A Place For Mom: The Best-Kept Secret in Long-Term Care - page 2

by VivaLasViejas 7,259 Views | 24 Comments Guide

A middle-aged woman tiptoes out of your elderly patientís room as you stand at the computer making your latest entry, then sneaks a look back to make sure her mother is still sleeping. Shyly, she approaches you and whispers, ďDo... Read More


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    My facility is about 40% Medicaid as of this writing. In fact, of the five companies I've worked for that manage ALFs, there have been none that took only private-pay residents.
  2. 0
    I guess there are some medicaid out there.......but where my parents were it was strictly private pay. We even have skilled nursing here in CA that does not take medicaid/medicare. As for the ones who do, well one must get down to 2K left to qualify.
  3. 0
    Thanks for the great information! I wonder how outcomes differ in ALF compared to LTC? This is by no means to dog nurses in LTC as I know we all work hard to take care of our patients!!.. Just curious if the patient is more willing to be compliant and feels better feeling that they are in their "home" rather than a "facility."
  4. 1
    I think it has a lot to do with the patient. Both my mother and mother-in-law are suffering from dementia, so complaince is a day-to-day issue.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  5. 0
    And why is this article called "the best kept secret"? The best kept secret is that a person may go into assisted living and be fine for a year but then they need more care and that increases the cost by a huge amount. Paying $400/mo for my dad to be given his 4-5 pills/day (and he paid for the meds) is outrageous. Some assisted living places charge by the pill. One told me it was $5/pill and that included tylenol, etc. And that was a few years ago so maybe it is now $6/pill. The fact of the matter is is that the U.S. is not a good place to be when one becomes old or ill.
  6. 0
    My mom lived in assisted living for the last 15 years of her life. She lived in two different facilities and each had it's good points. Both were lovely and the people who worked there did all they could to help mom be healthy and happy.

    The first provided all the care she needed as someone who wanted to maintain as much independence as possible. She got her meals, help with bathing if needed, and her medications dispensed by a nurse. There was a doctor who could be called if needed, and she checked in on people of the nursing staff thought it was needed. Mom's room was a big one where she had her bed on one side and living room furniture on the other. She had her own bath but the shower and tub were down the hallway, so not as private as she would have liked. She didn't have a fridge or a microwave, and couldn't have gotten one or been given one by family. Meals were provided in a big dining room. This facility seemed more like a nursing home outside mom's room than the second place.

    The second facility had a lovely large room with a divider between living and sleeping spaces, and a private bath with a shower that could have been used by someone with a wheelchair. It had a kitchenette. The group dining room was beautiful. There was a library and a computer room. There was a big kitchen people could use to cook for their families on special occasions. There were "family" rooms here and there for when the number of visitors was too big for her own room to accomodate. The drawback of this place was there was no nursing staff on duty, ever. There were aides present, but they weren't allowed to do anything remotely medical. They did laundry and cleaned rooms. They were around alot and very very nice to my mom. They could remind people about medications but couldn't open bottles or hand the bottles or medications to people. If someone fell, they couldn't help him or her up. An ambulance had to be called if the person couldn't get up on his/her own.

    My mom said she enjoyed both places.
  7. 0
    I think it's obvious that anyone would rather live in a ALF over a SNF. It's more like having your own apartment with frequent caregiver, while a SNF is more "institutional". But they are just so expensive. Only the super rich can afford to live in one for any great length of time. It just seems like a why to drain all the money out of the elderly for a couple years (at most) before they go to a LTC to live out the remainder of their lives. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but it just seems like an ultra expensive long vacation or something before they finally go to the LTC they were destined for all along....
  8. 1
    We do everything possible to allow our residents to "age in place", that is to say, we don't kick them out if they go on Medicaid or become a two-person transfer. We also try to keep them even if they go on hospice and would otherwise need more care than we can provide. And as far as costs go, the $4000+/month our highest acuity resident pays is only about two-thirds of what it would cost him to live in a nursing home, which is where he actually belongs (but that's a story for another day).

    Most of our residents die in our facility after an average stay of 4 1/2 years. That's pretty good statistically, considering the national average is somewhere around 2 years. Yes, some companies are all about profits, and yes, some facilities are very poor in quality; however, the same can be said for every level of care.
    Debilpn23 likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I think it's obvious that anyone would rather live in a ALF over a SNF. It's more like having your own apartment with frequent caregiver, while a SNF is more "institutional". But they are just so expensive. Only the super rich can afford to live in one for any great length of time. It just seems like a why to drain all the money out of the elderly for a couple years (at most) before they go to a LTC to live out the remainder of their lives. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but it just seems like an ultra expensive long vacation or something before they finally go to the LTC they were destined for all along....
    I'm not sure where you live, but the lovely ALF where my mother stayed was about $1200/month, and most of it was covered by Medicare. My mother had minimal savings, but my sister (the POA) figured she'd have enough to stay there for 7 years before the money ran out. Unfortunately, my mother's dementia progressed beyond their level of care after about 2 and a half years. I'm very grateful for the 2 and a half years Mom was able to stay there. It was a lovely place, and the staff were all very good to my mother and to our family.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  10. 1
    I admit, I've never worked in assisted living and I've never had a family member in one, so my knowledge is based on anecdotal evidence. I was under the impression a fairly independent resident paid about $3200 a month. But again, that's just anecdotal. I've only worked in nursing homes, so maybe Im biased.

    When I was a little kid, old people went straight to a nursing home where they lived out the rest of their lives. Assisted living just seems like an artificial level of care tacked on before skilled nursing.

    But then again, I also thought all ALF were 100% private pay, so I guess I should do some research. I'm sincerely glad for anyone whose family found a happinessin assisted living. And I totally understand the appeal of aging in place and with dignity. No disrespect intended.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.


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