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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Looking for a senior residential community for a loved one?

I recently heard about a web service, called A Place For Mom, that claims to help families locate senior care communities for loved ones with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. I logged on and asked for a list of facilities near my zip code, and they provided the names of most of the private-pay, independent living facilities, assisted living facilities (ALFs), and memory care facilities in my area.

I would say one drawback is that I had to give them my email address AND a phone number to get the list.  So when they call me tomorrow, I will have to explain that I don't need any further assistance.  But, if I was seriously looking or a place for one or both of my parents, I would certainly want them to call me and talk to me about it.

Depending on state regulations, if your loved one is on Medicaid and qualifies for supplemental security income (SSI), they may qualify for placement in a licensed Assisted Living Program (ALP). Generally, only officially licensed ALPs or combined ALF/ALP facilities accept payment via a combination of Medicaid and SSI. This may differ by state; for example, it is true in New York State.

This web service provides license numbers for the assisted living communities in the list, but does not mention payment options or if the license is an ALF or an ALP. The web service is funded by the "participating communities" which means they are only recommending participating communities.  I would caution against making placement decisions based only on the information from this site.  However, if you are not familiar with the facilities in the area, this may be a good place to start.

You should be able to search for the license number on the state department of health website, which can tell you if there are any ALP beds in the facility of interest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Caregiver Matters

Hello, I am Dr. Maria T. Brown, a trained geriatric social worker and a
researcher in the field of aging.

Normally, I use this blog to express my opinions about things going on in the world.  Today, however, I want to tell you about the new YouTube channel I am launching, called Caregiver Matters.  All too often, families find themselves in the position of providing care to older members of their family, who may or may not want their assistance even if they need it. And many families end up figuring their situation out as they go along, without assistance, because they are unaware of the resources available or the situations they will encounter.

I have personal experience caring for my aging parents, have worked with family caregivers in a dementia clinic, and have facilitated caregiver support groups. In fact, it was my experiences as caregiver to my parents that pushed me into getting my social work degree and my desire to understand the elder care system, and perhaps influence change in that system, that pushed me to get my PhD.

Even as I pursue my academic work on aging, I know that many of us who are caring for older adults really need simple, practical information on how to provide care, how to manage the responsibilities of care, and where to turn for help in providing that care. So I am launching this new YouTube channel, Caregiver Matters, to provide information and encouragement for people who are caring for the older adults in their lives. I hope that if you have need for this kind of information, you will visit my channel and let me know what issues or challenges you are facing as a caregiver.

Wishing you the best of luck in your caregiving journey!