When we found the Assisted Living Facility – one that accepted Medicaid and that we knew my parents would like – I broke into a happy dance.
My husband and I had been looking for three months and we saw plenty of places: places with candelabras and faux fireplaces in their lobbies; places that boasted gourmet meals in restaurant styled dining rooms; places that had libraries, gyms, barbershops and beauty salons, movies, bingo, book clubs, trips, dances and religious services.
The only thing was that they didn’t take Medicaid, at least they didn’t take Medicaid right away, and that was exactly what we needed.
But when we found the place (and it was more from sheer luck than anything else), we thought we were out of the woods.
Not so much.
My parents still had to be accepted into the facility.
That meant that they needed to be assessed. The facility had to know that my parents could, with some assistance, be able to take care of their own physical needs.
While my mother was no problem, my father was.
A stroke he had several years prior had left him with severe aphasia.
Roughly translated – while my father could always get his point across, his ability to hold a conversation, even at times to use the right word was curtailed.
We told my mother that she was going to be asked if my father required her to “talk” for him. We told her that she had to emphasize that he always expressed what he needed. This was not just because we were his family; my father has a way of letting people know what he wants even if he can’t say it.
We coached her. We asked same question in several ways.
We did this multiple times a day. We were sure she’d be fine because she knew if she wasn’t, he’d be turned down and we’d have to put him into a nursing home, which she didn’t want and neither did we.
I crossed my fingers as the assessor asked about my father’s communication skills and just like that, without batting an eye, she said, “Oh, I do the talking for him. He can’t do anything if I’m not around.”
I almost fell into a chair.
Well, that was it. Game over. We were sunk. Now what do we do?
But, I was surprised. The facility accepted both of them anyway.
For my father, the acceptance was “Conditional.” They were going to continue assessing him to see how he functioned day-to-day.
I’m happy to report that both my parents lived in that Assisted Living facility for several months, until the time that their physical conditions required a higher level of care.
They both now reside in a lovely nursing home minutes away from their Assisted Living facility.
If you have stories about transitioning your loved ones from home to assisted living or from assisted living to nursing home, I want to hear from you.
If you need information regarding Medicare or Medicaid, click here or for information regarding long-term living options, click here.
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