The move discussion is difficult for many couples and families. I did a three-part series on the topic to help provide a quick overview into some of the key learnings I have discovered. Here are the first two:
1) The Angsty Discussion About Moving: Life Care Communities
2) Moving Choices: Aging in Place – Part 2 of 3
and today is a final consideration on planning.
I do recommend you consider hiring a local Aging Life Care Manager to help navigate these choices and the current community options near you or your loved ones. I worked with one to help with my Mom and have seen them help with this discussion and process over and over with many clients.
The One Client Story That Illustrates How This Can Work
I started to work with Marge when she was living in her home. She had missed some bills, overpaid others, and was giving out her credit card number over the phone to charities daily.
After a year, it was time that she moved into an Assisted Living Community because living at home was just no longer a safe choice at 89. The new community was a combination of Assisted Living and Memory Care residents. She initially moved into an Assisted Living apartment but after about a month would wake up in the middle of the night and wander the halls in her nightgown worrying and sometimes tried to leave. They moved her into the Memory Care community so she would have more support and she would be in a secure section of the building. However it was hard for her to get integrated into a group of women and eventually she managed to actually break out. The community was just no longer a good fit so the Aging Life Care Managers searched for a better fit.
In addition to not really finding companionship with other residents, Marge had to pay for additional personal care assistance. Her monhtly community fees with the extra staff support now rang in at over $20,000 a month.
Six months ago she moved into a residential setting. She lives in a home with 5 other women with moderate stages of dementia and it’s a great fit for her needs. While this was not the right place for her initially, it is right now given how her dementia has progressed and the type of personal care that is best for her.
There is an Aging Life Care Manager who has been helping the family along the way, and while everyone thought the first community move was a great choice – and it was a great fit for a while – eventually it just wasn’t the right place for her needs.
Now at 93, we hope that she has made her last move. However, considering a move to a better fit is still an option and if she ever needed Skilled Nursing care. Her new community is now a third of the cost and she has found a loving group of residents and caregivers that are helping her find some happiness daily. It is the ideal fit for her right now.
I’m in the metro-DC area and we now of dozens of choices. I’m amazed at how many communities are still arriving.
Please know that you will make the best choice you can with the information you have at the time you need to make a decision. It will be easy to look in the rearview mirror and second guess choices made. I hope this has given you some insight into how to look at living options if you have loved ones living with dementia. Hoped.
2 thoughts on “Moving into a Care Community that Matches Your Current Need”
Yours is one of the few I have looked at and I like it. Considering starting one myself. My concern is how to deal with potential privacy issues for me and my wife with Alzheimer’s and in a facility. Are there risks you have experienced with someone being able to find you and for Marge (maybe not her real name)?
Hi – Sometimes I change names and other times I don’t. In general, my clients and the families I work with are all over the country so first name only and I never mention which community they are in (we have nearly 100 here in the metro-DC area). I am mindful not to identify individuals for their sake as well as for the sake of their families. I think if you are in a facility, it might be difficult if people know more about where you are. You could possibly make your blog invitation only to keep it private.
I use my real name and started the blog to help me communicate with family and help me reflect and learn. I couldn’t talk about what was happening but I could write about it. It grew and also helped our extended community of friends understand what and how we were helping our parents. My parents were always very private people. However, in the midst of all that was happening, my Mom would often suggest to me that someone should be writing about practical ways to age well. So I have tried and continue to do so in the context of cognitive issues.