If you are having nightmares about putting your elderly parent into a nursing home, there may be a much better alternative. Group homes for the elderly can be a viable and affordable option. Since there are many types of group homes that offer different levels of assistance and care, you will have to find the one that is best suited for your mother’s needs.
Some group homes can provide all levels of care including skilled nursing care. In these types of homes there is a certified nursing assistant on the premises 24/7 complemented by a staff of nurses and social workers. Your mom can have a private bedroom, but she will have to share her living space and bathroom with 4 to 6 people. Meals are also provided for the residents.
For a loved one that is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, this type of facility might be a good fit because she would get more individualized care, and she would probably adapt better to a home environment.
In the larger assisted living facility or nursing home, caregivers normally cannot stay with each resident for an extended period of time. If you hired caregivers from an outside agency to come and stay with your loved one for several hours a day, it can be extremely expensive. Group homes tend to be less costly for 24-hour care.
When looking for a group home, be sure to tour the facilities. Some questions you should ask are:
- What are the costs per month and what services does that cover?
- What level of care can they provide?
- What kind of training has the staff had? For example, did they receive training in handling Alzheimer patients?
- If your parent requires a restricted diet because of food allergies or other conditions, can they accommodate her.
- Are pets allowed?
- What type of activities are done with the residents?
- Is transportation offered?
- How will they coordinate services with hospice? For example, some facilities prefer to shower their own residents and do not want hospice to take care of that.
Also talk with the residents because they will give you a feel for what living at the facility is like on a daily basis. Check with the state to see if there have been any complaints filed against the home.
Group homes offer the best of both worlds. Your loved one can live in a home environment, but she can also receive assistance with bathing, eating and other health care needs. It can also give you the peace of mind to know that your mom is being cared for 24 hours a day.
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