What If My Senior Parent Becomes Too Sick for Assisted Living?

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One of the biggest drawbacks of most assisted living communities is the possibility of having to move your parent somewhere else if they become ill or disabled. Tearing your parent away from a community they know and love would be heartbreaking for them—and you.

What other options do you have if your parent needs a little assistance but is largely independent? They don’t qualify for independent living, and they don’t need all the care—and expense—of 24-hour-a-day skilled nursing.

So how do you plan for your parent’s future?

Assisted Living Works Today

If your parent forgets their medication or needs help taking a shower, Assisted Living is the best option for them. Although state regulations vary, most require that Assisted Living communities meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means they’re well-lit, have handrails and grab bars, and are easy for someone in a wheelchair or who uses a walker to access.

Most Assisted Living communities offer a base level of services, to which you can add. Most communities begin with an hour of personal care services each day. So while 3 meals a day are included in the pricing, helping your mother to the dining room will be included as part of personal care services. Fortunately, you can add additional time and services if your parent needs them.

Memory care is a feature at many Assisted Living communities. If your parent has developed dementia, most communities provide frequent checks, and some, like The Arbors, include emergency response systems.

Many services are free. Weekly housekeeping and linen service, 3 meals a day, and other amenities usually are included in the base cost.

Assisted Living Works Tomorrow

As your parent needs more care, you can add services or time. For example, if your parent usually only needs help putting up her hair or dressing becomes ill and needs additional help bathing or using the bathroom, you can add services until she or he feels better.

At most Assisted Living communities, your parent’s abilities are assessed on a regular basis. If your parent requires more help than the community can provide, your parent may have to move.

Luckily, The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities is one of the communities that permits you to contract for additional health-care options to enable your parent to stay in their residence.

“If a resident has care needs that exceed what we provide, they absolutely have the option of bringing in private care and tapping into community resources in order to supplement what we provide,” explains Lisa Holt, R.N., regional director of resident care. What this means is that you can hire a paid caregiver or use community resources, such as MassHealth programs (helpfully listed here on The Arbors website).

If a resident needs more care, the community’s Resident Care Director will help the family coordinate additional services. These may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, visiting nurse, speech therapy, hospice care, nurse practitioner, and physician services.

And although staff members do not make recommendation, one of the choices for residents is Integra Home Health. If you recognize Agency Director Emily Gralia’s last name, it’s likely because it’s the family name of The Arbors’ Chief Operating Officer Sara Robertson and Executive Director Amie Hanrahan, whose grandparents first developed The Arbors.

Integra Home Health provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy; skilled nursing; and social work services. Residents’ families may request these and other services from any qualified provider they wish.

“Our Resident Care Director will help them in coordinating those services,” notes Lisa. Outside services may be minimal or extensive.

“Yes, we do have residents that are on hospice service or receive skilled nursing care from outside providers,” Lisa adds.

What Happens If Your Parent Is Too Sick for Assisted Living?

There are rare situations when a resident must move for their own safety or the safety of other residents.

If that happens, according to Lisa, “Our Resident Care Directors develop relationships with multiple agencies and would facilitate the referral to the appropriate agency.” The goal, as it always is as The Arbors, is to do everything possible to ensure your loved one’s health and happiness.

Would Your Parent Be Happier and Healthier at The Arbors?

We think so. At The Arbors, we promote an active, engaging lifestyle with programs that enhance seniors’ well-being. Each community is customized for its residents, including food choices, programs, trips and more.

 

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