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Assisted Living vs. Home – Which is Better for Mom/Dad?

assisted livingIn my line of work I often encounter adult daughters and sons who are trying to determine where the best place is for mom/dad to live…

Assisted Living vs Home – that is “THE” Question!

So here’s my unbiased advice: If you can answer YES to all or most of the following five questions, chances are good that an assisted living may make more sense for mom and/or dad than remaining at home.

1)  The home where your aging parent current lives is large and/or it requires significant upkeep.  AND, the emotional tug toward the home is gone.  This means there’s no longer any joy in gardening out back or hanging stockings on the chimney with care.  What’s more, he/she is reluctant to ask for or hire the help necessary to keep things in good shape.

2) Mom/Dad is willing to move.  THIS IS BIG.  And very different from just you and/or your siblings wanting them to move.  Remember, unless mom or dad lack capacity to take care of themselves because of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, when and where they move is their decision You cannot *make* them do anything.  Insisting otherwise will only deplete your time and energy.

3) Your aging parent has few friends currently and/or is interested in making new friends. Unlike the many independent living options, assisted living facilities offer communal living; meals are served in a central location at a set time, activities both onsite and off are held at pre-determined times.  In other words, the typical assisted living facility typically offers an abundance of opportunities to make friends.  If your aging parent winces at the thought of socializing, this may be a red flag that he or she might hate it.

4) Mom and/or dad are not in the best of health and could benefit from access to additional on-site support. Think medication reminders, daily personal care, etc.  Just know that the cost of these extras would be, well, extra. 😉

Which leads me to…

5) Your aging parents (or you) have the money to pay out of pocket for an assisted living facility.  That’s right, folks.  Assisted living facilities are not covered under Medicare or Medicaid.  This means someone will be writing a monthly check.

And the more services he/she has the bigger the check…

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Yuki June 18, 2012, 10:06 AM

    Maria, this is an excellent article. Helps many including myself draw the clear line between accepting and acting upon whats best for the elderly/loved ones by doing them good deed by transferring them to an assisted living facility vs. believing they are good to be at home. I have had many discuss on where to draw that line. This presents that issue in a concise and effective manner. Good read.

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