Finding the Right Place to Live

Although living independently is the goal of most, there are times and circumstances which cause on to see if there are alternative living options which better meet the needs of the person. Whether illness, disability, dementia, loss of a spouse, aging or loneliness, there are other options than living alone.

In assessing ones living situation, a common process is to look into Activities of Daily Living. These are the various functions that one needs to successfully carry out to be able to live independently. ADLs include housework, meal preparation, shopping, managing money, communication outside the home, safety, transportation. Socialization is another key ingredient to successful living. As people age or become ill or disabled, if there is more than one person living together, these ADLs may be shared with one being done by one person and another by someone else. Often, the loss of a spouse means that the stress of all of the ADLs fall to the survivor.

If there are children they too may pick up some of the responsibilities. However, because of illness, disability, dementia, loss of a spouse, aging or loneliness other living arrangements may need to be explored, either for a temporary solution or as a lasting arrangement. It is sometimes helpful to utilize a professional in both assessing ADLs and exploring other living arrangements. Hospital social workers and discharge planner, primary care physicians, and community agencies are available to assist in this process.

A range of living arrangements include: In-home assistance, such as home health assistance, caregivers, hospice Skilled Nursing Facilities, often used for physical rehabilitation following hospitalization Nursing Homes Retirement Facilities, some offer a range from independent apartments to assisted living to skilled nursing to memory care units Assisted Living, with a variety of support services such as medications, cleaning, meals, etc. Adult Family Homes, private homes with facilities to take care of a small number of adults including assisted living services, usually owner operated Cost is a major factor in pursuing alternative living arrangements.

Medicare and Medicaid have very limited sources for these arrangements particularly if they are long term. Long term care insurance is a significant assistance if available.

The basic steps are: an assessment of ADLs, exploring options, determine the costs of various options.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church ~ San Lucas Iglesia Episcopal © Page 2 www.medicare.gov/ INFORMATION ON WHAT MEDICARE WILL PAY. www.hrsa.dshs.wa.gov Information on Medicaid in the state of Washington www.acaringchoiceagency.comA local agency with assessment services as well as knowledge of local living options www.helpingelders.org Southwest Washington Agency on Aging and Disabilities –a public service agency solely dedicated to helping persons aged 60 and over, adults with disabilities and their families to access needed community services in Clark Senior Information and Assistance. Senior Information & Assistance offices arelocated in Vancouver, Kelso, Goldendale, Stevenson, and White Salmon. www.retirenet.com/location/communities/239-washington A listing of the retirement community options in this area.