Monday, August 17, 2009

Looking Towards the Future

Today, I visted an Assisted Living Facility with Jane.

The time has come, as Ed's Mom expects Jane to wait on her hand and foot, even though Jane is the least healthy of the two. Yes, even though Jane got out of Rehabilitation today and is having great difficult moving (due to a scooter mishap), Mom will expect Jane to come running whenever she calls out. It's a vicious cycle that often ends with Jane returning to the hospital.

Jane is tired of it and has come to a conclusion that makes sense-Assisted Living. As none of us have any experience with them, the social worker at the facility that was caring for Jane gave her a few brochures. I was given the names and I did some research online. Two had forms on their websites that could be filled out to receive more information. Of course, I filled them out.

In those forms, I gave a brief summary of their health concerns, the issue with Ed's mom's dementia and that neither can do any household maintenance without assistance. (Which makes me realize that they have no cleaning woman and no Mike-things could get interesting...). The next day, a gentleman called from one of the places and invited us to come tour the residences.

I suggested to him and Jane separately that she and I tour without Ed's mom. At best, his mom would be making snide comments under her breath, at worst, she'd be loudly arguing. Neither would be condusive to focusing on getting the information we needed. Besides, it makes more sense to get an idea of what these places are like BEFORE having that conversation with Ed's mom. Knowledge is power and all that jazz.

So, we arrived a few minutes before the appointed time and in short order, met Brian and went back to his office. He gave us basic information about their facility, which is hybrid Independent and Assisted Living. They are a rental community, so ya security deposit and activities fee are expected upon move in. Meals are served in the community dining hall (which is honestly like an on site restaurant) or the two private dining rooms on the assisted living wings. I forgot to ask if they handle dietary restrictions, but that is probable, given the population and intent of the property.

Jane's big question was if pets were allowed. Relief was apparent when she was told that cats are welcome. Then Brian mentioned cost and the different floor plans they have. While it might seem expensive, when one breaks down all the services they are providing, including all utilities, the cost is reasonable.

We toured an apartment that the two of them could rent. It's about 970 square feet, so they'd definitely be downsizing. That said, they're not using about 700 sf of their house regularly, so to me, it's a wash.

The activity board was impressive, as were all the community areas. There's plenty to do for a social butterfly wannabe like Jane, but Ed's mom can be more of a hermit if she wants (though she'd have to take meals in the large or private dining room, there is no in-apartment dining).

There is a lot to consider, and more places to tour. However, there's more concrete information about what to expect and what the expenses look like. Instead of flying into that conversation with Ed's mom with a lot of "I don't know", Jane now has the tools to overcome the many objections Ed's mom will have.

What remains to be seen is if she can overcome all of the objections without a battle royal. One thing is for certain-I do NOT want a ring side seat for the conversation.

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