When Janet Welsh's mother, Mae, began showing signs she was unable to completely care for herself, the family talked to Mae's doctors. Mae was able to cook and clean; she enjoyed board games. But she was having problems walking and she was accidentally mixing her medications. Mae did not qualify for a nursing home, so what could the Welsh family do to keep Mae safe? That is when a family member notified A Place For Mom. This business answered all of the questions and worries, with professional assistance, at no cost.
Mae qualified for assisted living. "Assisting Living" differs from a "nursing home" as "assisted living is a long - term senior care option providing support services including meals, help, and transportation assistance," explains Tracey Fitzgerald, Communications Director for A Place For Mom. "A nursing home is for seniors requiring 24 hour monitoring and medical assistance." For example, the resident may be on a respirator, require speech or physical therapy, or is unable to take care of themselves.
There are approximately thirty assisted living senior communities in the Nashville area. Cost varies, from an estimated $2400.00 per month to about $6000.00 per month depending on level of care needed (medical assisting, grooming needs, room size, etc.). Some facilities have specialized floors or wings for "memory care" (residents with dementia or Alzheimer's).
Liz Maxwell is a Senior Living Advisor at A Place For Mom. She receives cases from people who have concerns over the care of an elderly loved one: the financial concerns when cost can exceed budgets, the emotions associated with care for an elderly adult, and the complicated process it all entails. Many times the families are in crisis, and it all happens so quickly, or so it appears. The number one goal of A Place For Mom, explains Maxwell, is to "knowingly and empathetically help families find places by making sound decisions. We are a service - oriented company." She enjoys her work as "I am helping someone with specific needs (and) making their journey easier by simplifying the process. There are special solutions and follow-up." For example, someone shopping for assisting living can receive updates and testimonies about various services via email to aid in their search.
Those moving into assisted living find themselves at a crossroad: they may be able to care for themselves with cooking, cleaning, and self-care, but may be unable to drive, recall important information, or perhaps need assistance with medication. There are several myths that attribute to the fear of moving to an assisted living home, says Tracey Fitzgerald. "When thinking 'assisted living' many think they are going into a nursing home setting, but there are many levels of care," she says. The person will not lose all of their independence. Most communities allow the resident to decorate and use their own furnishings in their living space; some have spaces for gardening, art, pets; some have shuttles to museums, golf courses, and special events. Many communities have 24 hour staff who cook, clean, protect, monitor care, and can sit and visit. Fitzgerald explains a community may have vegetable and flower gardens; the residents grow and sell the food and flowers at county fairs and keep the proceeds.
A Place For Mom was founded in 2000 and there are Senior Living Advisors across the United States. There is no cost to families; the fees are paid by providers and there are no "hard selling" tactics utilized. Someone clicks on the link, completes information, and A Place For Mom assigns a Senior Living Advisor to communicate and assist with the process (your information is not sold). There is also a toll free phone number: 888-704-7786. They have an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau (see details here). The website offers free information, such as questions to ask senior living facilities, guides to veteran's benefits for seniors, financing senior care, and more. A "Memory Care Checklist" is provided. An "Assisted Living Checklist" is provided. A Place For Mom also offers online blogs, inspirational messages, health tips, and more.
Both Liz Maxwell and Tracey Fitzgerald explain they understand the concerns and questions adults have when they become the caregivers of their elderly parents or family members. Fitzgerald loves her work. "Something about what we do helps families through the process." Maxwell loves working with families as, "I am in the business of serving seniors and their families by simplifying their care options and personalizing them at their budget and level of care needed."
When you need a place for mom, you can call A Place For Mom.
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Credit: photo of Judith Yates
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