Often families find themselves struggling with making decisions about placing a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living without much information.
Important questions should be asked as someone is placed in a nursing home or an assisted living.
Home care can be an even more difficult decision as the individual is alone in their own home with an aide.
Aides perform such vital functions, while at the same time working relatively independently.
The 14th edition of the Senior Resource Guidebook is now available to seniors and their families who need assistance with health care problems.
The Senior Resource Guidebook is published by Senior Answers and Services, a non-profit agency, providing information, counseling and advocacy for seniors and their families in Colorado.
Recently a Senior Answers and Services client’s family was told by the hospital discharge planner for the health plan, their loved one would be going to a "nursing home".
When the family was questioned by Senior Answers and Services about "a visit to the nursing home to determine if they believed the home would be appropriate for their loved one, the family seemed perplexed that they had that right, let alone the opportunity to refuse and select another nursing home".
Families often are ill-equipped about the questions to ask when considering a nursing home or assisted living for someone, the location of nursing homes, and the alternatives that might be available.
Another family member was very upset with the care a loved one was receiving in a nursing home.
When Senior Answers and Services suggested they take the same $6,000 that it was costing to keep the loved one in a nursing home and use that money to hire a home care agency, as well as modify the home with appropriate adaptive equipment, the family member was noted as saying "I hadn’t thought about doing that — can you do that"?
The answer is "of course".
And so began the search for a home care provider who had trained staff to manage the adaptive equipment, give a bath, prepare meals, and provide companionship for a minimum of 8-hours per day, saving more than $3,000 a month.
Using the Senior Resource Guidebook as a tool, the families were armed with check lists, names and addresses of all of the licensed facilities in Colorado, prices, services, and contact phone numbers to begin their search.
After the initial search, both families re-contacted Senior Answers and Services for more information, counseling and reassurance prior to making their final selection.
Both families report the Senior Resource Guidebook is a tool that helped to make a very difficult decision easier as they had muc needed critical information.
For a personal copy of the Guidebook, send $5 to cover postage and handling to SAS, 3006 East Colfax Avenue, Denver 80206.
Free copies are available at local libraries. (If your local library does not have a copy, ask them to call 303-333-3482 for a supply).
Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of Senior Answers and Services and the Colorado Gerontological Society. She has 30 years of experience in education and training, clinical practice, research, and public policy in gerontology. You may reach her at 303-333-3482 or Doherty001@att.net.