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Need To Know When Looking for Assisted Living – Richmond, VA

- Friday, August 16, 2013

Too often nursing homes and senior care facilities are in the news. As you look for senior care in Richmond for your loved one. Here are some things you need to know while you are choosing one.

Understand what services assisted living does, and does not, provide. In general, assisted living is residential care that provides some services. It could be a large corporate facility, a mid-sized non-profit facility, a board-and-care home where one or two people live in spare bedrooms of private home, or professionally managed small group homes.

Assisted Living is generally less expensive and less structured than skilled nursing. When making a choice, think about the level of assistance you or your loved one will need. If your mom needs full-time help from a private duty aide, independent living might be more cost effective.

Dementia. Half to two-thirds of assisted living residents have some cognitive impairment. But that represents a wide range of care needs.

While some dementia patients may need skilled care, many do not and can do very well with the help of high-quality aides. All dementia aides need special training and time to get to know their residents, but they can do an excellent job in a residential care setting. People with dementia need to be in good care settings with custom care plans.

Regulatory trade-offs. Assisted living is far less regulated than skilled nursing and the rules vary widely from state to state. But there is a trade-off: More regulation does not mean better care. States need to balance the health and safety needs of residents with autonomy.

Keep in mind that many of the most creative senior service solutions over the past few decades have come in less regulated settings. It is not easy to be creative if you are running a highly-regulated nursing facility.

If you have a bad feeling about a place, leave. There are a number of adult children who are concerned about the quality of their parent’s care.  Often family members rationalized these fears. The message is: If a place doesn’t feel right or you have concerns that you feel are not being addressed, leave.

There are bad assisted living facilities. But most are not bad and many are great and just like home. Run well, assisted living facilities fill an important niche. But to get the most out of them, be a discerning shopper and strong advocate.

For more information, contact Spring Arbor.

Forbes