Adult Care Homes: The Relational, Non-Institutional Option.
This is Part 2 of What is an Adult Care Home? It covers the pros and cons of care homes for older adults needing care. You'll better understand the setting and the kind of care provided. And you'll gain insight into the resident profiles best suited to adult care homes. But first...
Meet Carolyn and her dad, Bill
Carolyn’s dad, Bill, had a stroke and couldn’t live alone anymore. At first, Carolyn thought about bringing him home to live with her. But she soon realized how difficult caring for her dad would be. She didn’t have the physical strength to help with his transfers. Her bathroom wasn’t accessible. And, she'd have to quit her job. Bill needed someone nearby around the clock.
Carolyn felt bad. She felt she was letting her dad down. When Carolyn was young, her frail grandmother came to live with the family. Her parents made sure grandma’s last years were surrounded by family. Carolyn’s dad always said that’s what he wanted someday if needed. Carolyn felt she wasn’t living up to the family’s expectations.
Guilt, guilt, and more guilt
Carolyn was racked with guilt. She stressed over thoughts of her dad living in a nursing home permanently. He hated it there during his rehab stay. Bill complained non-stop about the noise and food. Carolyn spent hours researching ways to remodel her home, find home care workers, and estimating costs. She wanted to meet Bill’s expectations, get the best care for him, and use his finances wisely.
The social worker at the rehab nursing home recommended Carolyn consider an adult care home for Bill. She referred her to a referral agency.
Bill fits the profile
Carolyn met with a referral agency to discuss care, preferences, and finances. They also agreed an Adult Care Home would best meet Bill's personality and care needs.
Here's what they told Carolyn...
In Adult Care Homes the caregivers live in the home with the residents - just like in a family situation. There aren’t shift workers coming in and out. The same caregivers care for Bill every day. They would get to know him and they way he likes things done. They learn to anticipate his needs and can respond quickly. Even with unscheduled care.
Bill isn’t interested in bingo, bunco, and billiards. He prefers quiet conversations in small groups, reading his books or watching his programs. He likes sitting on the deck and watching others work the garden. It reminds him of his gardening days.
Bill’s health care needs are significant but stable and predictable – his caregivers can manage his medical care. He’s confused at times because of the stroke but he’s not up at night or wandering.
The referral agency introduced Carolyn to several care homes nearby. She liked them all but felt especially comfortable with one home. She asked the caregivers to go meet Bill at the rehab center. Bill liked them too and agreed to “try it out.”
After a few months in the home, Bill has developed close relationships with his caregivers. He's made friends with the other four residents in the home and their families.
Carolyn feels relieved having her dad close-by, receiving competent, heartfelt care. She can stop by and visit him often. She takes him on outings or brings him to her house for family occasions.
The funny thing is, Bill doesn’t usually want to stay at Carolyn’s house for long visits. He wants to “get back home,” he says.
THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
If you’re considering an adult care home for someone you love, here are some things to consider.
Medical & Health Considerations
Because care homes have a higher staff to resident ratio they can usually manage more complex medication management regimes. Also, staff can meet frequent “hands-on,” unscheduled care demands better than a larger facility.
Social & Activity Programs
Night Care & Behaviors
If your loved one absolutely needs frequent night-time assistance, be prepared for extra charges or consider a different type of care setting.
Each situation should be evaluated on an individual basis. Contact a senior referral agent for help.
Adult Care Home "House Rules"
If your loved one has a pet they can’t part with, finding a care home will be challenging because most homes don’t accept resident pets. Most larger communities like assisted living do allow pets.
If you have an odd work schedule, a large extended family who frequently get-together or want to visit your loved one late into the evening, be sure to discuss these with the provider. Larger communities usually don’t have visiting hours.
Adult care homes are the solution for a non-institutional, relational, family-style environment for care. Making sure a loved one receives personal and medical care in a home-like setting gives family’s peace of mind. It’s the next best option to bringing your loved one home to live with you.
Referral agencies have previewed and pre-qualified the care homes in your neighborhood. Call an OSRAA member today for help.