If your mother needs help with some of her daily activities such as getting around, laundry, housekeeping, preparing meals, managing her medications, getting dressed, or bathing, then a good option that should be considered is an assisted living facility.

An assisted living facility is a type of residential community that provides various levels of personal or health care services for the elderly wanting or needing assistance with daily living. Take a look at www.srcarecenter.com to find a senior care center for your loved one.

Currently, in the US, there are approximately 40,000 assisted living facilities (which are also referred to as residential care facilities, residential care facilities, or board and care). Some of them are part of a nursing home or retirement community. A majority of facilities have 25 to 125 suites, which vary in size from a full apartment to a single room. There are some that even have special memory care units available for residents who have dementia. The following are steps you can take to assist you with selecting a good facility for your mother.

Make a List

You can use several different sources to get assisted living facility referrals for your local area, including online search services such as Caring.com, local senior centers, family doctors, or the Area Agency on Aging.

Contact your ombudsman

 This government official investigates complaints about long-term care facilities and advocated for residents as well as their families. This individual can help you locate the most recent health inspection reports for a certain assisted living facility and tell you about the ones that have had problems and complaints. Visit LTCombudsman.org to find the ombudsman in your local area.

Call the facilities

After you have narrow your search down, call the facilities that you are the most interested in. Ask if there are any vacancies, how much they charge, and if they offer the kinds of services that your mom needs.

Take a tour of your top picks

During your visit, make note of how the facility smells and how clean it is. Is it inviting and homey? Does the staff appear to be kind and responsive to the residents? Make sure to taste their food and speak to some residents as well as their family members, if possible. You should also visit at several on different days of the week and different times in the day to get a broader overall perspective.

During your visit, obtain a copy of the resident’s rules and admissions contract outlining the resident’s rights, services, and facilities fees, and explains under what circumstances a resident may be asked to leave due to a worsening condition that requires more care than can be provided by the facility.

Also, ask about staff training and screening procedures, and the percentage of staff that leaves every year. Less than 30 percent per year is considered to be good. It is a red flag if it is over 50 percent. To help rate your visit a checklist of question is offered by Caring.com that can be downloaded and printed at  Caring.com/static/checklist-AL-tour.pdf.

Paying for the care

Assisted living monthly costs can range from $2,500 to $5,000 or even more, depending on the services that are provided, the facility that you select, and the area you live in. Since assisted living is not covered by Medicare, most residents end up paying out-of-pocket for all of their personal funds. Some people have long-term care insurance policies as well.

If your mother has a low income and is unable to afford, there are numerous states with Medicaid waiver program that will help to pay for the expense of assisted living. Or if she s either a veteran or a surviving spouse or spouse of a veteran, she may be able to get funding through the VA program called Aid and Attendance benefit or all your regional VA office or local Medicaid office.

 

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