Find a Safe Home for Your Aging Parent to Live

Physician's Money Digest, April 2006, Volume 13, Issue 4

Forbes

Physicians of the baby boom generationmay very soon be faced with a difficultdecision: finding a safe facility to care foraging parents. According to , assistedliving remains a popular choice for olderadults who do not yet need nursing care,which is 50% to 60% more expensive. Foran average of $2500 per month, residentsreceive private rooms, meals, housekeepingservices, and activities. Trained professionalshelp with daily living tasks, and medicalhelp is near. Finding a good facility is difficultbecause no federal standards exist forassisted living centers, and no database isavailable. So how do you find a safe placethat your parent can call home? Manynursing centers have assisted living facilitieseither attached or right next door.While assisted living is unregulated, nursinghomes must be inspected at least every15 months, and you can obtain nursinghome records from your state healthdepartment. Once you decide on facilitiesto visit, ask residents about the quality ofmedical care they receive. Look for facilitiesthat have at least one nurse on staff at alltimes. Make sure units have safety bars inthe bathroom and panic buttons throughoutthe apartment to alert staff in case ofmedical emergency. Good facilities willhave a daily check-up system in place inwhich residents have to come to the lobbyand flip a switch to notify staff that theyhave received their mail; otherwise, theyreceive a phone call or visit from a staffmember. And don't forget about transportation.The facility should also assist residentswith doctor appointments and shopping,meaning that van service is providedto off-site locations.