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Clients With Traumatic Brain Injuries Require Special Consideration When It Comes To Senior Housing Placements

Every once in a while I am confronted with a situation that requires me to think out of the box a little bit more than usual. Recently, I was asked to find placement for a “young” senior who had a traumatic brain injury. This case involved many calls to different social service agencies. Unfortunately, due to my client’s age, lack of need for hands-on care at this point in time, and certain cost factors involved, some of the information I obtained was not usable. I had to dig deeply beyond the options that first emerged.
Real-Life Story

My client is 63 years old. Unfortunately, my client was hit by a motorcycle when a teenager and suffered a traumatic brain injury. After rigorous rehabilitation, the client was able to lead a normal life. However, after a series of personal disasters including a fall, the client experienced a number of physical setbacks that resulted in needing to use a walker for ambulation and needing to move in with an elderly parent. The parent and the child shared a caregiver from a private, non-medical home care agency for standby assistance with activities of daily living. At this point, my client needed only standby assistance with dressing. The arrangement was only temporary for my client, as independence and socialization were major factors. My client was doing well from a cognitive stand point. Therefore, I was hired by the client’s Power of Attorney for Health Care to find alternate living arrangements for the client. Here are the results of my research:

My client had an option to move to an apartment that was handicap accessible. An agency specializing in traumatic brain injuries would send a caregiver to assist my client with activities of daily living in the morning. Transportation would be provided to adult day care activities arranged by the agency with a return trip home. A caregiver would help prepare the client for bed at night. The cost of services would be $15,000 a month.

The client could enter a group home for 5-6 residents who had brain injuries. I toured the home and it was a beautiful home that had been made handicapped accessible with the installation of appropriate showers, hand railings, wheel chair accessibility and other necessary equipment. There would be 2 Certified Nurses Assistants living there, as well as a nurse who was available during the day. Residents of the home would be taken to another group home for activities. What were the drawbacks? My client would have to share a bathroom. The community would also be shared with some residents who were not as well off mentally. Costs were unknown at the time, because my client had not yet been formally evaluated.

My client could move to a Supportive Living Community that catered to individuals under the age of 65. “Supportive Living” is, in extremely general terms, an assisted living community that provides stand by (minimal), not hands-on care, with activities of daily living. When my client exhausted any available private funds, the client could remain there under Medicaid. The cost would be about $4,900 for the largest apartment available. The major problem was the community’s location as it was too far away from the family. There are only several Supportive Living communities that cater to the under 65 crowd, and none were conveniently located in this case.

I proposed that my client look at an apartment building for individuals over age 55 that had some handicapped accessible apartments. It had a non-medical home care agency inside the building that could accommodate on an a la carte basis any additional needs my client might have. That cost would be $2,495 plus the cost of non-medical home care services. In addition, the building had assisted living apartments available for approximately $4,400 a month. In my opinion, this is a very good option.

Last, my client could move to one of the many assisted living communities available in the Chicago metro area. The cost would begin at about $4,500 a month and increase depending upon how much help the client needed. What would be the major drawback? My client would be living with people in their late 70s and above, which would not be the best option for socialization.

At this point, my client has not toured all of the options. But my hunch is the decision will be based on convenience for the family to visit. No senior living option will ever be a Utopia. There will be positive and negative aspects to each. ADSLA specializes in identifying and helping clients to weigh all such pros and cons, so seniors and their families can avoid being caught in a proverbial box.

For all of your senior living needs, contact Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors. Call us at (708) 415-2934 or email us. Please visit our website. Please watch my video to learn how the process works and learn what some clients have to say.