How to Choose Assisted Living for Someone with Disabilities

Here’s a startling statistic: by 2020, the number of seniors is projected to outnumber children worldwide. By 2050, one-fifth of the total U.S. population will be 65+. Those 85 or older will be the fastest-growing segment over the next few decades.

For many elders, life on a day-to-day basis is challenging. More than half of the “oldest old” (those 85+) are dealing with at least four chronic diseases, and 25 percent have more than six.

As the senior wave grays the globe, there is a corresponding surge in the number of elderly people who need assistance with their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). But how do you know whether someone is “disabled” — and if their plan to age in place is no longer viable?

Defining “Disability”

Disability changes the landscape of senior living options. Below are the primary parameters researchers with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services use to define “disability” in the elderly. Consider these points a guide to help determine if your loved one may be disabled, or becoming disabled:

  1. Ability to manage 5 core ADLs: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, transferring from bed to chair, and feeding oneself.
  2. Ability to manage daily life tasks, known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, or IADLs. IADLs include:
    1. preparing meals
    2. taking medications properly
    3. grocery shopping
    4. housework
    5. managing money.

Many elderly individuals do not require assistance in core ADLs, but cannot perform these IADLs without occasional or ongoing help.

  1. Cognitive functioning. Some seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, may be physically capable of performing ADL and/or IADL activities, but should not be allowed to perform them independently because of their cognitive impairments, which impede their ability to handle these tasks safely and accurately. In other words: if a senior with dementia is cooking her own meals, she may leave the stove on and accidentally set the house on fire.
  2. Impaired in an ADL, but able to perform the task with the aid of an assistive device, e.g., getting to the bathroom with the aid of a walker, or climbing into the bathtub with the aid of a grab bar.

Measuring disability is therefore not a straightforward matter. Some elders require the active assistance of another person to perform an activity; they absolutely can’t do it on their own. Others may be able to perform an activity with difficulty, but just need someone nearby in case they require assistance.

The most common approach, per the Department of Health & Human Services, is to define someone as disabled in an ADL if he or she requires the help of another person to perform the activity. Thus, elders who can manage on their own with assistive devices are generally not considered to be disabled.

How to Select the Right Assisted Living Facility

An Assisted Living community may be the answer for a senior with disabilities, because it can provide the degree of help needed, allowing the resident to maintain as much independence as possible. A residential care home might be another good option, especially if the home specializes in serving seniors with disabilities and is equipped to provide the level of care your loved one needs. The smaller, homey atmosphere can be very soothing for someone with dementia or other cognitive impairment.

When considering an assisted living facility or residential care home for an elder with disabilities, be sure to address the following ten questions:

  • Is the facility clean and odor-free?
  • Are the residents well groomed?
  • Do residents seem happy?
  • Are caregivers and employees engaged with the residents? Do they seem to like their work?
  • Are caregivers trained to meet the special needs of people with the disabilities my loved one has?
  • Who administers medication and attends to urgent medical needs?
  • What types of training do caregivers and other employees receive?
  • Ask to see a resident’s room or apartment. Is the space clean, and in good condition?
  • Are the common areas — kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, guest rooms — clean and well maintained?
  • Are family members and residents encouraged to stay connected?

Financial Help for Elders and the Disabled

A non-profit organization known as Elderly or Disabled Living (EDL) is a housing help service that assists seniors or people who are disabled (an applicant doesn’t need to be both) with paying a portion of their bills. Because it is a private charity, there are no waitlists or special requirements. ElderlyorDisabledLiving.com is open to all U.S. citizens on an equal basis. An applicant may only receive financial assistance once per year, and is welcome to reapply at any time if they are not selected.

 

The Plaza at Clover Lake Assisted Living Facility in Carmel, NY

Imagine living in lush grandeur, with acres of beautiful gardens that someone else lovingly tends for you — even your own private lake! You’ve just described The Plaza at Clover Lake, a deluxe senior living community that offers both independent and assisted living with superb quality of life.

Located on 135 acres in scenic Carmel, New York, our community, founded in 2000, provides the kind of respectful, attentive, friendly service an older adult desires and deserves. Your loved one will enjoy three nourishing, delicious meals each day, housekeeping services, a full program of activities, and a scheduled car service for outings and errands, among many other amenities, so their life here can be truly carefree.

Pricing

General Pricing Information for Carmel Assisted Living 

Room TypeMinimum CostAverage CostMaximum Cost
1 Bedroom$5,500$5,500$5,500
Semi-Private$3,200$3,200$3,200
Studio$3,990$3,990$3,990

 

Reviews

“Everyone who is employed at Clover Lake is extremely personable, and helpful. The aides are to be commended for their service. I can not say enough about the care at this facility.”

 

“I loved Plaza at Clover Lake, I even joked with Maureen to save me a room in 10 years, when we took our tour.

The place was clean, they have a gym and I observed the residents working out. They also have an old-fashioned soda shop with music from the 50s playing in the background. I saw other residents reading the paper and you could see how the staff took good care of them.

The other thing I liked about Plaza at Clover Lake was that in the end when the money runs out they would take Medicaid. I know that many communities will ask you to move your loved one out when their options are gone. It was explained to me that I could keep mom here and with some private pay along with Medicaid, they would work with us. It was so refreshing to have a community take that approach.

Maureen did explain to us that they are still remodeling Plaza at Clover Lake. This place is friendly and beautiful, it sits on top of a mountain and overlooks a lake. I could see my mother enjoying her time here.”

 

“My Mom seems fine and seems to like it. My Mom is very social and she likes the people that work there. Some of the residents are not so friendly, but that cannot be helped. Overall, a good experience so far.”

 

“We toured this community when we were looking into senior living options for our loved ones. Plaza at Clover Lake was a beautiful, up to date, and overall very nice looking community. However I do not think it would have been a great fit for Mom. It is a big place and there just would have been too much walking for her. It also ended up being one of the more expensive options we saw.”

 

“My parents are very happy at the Plaza, my only issue is that they need more aides. Since my parents are paying extra for my mother to get more home care there have been times that the aide does not show up or is late. She is mildly self sufficient with the help of my Dad. But they insist that my Dad not help her so we sometimes have a problem.”

 

“They were a reasonable value. They do work towards Medicaid without a spend-down first which is nice. They do have a lot of activities but they could have a little more. My dad is pretty particular and I haven’t had any complaints from him.”

 

“Lovely facility, great staff very warm and informing.”

 

“Pretty nice facility. Liked the central arrangement with the resident halls extending from there. Price was about $1K higher per month than APlaceForMom.com had, plus $1-2K additional for care. Has fairly recently become an assisted living facility after being independent living so they are not quite up to speed with things. No nursing on site, which is a concern.”

Features

  • Daily medication monitoring and assistance
  • Bathing, dressing and grooming assistance
  • Three delicious, well-balanced meals plus evening snack daily (special diets accommodated)
  • Weekly housekeeping and linen services
  • Personal laundry service
  • Planned daily activities and entertainment
  • Scheduled group trips
  • Suite maintenance service
  • Holiday activities and family social opportunities
  • Scheduled transportation to doctors, shopping and banking
  • Incontinence management
  • Reminding and socialization encouragement services
  • Case Management Services
  • Personal Banking

Amenities

  • Comfortable lobby and sitting area with fireplace
  • Quiet social and recreational areas throughout Community
  • Grand living room
  • Convenient postal area with private mail boxes
  • Diner
  • Outdoor shuffleboard courts
  • Arts and Crafts Center
  • Library with computers and Internet access
  • Card and Game Room
  • Outdoor garden areas
  • Free guest parking
  • Conveniently located elevators
  • Comprehensive fire alarm system
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
  • Billiard table
  • Fitness room
  • Theatre for movie and TV viewing

Alternatives

N/A

Click here to contact us now to see if The Plaza at Clover Lake may be right for you.

 

Role Reversal: Cohabitating with an Elderly Parent

As the population continues to age, few things become more apparent than seniors’ desire for independence coupled with wanting to stay in their own homes. It’s a comfort thing: Most people want to grow old in their home, surrounded by their personal belongings and memories. Not to mention, the exorbitant costs associated with care outside of the home either in a long-term setting or assisted living facilities seems far out of reach for many of today’s families.

Nowadays, there are more and more adult children who end up cohabitating with their aging parents, whether that means the child returns home to get back on his feet or an elderly parent moves in with a child’s family to downsize or when it becomes unsafe for them to live alone. In the last 15 years, the number of seniors living with an adult child has skyrocketed, thanks in part to the high costs associated with getting outside help.

Living with elderly parents
Families provide the bulk of long-term care

It’s estimated that over 10 million adults over the age of 50 are responsible for the care of an aging parent. That’s about one in five Americans taking over the responsibility of a parent either in their home or paying for their care, according to the most recent statistics from the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA).

What’s more, Focus on the Family reports that families–not institutions–are providing 80 percent of long term care, meaning there are a lot of family caregivers out there providing the bulk of caregiving services for today’s elderly population. . As baby boomers are living longer and having healthier lives, any care that is needed for the aging parents typically becomes the children’s responsibility.

As people grow older, there are many ailments and conditions which may lead to the need for outside help. Cohabitating with aging parents can take the place of some, if not much, of the need for this assistance. A cohabitating arrangement can prove beneficial and rewarding, but it could also create plenty of complications.

Talk out the details first

Most children have good intentions when they decide living with an elderly parent is the best option. However, these situations can go south very rapidly if all the details weren’t given much thought before the decision was made.

Addressing every topic beforehand, such as finances, and evaluating how to establish unity among everyone involved can ease much of the tension associated with living with aging parents. Here are a few topics that should be considered prior to cohabitating with mom or dad:

  • Who will pay the bills? Will your parent be expected to contribute financially?
  • Are there young children involved, and how can they be prepared for this change? Be sure to discuss the situation and explain, even to very young children, why Grandma or Grandpa is moving in and what it means for them.
  • Do you need ground rules for young children? The roles can get mixed when multiple generations live under the same roof; be upfront about disciplinary roles and expectations to avoid hurtful confrontations.
  • What medical needs does your elderly parent have? Who will be responsible for taking care of any care needs, appointments and supplies?
  • Is it safe for your aging parent to be alone during the day? If not, who will be caring for her while your family is away? Look into options such as adult day care if needed.

Living with mom or dad

Share responsibilities with siblings

If your aging loved one requires a great deal of care, enlisting other siblings to help can be a good idea. If you have adult siblings who live close enough to help with daily activities or transportation to doctor appointments, it can alleviate the amount of stress placed on the child with whom the aging parent resides.

Make plans in advance and discuss these options with your elderly parent and any siblings who will be participating in care. Again, advance planning goes a long way in avoiding unpleasant disputes down the road.

Check into community resources

Researching all the options available in your community, such as respite care can also help alleviate some of the burden. It’s important for families entering into a cohabitating arrangement with an elderly loved one to know all their options and have ample support. Ancillary resources that can help include:

Living with elderly parents can and does work, provided there is sufficient space, privacy and boundaries for everyone involved. Mutual respect and a place to go when one has had enough family time are also crucial to a successful cohabitating arrangement.  Cooperation, advance planning and flexibility are all critical to the family’s happiness.

Images via celesteh.com and  InAweofGod via Flickr