When Assisted Living No Longer Fits Your Care Needs
By: Heather Souve
Easily, one of the most sought after senior housing options is assisted living. These apartment-styled residences offer a great deal of care and security, but – more importantly for seniors – they also offer privacy and independence.
Essentially, staff help with all the chores while the elders enjoy their freedom and independence – including being able to leave the community at will.
However, every assisted living is different and what’s more, if you don’t have a care advisor – or anyone – to walk you through the steps of senior care, then you may end up in an assisted living that’s glorious and luxurious… but not the right fit in the long run. As a result, you end up feeling like you’re receiving hand-me-down care, when you need customized (personalized) assistance.
When Elders Outgrow Care Needs
Not long ago, we were working with a 70 year old senior who had been residing in an assisted living facility for the last five years. Unfortunately, she had a preexisting condition that was worsening with time and she needed more care and supervision… things her current residence could not provide.
In addition, the cost of her current assisted living facility was adding up; it was pushing her budget beyond the safety zone – she was getting scared. At the rate she was going, the elderly woman’s funds would only last her another two years, and the assisted living facility would not honor her care on the State COPES program.
What is the State COPES Program?
Briefly, COPES stands for “Community Options Program Entry System” waiver.
COPES is a Washington State Medicaid program designed to enable individuals, who need nursing home level care, to receive that care in their home or community living environment – in this elder’s case, her assisted living.
The waiver allows for consumer or participant direction. This means the individual receiving care services can choose their personal care provider instead of having the state assign one.
The problem was the senior’s care needs were changing and therefore the assisted living did NOT need to honor it – they should, but it was one of those legal loopholes.
Fortunately, that’s where we jumped in.
The Needs of the Senior Outweigh the Needs of a View
“I need my freedom. I need my personal space,” the senior stared at us dead in the eyes when she spoke. It wasn’t a dream or wistful desire, she was prompt; these were things she needed if she was to enjoy her life in a new senior living facility.
In addition, despite the fact that she required more extensive care, she refused to change her routine. She didn’t want anyone to smother her or halt her progress. She wanted to maintain her privacy and independence. To us, this meant she needed a private room (which are more expensive than shared rooms) and she needed customized care.
Her budget wasn’t extensive and she admitted to feeling hopeless. She was worried that even if we found the right senior housing option, she would only be able to live as she wanted for another 18 months before exhausting her funds and moving to a “hole-in-the-wall” nursing home. Luckily, financial negotiations between the senior and the respective senior living communities is one of the things we do best.
The Care Advisors Find Adult Family Home in Everett
We found an adult family home in Everett, WA – not far from her previous assisted living facility – that would be able to provide her elder care needs while maintaining her independence. Due to our relationship with the adult family home, they also managed to negotiate that, after her funds were exhausted, she could remain at the home on Medicaid.
She was overjoyed!
Now, she is still living happily at the adult family home in Everett and she is as independent as she can be with space and privacy to suit her daily routine. Her daughters are relieved to know that she has a watchful staff doing the entire behind the scenes work to keep her safe and comfortable.
There are ALWAYS options for elders, even those under financial limitations. If you need help, contact our Care Advisors because we genuinely have your best interests at heart so you only need to move once. Plus, our services are free – no catch; no fine print.
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