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Old March 1 2013, 01:53 AM   #16
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Old Folks Homes

TSQ, you can do a lot of the initial research online, getting names of facilities / communities, looking up how they're rated by the agencies that monitor them, and so on. At some point, she's going to need to be formally assessed to determine what level of care she needs (independent living, some level of assisted living, or skilled nursing). But in the meantime, do you know whether she needs actually nursing care or just assistance with activities of daily living (ADL's)? That will help decide where she should go, because not all facilities offer all levels. Once you have a few places in mind, you're going to have to go out there and visit them.

It's been years since I did all this for my father, but I'll be glad to try answering any questions you may have.
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Old March 1 2013, 02:08 AM   #17
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Old Folks Homes

My stepmom has something very much like dementia. We don't know exactly what it is - at first we thought it was because of the heart attack she had a few years ago but it's gone beyond that I think. Plus her mother had it as well, so I'm guessing that's the reason.

As for homes: Fortunately my dad can take care of her for now - she is mostly functional in day to day activities (but she can't cook a meal, or remember what she asked you ten minutes ago), but if anything ever happens to him, she is going to have to go into a care facility. I sure can't take care of her, I know that much.

I have absolutely no idea what the care facilities are like around here. I'm hoping they're better than the one my mother was in when she was alive - that one sucked big time (at least one of the nurses openly STOLE from her).
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Old March 1 2013, 02:54 AM   #18
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Re: Old Folks Homes

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
I just don't know where to begin. I have to take her car away, I have to figure out a place for her to go, I have to figure out what to do with her businesses, I have to get control of the rest of her finances (she gets really confused and misspends and falls for scams), I have to keep my uncle from interfering and trying to steal more of her money, I have to do it with limited assets, and I have to do it all from 3000 miles away. I just don't want to make any mistakes, and I'm so overwhelmed I don't even know where to start.
I just started a job in a senior retirement community. I am also in the process of getting my Mom into one. If you have any questions or need any insights, feel free to ask.

I did a quick search on our company website. Unfortunately, our closest facilities to her are in Wilsonville, Oregon and Portland, Oregon.

Regarding the car and the businesses, the first thing you should do is to talk to her doctor and a local lawyer in Seattle. Her doctor will have the ability to have the state of Washington revoke her license. The lawyer will be able to deal with the divestiture of the businesses.

There are also real estate type firms that handle the sales of businesses. You might consider looking into those.

In my mother's case, I found a local company that specializes in assisting people with finding senior living communities for themselves or for their loved ones. They will take you out to the facilities, allow you to tour the facilities, and point out options that you might not have considered. Most of these companies are free to the consumer (they are paid a commission by the communities)

You also need to file paperwork to get yourself a Power of Attorney quickly. If you don't get this done, you will not get much of anywhere doing anything else. It's a headache, but it is necessary.



teacake wrote: View Post

You should be able to reimburse yourself for any expenses incurred, including the cost of flying out there and looking at homes if there is money your grandmother has available. Keep all receipts.

As to the homes themselves, research online, look for any forums or reviews. Just adding "review" to a google search will show you a lot of stuff that doesn't normally come up. Once you've got a list of possibilities find out if they have waiting lists.
Both are good points. With the expenses, they may also be tax deductible if you have to pay out of your pocket.

Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
But in the meantime, do you know whether she needs actually nursing care or just assistance with activities of daily living (ADL's)? That will help decide where she should go, because not all facilities offer all levels. Once you have a few places in mind, you're going to have to go out there and visit them.
This is a good point. Before you go out to Seattle, you need to ascertain exactly what level of care she needs right now.

Something else to consider is the fact that if her mental condition is deteriorating, she will have to eventually be moved up in level of care. What you have described here indicates that this may already be starting. In order to save yourself the hassle of flying out there again in a few months to find another facility, you should give consideration to facilities that offer multiple levels of care.

Also, Tora Ziyal is correct. Once you have a list of facilities, you will have to go to Seattle in person to look at them. Unfortunately, there really is no way around doing this.

Edit to add: I just checked the website for the comapny we have been using and found out that they have an agent in Seattle.

This is a link to their website:

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Last edited by Captain Ice; March 1 2013 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Adding link
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Old March 1 2013, 03:08 AM   #19
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Re: Old Folks Homes

Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
TSQ, you can do a lot of the initial research online, getting names of facilities / communities, looking up how they're rated by the agencies that monitor them, and so on. At some point, she's going to need to be formally assessed to determine what level of care she needs (independent living, some level of assisted living, or skilled nursing). But in the meantime, do you know whether she needs actually nursing care or just assistance with activities of daily living (ADL's)? That will help decide where she should go, because not all facilities offer all levels. Once you have a few places in mind, you're going to have to go out there and visit them.

It's been years since I did all this for my father, but I'll be glad to try answering any questions you may have.
^This.
Also, when you visit make sure you talk to the residents and their family members that visit them on a regular basis. Residents tend to have a one sided view but if there is any truth to what they say their relatives will confirm it. Make sure you check the ratings as a starting point ago go back for as many years as you can. Many facilities will show when they are trending something good or bad.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:17 AM   #20
Captain Ice
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Re: Old Folks Homes

Gaseous Anomaly wrote: View Post
Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
TSQ, you can do a lot of the initial research online, getting names of facilities / communities, looking up how they're rated by the agencies that monitor them, and so on. At some point, she's going to need to be formally assessed to determine what level of care she needs (independent living, some level of assisted living, or skilled nursing). But in the meantime, do you know whether she needs actually nursing care or just assistance with activities of daily living (ADL's)? That will help decide where she should go, because not all facilities offer all levels. Once you have a few places in mind, you're going to have to go out there and visit them.

It's been years since I did all this for my father, but I'll be glad to try answering any questions you may have.
^This.
Also, when you visit make sure you talk to the residents and their family members that visit them on a regular basis. Residents tend to have a one sided view but if there is any truth to what they say their relatives will confirm it. Make sure you check the ratings as a starting point ago go back for as many years as you can. Many facilities will show when they are trending something good or bad.
Totally agreed.

Also, checking for complaints with whatever local or state agency is charged with overseeing retirement homes will help you in finding a track record of care at that home.

Another question....does she have any local friends who live in a retirement facility? While this should not be a primary consideration in looking for a facility for her, having a friend who already lives there will be a big help to her in getting acclimated to her new surroundings if she moves into the same facility her friend lives in.
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Old March 1 2013, 04:28 AM   #21
Peach Wookiee
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Re: Old Folks Homes

My granddad just moved into a place. He seems happy at the moment and I think he has friends there.
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Old March 1 2013, 10:31 AM   #22
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Old Folks Homes

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
The hard part is coordinating it all from so far away (she lives in Seattle, I live in NYC), and I'm really scared of putting her in some place that turns out to be a hellhole.
Does she by chance have any friends or former neighbours that went into a home or a seniorcommunity? It might be easier for her to settle into a place where there is someone she already knows.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:53 PM   #23
Shanndee
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Re: Old Folks Homes

It seems like you are getting some really good advice here and I can't really add add anything that may help. I'll just say that I am sorry that you have to go trough all of this, and please take some time to look after yourself as well.

As has been indicated above, this is a good place to vent when you need to.

Sending warm wishes your way.
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Old March 1 2013, 04:06 PM   #24
thestrangequark
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Re: Old Folks Homes

^I am getting amazing advice -- more than I expected, and a lot to bring to my mom and sisters. Thank you everyone!

I do have power of attorney, fortunately, we signed all those papers over the holidays. I also have direct control of about half of her finances. One of the ways she's tried to make up for my mother's childhood is by helping to support her now. My mom can't work because of her disabilities, but my grandmother bought her a house last year, and gives her an allowance which will be continued in a living trust. Right now I have power over that half of the finances, but my grandmother's businesses and investments are all over the place and I have no experience in these areas at all.

She doesn't have any friends in homes that I know of, but she is very close to her brother and sister, and they actually all live next door to each other now. For awhile her brother and his wife were considering moving to a senior community, which would have made this so much easier because she would have happily followed them. They decided against it, though, and to make things worse, her sister's son moved in with her sister and brother-in-law to take care of them, which will make my grandmother want to stay where she is. I just don't see how that's feasible, though. Right now she's living in an apartment in a boarding house she runs, and the residents routinely take advantage of her (she's a horrible judge of character), and she's just not capable of getting by on her own any more.

Unfortunately, I can't fly out to Seattle to deal with this stuff, because I work...so, again, the remote management is hard.
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Old March 1 2013, 06:03 PM   #25
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Re: Old Folks Homes

In terms of the business and investments, you need to find a local financial advisor to help you understand, manage, and plan for transition of those businesses and assets.

Again, this is a referral situation; perhaps as you're interviewing facilities you can also ask if they have any advisors they prefer or that their residents work with. If your grandmother has been working with a CPA, that might also be a source for a referral.

Unfortunately, at some point you will have to go to Seattle to deal with it. It sucks, but it's reality. I don't think one can make a decision like this remotely, and until you're actually in the facility and talking to the staff and residents, they're not "real". Being in the facility allows you to see, hear, and smell what's going on.

Good luck
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Old March 1 2013, 06:19 PM   #26
thestrangequark
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Re: Old Folks Homes

^Fortunately my sisters and mom can be my eyes and ears, I trust their judgement. I don't trust anyone my grandmother has ever hired, though. Like I said, she has terrible judgement (always has been a bad judge of character, even before she started deteriorating). She always goes the cheapest possible route, and doesn't research, when has led to horrible advice, sleazy lawyers, and scams. Right now I have to figure out what to do about her insurance policy: based on the bad advice of one of the people she hired, she bought a $300K life insurance policy, but she will lose it all if she lives beyond 87. She's 85 now, and both her parents lived till their late 90s.

I want to restate how valuable all the advice I've gotten is, and thank you all again, since I won't have time to digest and respond to each of you immediately.
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Old March 1 2013, 07:05 PM   #27
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Re: Old Folks Homes

tsq, I've been there too. We moved my mother first into an assisted care facility that was wonderful, until her dementia and other medical issues became too much for their staff to handle. The nursing home we ended up choosing was not the most modern, nor was it the best maintained. There were scuff marks on the floor and some of the paint was pretty worn, but the staff was made up of the most incredibly caring people I've ever met. I used to visit mom at different times, and stand outside her room and listen while a staff member was in there - they spoke so sweetly to her and were very gentle with her care. Mom no longer knew who I was at that point, and visits were hard, but at least I was confident that she was where she could be helped.

I don't envy you this task - but it's good to know that you're not alone.
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