Medicare stopped paying for my dad’s rehab care at the nursing home. 100 days had passed and he wasn’t “progressing enough with his physical therapy,” which meant Medicare wasn’t going to pay any longer. We needed to find a place for my dad who still needed a lot of care, nearly 24/7 mainly because of injury induced dementia combined with his invincible spirit… “I was just practicing walking without my walker.”
If we were going to move my dad into an assisted living home I needed to know he’d not only be safe, but very well cared for and well, as happy as possible. How were we going to do that?
In Washington state, the Department of Social and Health Services allowed me to search for living options based on zip code as well as for facilities that accept Medicaid. Once I had a list narrowed down, I could view the “Reports and Inspection Letters” which allowed me to see the facility’s history of Inspections, Investigations and Enforcement Actions. This information helped narrow my list. From there I called to check on availability and get a sense of who was running the home. If it seemed like a possibility, I scheduled a visit. Through this process I was able to find what ended up to be a good fit for our dad.
- To understand more about assisted living homes, here are some key assisted living facility stats from the National Center for Assisted Living
- You can check facility care reports with your state agency. Find out what that is in your state at after55.com
- This booklet has great information to assist with your search: Choosing Care in an Adult Family Home or Assisted Living Facility
- As you visit facilities, it’s helpful to keep track of the information in a Housing Comparison chart.
May you find joy in loving one another well!
Elizabeth Dameron-Drew is a contributor to Ways & Wane. She walked closely with her own father through his years of waning. She lives near Seattle, Washington with her two teenage sons, husband and two rescue dogs. When she’s not working on this platform she’s probably creating books, sewing, or vacuuming, or cooking while listening to the rain and thinking about her next creative endeavor.