I Found the Perfect Place for Mom and Dad- Now What?

You have most likely just navigated some very important decisions regarding the care of your loved one. You now have several additional decisions to make about their new home and lifestyle changes. This following suggestions are designed to help you “organize” your thoughts and help you plan for the next steps.

Senior Housing Tips: What to do when you after you find a care home

Is there a home to sell? If your loved one owns a home, planning and preparation for selling the home must begin soon, especially if the funds from the sale of the home will be used to finance new living accommodations. The first professional you need to talk with is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. These Realtor’s have received specific training and education to address the needs of home buyers and sellers 50+. You can locate an agent by browsing The Senior List category of “Real Estate Services” in your city and state or visit the SRES website.

Is the home filled with years of personal and meaningful possessions? Does the task of packing, deciding what to keep and what to give away seem overwhelming? Most of us have a lot of stuff: furniture, kitchen accessories, clothes, hobbies, linens, and everything else that we accumulate throughout our life-time. There are a variety of services available to assist with organizing belongings and helping with the tedious task of deciding what to keep, what to pass on, what to donate, and what to simply throw away. Again, check the listings on The Senior List.com for local Senior Move Managers in your area, or visit the official National Association of Senior Move Managers site.

Is there a car or two? Most care communities have transportation available for the residents. If your loved still drives, they only need one car, if that. If you are concerned about driving abilities or safety, now is the perfect time to encourage your loved one to let go of the wheels. You may be able to find a non-profit in your area that will accept donated cars and your loved one will benefit from the tax credit.

Prior to move-in to any care community, they will be requesting copies of your loved one’s advanced directives, power of attorney documents, and any other health directives. If these documents are already in place, now is a great time to review them with your loved one to ensure they are up to date and accurately reflect their wishes. If these documents are not in place, you must have them before move-in takes place. In fact, everyone, regardless of age, should have these documents. If you need assistance with these legal forms, I recommend you contact an elder law attorney. You can find these specialists on The Senior List Eldercare Directory, or visit the National Academy of Elder Law Attorney’s.

These are tough decisions and tasks for any individual to complete on their own. These resources will alleviate stress and anxiety for families and seniors alike during this difficult transition time.

Adult Care Homes and Personal Care Homes

What’s the difference between Adult Care Homes, Personal Care Homes, and Board and Care?  As it turns out, there are many differences, AND as many similarities.

What is an Adult Care Home?

Adult Care Homes are single family residences that are licensed to provide care services for frail seniors and adults. In some cases, the homes do not have to be licensed at all.

The number of residents per home ranges from 1-6, depending on the state licensing requirements. Care services at this level can vary, but typically fit a higher level of care than can be provided in assisted living communities, but don’t require full 24 hour nursing care. The advantages of this level of care are consistent caregivers, home-cooked food, high staff to resident staffing ratios, and a home-like environment. Typically the costs are less than other levels of care that provide the same services.

Disadvantages of an Adult Care Home:

While Adult Care Homes are a great option for many residents, there are some disadvantages. Due to the small number of residents, it is difficult for providers to maintain a full activities program for the residents. The care home may not provide the same social aspect as an assisted living or residential care community. They may not be able to provide transportation, hair-care services, or visiting podiatrists.  Care homes are operated by individuals, not corporations who have specific policies and procedures for staff to follow. Many care homes are not able to provide night-time care, as the caregivers are sleeping during the night as well. This is not to say that care homes can’t assist toileting at night or be available for emergencies, but consistent, extended night-time care is difficult to maintain. Care homes may also have great difficulty with a resident who is actively exit-seeking.

The Senior List.com explores the care home options in Oregon, Washington, and California.

Oregon Adult Care Homes: What you need to know

Oregon: Adult Care Homes: Must be licensed by the state who provides inspections on a yearly basis. Homes may provide care for up to five residents in the home. Homes are licensed and classified on three levels, from one to three depending on the level of care provided, number of caregivers, and experience of providers. There are even homes that are licensed to provide care for residents on ventilators. The cost for an adult care home in Oregon ranges anywhere from $2000-$4000. Medicaid does pay for some adult care home costs.

Washington Adult Care Homes: What you need to know

Washington: Adult Care Homes, Adult Family Homes: Must be licensed by the state, very similar to Oregon expectations and regulations, yearly inspections, etc… May have up to six residents per home. Levels range from 1-4, depending on the level of care required. Most Adult Family Homes have a Medicaid contract. In addition, the state of Washington requires any home that contracts with Medicaid to carry additional liability insurance. The costs seem a bit higher than Oregon, $2800-$4500 for most residents, $3000-$5000 for homes with licensed providers (RN, PT, etc…) and heavy care (hoyer-lift, hospice, end of life). Adult Family Homes in Washington may also be licensed for one adult day care resident in addition to six full-time residents.

California Board & Care Homes: What you need to know

California: Board and Care: Must be licensed by the state and are inspected. There are a variety of sizes of homes in California and rooms can be shared or private. Homes can receive specialized waivers to provide care for those on hospice, Alzheimer’s disease and ventilators. Board and Care homes in California can be secure (locked) to provide care for residents who wander. The cost for a Board and Care home range from $1200-$6000 per month, depending on location in the state and amenities offered. Few Board and Care homes accept Medi-Cal.

Many thanks to contributors of this article:

Bobbi Trifon, ElderHomeFinders
Claudia Belindean, A Caring Choice