If you have to assist your parent in
finding an Assisted Living Facility,
(further to be identified as ALF)
you have to have a plan.
The first thing you need to do is to
pick out an adult child for the caretaker .
This gives the ALF a person to contact
in case there is a problem with the parent
or parents. After that you try to pick an
ALF nearest this adult child. Most of the
ALF’s have been built in the past 15 years,
so most of them look pretty nice. But you
want to check them out for several things.
You want to know what the rules are and
what the lay out is. Rules are, can your
parents have a car if they still drive. Is the
parking area safe. Can an out of state adult
child stay at the ALF for short stays? Some
of them have a room that can be rented. Do
they have a patio? Can your parent do
gardening? Do they have actives for the
parents to attend if they chose to? Does
it have a private dining room for special
occasions. Like a birthday party or an
anniversary, incase it is easier to bring
the party to your parents than it is to take
your parents to the party. Is there a large
community living room for visiting with
other residents? Check and see if they have
their own bus that takes the residents to
the shopping malls, or doctors. Do they
have clothes washing and dryer room for
residential use. Do they have maid service?
To change the sheets on the beds and clean
the apartment? If your parents have special
needs you need to check to see if the ALF
can help with those needs. Some times one
parent will need assist in and out of a wheel
chair or help with showering.
You want to know price. Not just the monthly
price but is there any other cost that could
be added for extra services? GET IT IN
WRITING. ALF's start at about $1,200 a
month. Then depending on what is needed,
on how high it can go.
The rooms are pretty standard. You have
a bathroom, bedroom and a living room
that is motel room size. You have a micro
wave so you can warm up food. And a
refrigerator that is slightly larger than
the micro wave. This is to keep snacks in.
Now to furnish your parent’s apartment.
You will have room for one bed, and a
dresser. Maybe two dresser, if they are
side by side. Check for closet space so you
will know how much clothing can be
brought over. The bathroom space is
usually big enough for toothbrushes,
hair brushes, and medication. Some have
drawers for extras. And an area for 4
towels and about 6 washcloths. The living
room area usually has enough room for a
small couch, 2 chairs and a coffee table
and a television.
Your parent’s personal belongings will
be downsized. So, as mention, check the
closet to see how much clothing you can
bring. Small clothing, of course, can be
put in the dressers. Also you will need 2
sets of bed changing. 1 while the other is
in the wash. Check the living room to see
if there is enough room for a table. So if
the parents want to write letters, do a
puzzles, read books, or a hobby, that they
will have room.
You are ready to move Mom and Dad in
to their apartment. Now for the hard part.
Going to their home and decide what can
go and what can’t go into the apartment.
And it gets worse. See after you get them
settled into their apartment you are left
with the job of taking care of their worldly
possessions. Years worth of possessions.
There are books, clocks, many pictures,
say nothing if the parents have had hobbies.
Such as a train set, quilting, sewing,
knitting, crocheting, collection of some
kind of items. Trucks, tractors, emblems,
stamps, tools and etc. The big question is
what to do with all these things that your
parents love. If you think this is easy…look
around your own home. If you are told you
can only take 10% of your possessions with
you and the rest if left behind. What do you
take? And what do you do with the rest?
Storage? How much is the storage going to
cost and who is going to pay for it? Who is
going to be responsible for cleaning it out
later? Yard sale? You are selling the home,
so have to make decisions with your parents.
It is their possessions, you include them in
the discussion of what to do. Not important?
Well, look around again… do you want
someone else telling you what to do with
your things? Or not even asking you, and
decide for you …what you can have and
not? Only the cruelest of child would do
that to parents. And you have no idea
how hard it is for these parents to say
goodby to their home. No idea …So be gentle,
be understanding, be patience …
you will need lots of that. And you may
see or hear the broken heart, even though,
they know this has to be done. Even though
they could live 10 more years, to them this
is the beginning of the end.
Try to understand, even though you have
no idea what it is like for them… Because
in 20 years it could be you with your children,
deciding what to do with your things.
16 hours ago