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Conclusion of article on the many assisted living concepts available today. You'll find answers to common questions, explanations, support, resources and many related pages.

Continued from Assisted Living Questions and Concepts.

6.  What if I have a problem with the staff once I'm in a facility?  Most of these facilities have a Director and a residents committee to handle routine problems.  If these don't resolve the issue, you can ask the one you've designated to assist you in your affairs.  You can also call the Government Ombudsman (phone number posted in your facility) to help resolve any issue not resolved by the staff.  

Assisted Living Concepts:  Assisted living has come a long way since I visited my Grandmother in the 1960's.  If you've paid off your house and developed even a small nest egg, you have a lot of choices for residential assisted living communities. 
1.  Assisted Living In Independent Apartments:  Depending on where you live, if you can do most things for yourself, you can rent a small assisted living apartment where they clean for you, check on you daily, have social activities, provide meals if you want, even shuttle you to shopping and church, all for $ 1-2,000/mo.
2.  Assisted Living Dependent Care:   This is where you need a little more care; cooking, dressing, bathing, etc.  There are a wide variety of Assisted Living Communities designed to provide this level of care, from small homes with 3-6 residents to large luxury communities with hundreds of rooms.  Obviously, the larger the community, the more services and activities they can provide.  The prices range around $ 1,500-4,000/mo. depending on the level of care and the other services provided.  Don't be afraid to pay a higher price for a little more luxury...there's more to life than food, clothing and medicine.
3.  Special Assisted Living Needs:  A relatively new type of assisted living facility is popping up to provide the unique care requirements for special needs Seniors.  The most common of these is for Degenerative Mental Diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Senile Dementia.  These communities provide a caring environment to meet the specialized needs of seniors like my mother.  They are more expensive on average, but are far better equipped to provide the required care.  It's better to choose the facility as soon as you've been diagnosed with the early stages of one of these diseases...long before you need this care.
4.  Skilled Nursing Facilities:  You may not be making this decision.  This is where you need so much care, there really isn't another option.  This level of care is usually temporary, to recover from surgery, for instance.  It's far less expensive than the hospital but it isn't cheap...$ 5-10,000/mo.  Fortunately, Medicare provides Skilled Nursing Care for the first 6 weeks or more.  Medicaid will cover it if your assets are depleted, so, you never need to worry about not having the care you need.  

Making The Adjustment To Assisted Living:  This is probably the most difficult part of assisted living...moving from total independence to dependence.  Imagine the process of raising children in reverse, where you're the child.  It's a gradual process that takes place over many years in most cases.  Still, after being independent, it's frustrating having some of your decisions made for you.  At some point, someone else will have the responsibility to decide where you go, what you eat, where you eat, when you eat or who you're with.  Later, someone may be deciding when your laundry, housecleaning, even bathing is done.  Then there's control over bodily functions.  None of this is welcome or pleasant, but it doesn't have to be a surprise.  If you plan as well as you can, you have a good chance of having the best possible experience of life even in these later stages.

Finally, it's important to plan, not just for the end of this life, but the beginning of the next.  This can be the most exciting part of aging.  The same God who made you and everything, loves you very much and wants you to spend forever with Him.  He can help you through the rough spots into the glory of his kingdom.  If you want God's help, just click on God Help Me.

Senior Issues Forum - Find answers on Medicare, Assisted Living, Legal concerns and general interest to seniors. San Francisco Assisted Living - The Avenue is one of those special places that actually takes your lifestyle into consideration.  You can contact my friend, Roy Newsome, head of nursing, to get in depth information not found in a brochure.

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