I recently experienced one of the most difficult placements since the opening of my business in 2006. Members of a family contacted me to place their elderly relative who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and disruptive behavior disorder. My prospect was 88, frail, ambulatory, prone to slapping other residents at the current community, and demanding one-on-one attention from the staff. Medicaid was the payor source in this situation. After two admissions to different hospital psychiatric units, my prospect was asked to leave the community.
I was able to identify four communities that would be able to handle these sorts of behaviors and accept Medicaid as a payor source. The first two had no Medicaid beds available. The third option wasn’t optimal due to the floor layout. My client was a pacer, and the hallways in this community were excessively long. Placement at the end of a long hallway would not allow the staff to keep an eye on my client and would increase the risk of falling if my client became tired. The last option had a special care unit that included a trained staff and activity programming to suit the issues I mentioned previously. The residents were separated into high, middle, and low functioning groups for meals and activities. The home had a very good reputation for being able to handle these sorts of issues. The problem was that the unit was not aesthetically appealing, with the carpet, doors, and hallways showing a lot of wear and tear.
When the family toured the community, my expectations of their reactions were correct. Less pretty than others, the look of the place gave them some misgivings. However, we were up against a release date from the hospital. I was able to convince the family to give the new community a trial run since they had successfully dealt with these sorts of residents in the past. They were also able to accept Medicaid.
Upon my last follow-up with my client’s family, they were very pleased with the new home. Their relative’s medications had been successfully stabilized, the staff was compassionate, and the appropriate activities were being provided for mental stimulation. In sum, the day-to-day quality of my client’s care proved far more important than the allure of new carpet and expensive wallpaper.
Contact Andrea Donovan if you are finding it difficult to place your loved one in an appropriate senior living arrangement.
Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors
361 Nuttall Road Riverside, IL 60546 708-442-7174 708-415-2934 (cell)