This guest blog post is contributed by Boomerater, a free online resource for Baby Boomers. Seniors for Living contributes its senior housing properties to Boomerater’s local directories including California assisted living, New York Alzheimer’s care and more. A new Q&A discussion from Boomerater’s forums appears here each Friday. This week’s topic is about deciding between in-home health care or assisted living.
Boomerater Question: I am trying to decide between a retirement/assisted living facility for my mother or hiring in-home care for her. Anyone have advice? Also what’s the best way to find a quality assisted living community?
Responses from other Boomerater members:
- There are a lot of factors to consider, including: Is your mother willing to move or does she want to stay in her home? Do you have access to quality in-home care? Is there a good assisted-living community near her or you? What is the financial situation? How is her health and do you anticipate she may need more care as time goes on? If you decide on assisted living, I encourage you to look at a Continuing Care Retirement Community. She can move from independent to assisted living, and if necessary to a full nursing home without leaving the community or the friends she will meet there. Moving once is hard enough, but having to move again for health reasons is very hard for many people. Also CCRCs tend to have a whole range of activities and outings for your mom to chose from to get her involved in her new community.
- Definitely check Medicare.gov. This site has added a 5-star quality rating for facilities of all levels of care. They rate by overall, health inspections, staffing and quality measures. Just go to the bottom of the home page and click on “Compare Nursing Homes in Your Area.” You can search by name, zipcode, etc.
- My mother had open heart surgery and was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. My sister and I thought it best for her to remain in her own home in Florida (we live in NJ) so we hired home health care workers 24/7. Some were from an agency and some worked independently, however, I recommend using an agency because they have many caregivers available on short notice.We eventually moved my mother to NJ to a wonderful facility that takes care of all her needs, helps her maintain her sense of self, provides activities that are both fun and stimulating, etc. thereby providing peace of mind for me and my sister. However, a good facility is costly and this must be taken into consideration as well.
- Have you ever considered a Geriatric Care Manager? This field is the one-stop resource seniors and families need to gather information, implement care and monitor the care needed to stay safely at home. A comprehensive assessment provides a snap-shot of services needed today and helps to plan for future care. Experts relieve your stress, time and cost associated with research and management of senior care providers.
To read more responses from Boomerater members and to share your own tips and advice, go to the Boomerater post: In-home health care or assisted living?