A Word from Barbara Hodge
Many family members made a promise to each other years ago that they would never place their loved one in an assisted living home…things have changed, Dementia specifically was not as prevalent or as dangerous.
I am often asked, “How do you know when it is time to consider a move”? My answer has three questions to consider – 1. Are they an escape risk? (danger of getting lost or hurt) 2. Are they a constant fall risk?
(chance of broken bones or head injuries) 3. Are they totally incontinent? (incontinence is extremely hard for some people to handle but there are also health risks involved, urinary tract infections, etc.) I should also include a lack of desire to eat which can lead to various health issues.
Please, if you feel you or your loved one will someday need help, more than you can provide…BE PREPARED and do not let GUILT cloud over making the right decision, I could talk nonstop about some of the serious
situations that I have encountered.
GUILT may take over making the decision to move your loved one, remember one thing…. The Doctor or anyone medically trained will not advise you to do this unless it is absolutely necessary!!! The Caregiver‘s health can often decline first due to the stress and physical care being provided to their loved one. The Doctor has nothing to gain by recommending a move, it is for the safety of both of you and
you can visit daily, usually visiting can be more pleasant since you are no longer stressed or frustrated.
Choosing the ‘incorrect’ place to live or the wrong in-home care can be a disaster and you will have to start over, introducing your loved one to more new faces…For a person with Dementia, it is not advisable to keep moving your loved one, it is too confusing and overwhelming and can actually lead to a decline.
BEING PREPARED requires a little homework, meeting with an experienced Elder Care Advisor, and taking a day to tour a group home versus a community. They will also have resources for Home Care, Home Health Care, Hospice, Elder Care Attorneys, and Moving Options.
An experienced Senior Advisor will also provide you with resources to help with ALTCS (State assistance to pay rent if moving out is necessary) and Veteran’s Aid & Attendance, this is different than Veteran’s regular benefits. There is never a charge for any advice or touring with an Advisor.
The reason I emphasize – BE PREPARED – if your loved one had to go to the hospital or rehab and the Doctor feels it is time for discharge, he or she may not feel the patient can live alone or you are not able to handle the daily required needs, they have an obligation to state on record that in-home care or moving to an assisted living home/community is necessary. If you have a group home or community in mind this will avoid a hospital social worker choosing a place for you. (often not a place or location you would have chosen)
I will be happy to meet with you to discuss your options and give advice on the good and bad or the homes or communities not appropriate for your specific needs. I also check every home or community I recommend
with the AZ State Department of Health to verify there are no citations against them, I also consider Care and Cleanliness.
My background includes:
- 3 Years as a Senior Care Advisor
- 10 Years at Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities
- Certified and Trained Facilitator with the Alzheimer’s Association
- Senior Speaker – Dementia related issues
- Host – Dementia Support Groups/East Valley
Please feel free to contact me:
Options for Senior Living