosis if at least memory loss and any reduction of daily living skills. Ask the primary if they can be assessed in office or by a geriatrician.You can then find if they need nursing or assisted livng. Many places require a doctor certificate. You will then need to check out places to see if parents are a good fit for the services they offer. You will also need to assess their finances and if they can live together.
For a list of recommended places by readers from this forum, scroll down to the bottom of this page and enter your zip code under the link for assisted living
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Reply to MACinCT

What ever you do, avoid "A Place for Mom" they tried to guilt me into giving up 2000.00 a month of my retirement so my dad could be placed in a 3,700.00 a month facility, when I made the budget clear. Not only did they not listen and try to guilt me, they gave my contact information to all the facilities that my dad couldn't afford. Not like it's not hard enough to place a parent we need to deal with that kind of crap.

A placement agency gets paid from the facility you choose. Be very picky, view facilities multiple times, unannounced to get a real idea. If they know you are coming they put on their party dresses.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

You might try asking for a needs assessment from your local Agency on Aging.
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Reply to cwillie

hi, when I needed assisted living (didn't even know what I needed at the time!)

I called a placement agency. they did not charge anything. they took me on some tours to AL. once I choose an AL, I guess the placement agency received a cut or finders fee.

you might be able to get help from parents physician (?) I had to get a signed paper that doctor OK'd parents to be placed.

I took off work(family emergency) and it took me 5 weeks to get everything done. exhausting....

there is a "search" on this website on the right hand side. the assisted living facility I choose has one main person who 'admits' residents. they are usually happy to help you understand the whole process.

(know also these are businesses - and are run as a business)

depending on what stage of NEED your parents require.
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Reply to wally003