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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Great Alternative to A Nursing Home : Adult Foster Homes For The Aged

Have you heard of Adult Foster Care Homes For The Aged ?

Hello Everyone I hope all are doing well today. Yesterday evening in our search for a nice place for mom, my sister and I visited an Adult Foster Home for the elderly (AFC). They are in a different class than regular foster homes and are specifically set up for elder care. These homes are popping up all over the place as the need for elder care is increasing and people dread the thought of a nursing home. I can tell you they are a wonderful choice for many. But as always one must do your homework.

Let me give you an idea of the set up. They are a home, yes a house like you or I would live in, only with some modifications inside to accommodate the residents. But from the outside you could never tell that a regular family did not live there. Many states put them in several categories, the smallest being a 1-6 resident, then they go up to 7-12 etc.

The home we looked at yesterday was beautiful and the people were wonderful. It is run by a young polish couple and they have three kids. They live in the upstairs of the home and the lower level is set up for the residents. What I personally like about these types of homes is the small setting with ease of navigation around a beautiful space that is not to big. This makes it great for those with dementia as they are not inclined to get lost as much as they would in a large residence. The people who run these homes and also live there usually have wonderful food, and we smelled some great polish cooking as they had finished dinner not to long before we arrived. The presence of children and a kitty cat added to the stimulation and interaction of the residents and this is wonderful for the children to grow up in. It is such a loving environment. It was bright and clean and just wonderful. 

If you are looking for a place for a loved one, check out Adult Foster Homes for the Aged. Now they are a bit hard to find. Usually you have to find them from referrals, but if you go to your states website on housing and regulatory affairs - here's the Michigan site , you can type in your zip code and search for them. You may also find ones for the mentally ill listed there so you have to click on the name to see what kind of care they provide, some are only mentally ill and disabled others are strictly homes for the aged and those with dementia. On your states website you can also check to see if the home has had any violations and if so what they were. The state should be quite open and specific in sharing the violation and subsequent follow up, along with any actions taken by the state. This is what I mean by doing your homework. But in this case the state can make it very easy. 

My sister and I have now chosen two places we think mom would do well in, the only thing holding us up is making the final decision to move her and it's a tough one. Like my sister said yesterday, 'some days I think I can do this and other days I just don't think I can take it anymore'. I am right there with her. Some days my back is breaking helping mom shower and dress but then I look at her and she gives me that smile and tells me she loves me and I think, 'I can't make her move'.

It can be so hard to make the final decision about moving your loved one. I wish there was someone who would just come in and say "here is what needs to be done now!". But that's not going to happen. The decisions are up to my sister and I and we both love my mom so much, as I know you love those you are caring for. 

AFC - a house like you or I would live in,
only with some modifications inside
to accommodate the residents.

I suggested to my sister maybe respite care for a month or two the rest of the summer, but that is more expensive and mom's resources are limited, however it may give my sister and here husband the break they need. I have also offered to stay with mom for some long weekends so they can escape for awhile. So we will see. It isn't easy and as always there is the guilt we caregivers feel - the ever present guilt - ugg!

Until Next Time
Take Care
Ruth Anne

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