Jun 22, 2012

When is Assisted Living Appropriate?

Every word we utter to another human being has an effect." Howard Zinn

When is the transition into assisted living appropriate and right?  The Mayo Clinic newsletter a few issues ago said that most caregivers wait too long before putting someone into assisted living, and I think that is correct.  It was at least a year, during which people close to me were reflecting to me that caregiving was damaging my health, before I actually took the actions to make that transition occur.  For those people who question whether assisted living is right for a person, I would like to reassure them.  A person cannot just decide to have someone move into assisted living.  Thankfully, there are safeguards in place to prevent such elder abuse.  The assisted living facility does its own evaluation --- in our case it was more than one assisted living facility because some of the others told us his needs were too great for them to address.  Then, there has to be a statement from a doctor familiar with the care receiver saying assisted living is now the most appropriate setting.  If there is longterm care insurance, which we have, there is another evaluation from them with a visiting psychiatric nurse.  A person cannot be in and remain in assisted living without these evaluations supporting that placement.  When any family member supports the delusion of the care receiver that assisted living is not appropriate, it is a tremendous disservice to the care receiver, as well as the caregiver who had to make that very difficult decision for the well being of both.

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