Clients and Health Care Professionals
felt truly "touched by an angel"
when I called About Elder Care. You gave
me the feeling that my situation with
my mother had priority and you couldn't
have responded better, faster or more
caring than you did. Thanks to you, I
made the right decision."
convinced myself that no facility would
accept my mother until the discharge planner
introduced me to About Elder Care. I am
pleased to report that they helped me
find a care home that accommodated all
of mom's needs and she is very happy.
I am pleased to recommend their services
"After my mother suffered
a stroke, I was unable to care for her.
Then like an answer to a prayer, About
Elder Care was there to help us. You helped
us find a loving and reputable board and
care home for her. Please keep helping
those who are in need and unable to help
Elder Care was so well organized, prompt,
caring, capable and knowledgeable... Because
of you assistance in finding a facility,
what could have been a sad time, became,
for Daddy and me, a grand adventure!"
Sacramento Bee, Sunday December 5, 1999/
- 'Aging of America' causes more long-term
care needs for the elderly
the Sacramento area and across America,
an unprecedented parent-child role reversal
is taking place for millions of families.The
impetus for this transition in family
relationships is a familiar subject for
magazine cover stories and health practitioners
a trend described as "the aging of
medical care and better living and eating
habits have resulted in longer life for
many United States citizens, but also
have presented new lifestyle challenges
for a growing population of older Americans
and their adult sons and daughters.
than 4.6 million Californians, for example,
are at least 60 years old. In Sacramento
and the surrounding counties, nearly 280,000
residents have celebrated their 60th birthday.
years ago, there were only 10 million
Americans over the age of 75. By 2000,
forecasters predict that this number will
surge to 17 million 75-year-olds. The
over-85 age group is growing even faster,
experts say, and will expand 40 percent
in the baby boomer generation are discovering
for the first time the realities of care
needs for aging parents. Some seniors
need assistance to shoulder the job of
maintaining a house or apartment, or even
carry on simple daily tasks such as cooking,
bathing, dressing, shopping and taking
Sacramento and nearby communities, increasing
numbers of offspring of aging parents
are suddenly confronted with a problem
they are ill prepared to solve finding
help or anew living environment for loved
ones who do not need nursing home care,
but do require assistance in everyday
viable solution for many families is provided
by a residential care facility for the
elderly, often described as a board-and-care
home or an assisted-living facility.
facilities are licensed by the California
Department of Social Services and provide
24-hour supervision and assistance.
the Sacramento area, there are more than
-500 such facilities in a variety of neighborhoods,
housing from two to more than 300 residents
living under one roof and sharing meals,
entertainment and social activities.
most people, the job of locating and choosing
an affordable and responsible facility
is a daunting one. There are some key
questions caregivers need to ask throughout
this process, which can be a difficult
and emotional experience for many:
does an individual or caregiver begin
the search for a residence?
Caregivers should contact local elder-care
consultants, social service organizations,
skilled nursing facilities, hospitals,
physicians or other medical professionals.
needs elder-care services? An elderly
individual who cannot safely live alone,
take care of food preparation, personal
hygiene, shopping or jobs such as paying
bills needs such services, as does someone
who reaches a point where he or she
has severe dementia.
different kinds of facilities are available
in Sacramento and nearby communities?
There are larger facilities, often referred
to as assisted-living residences, that
house 10 to more than 300 people, and
there are smaller housing units, sometimes
called board-and-care homes, that care
for two to six seniors.
any residential-care facilities specialize
in caring for elders with Alzheimer's?
Some do. Many employ staff members with
training and experience in supervising
and caring for seniors who are impaired
services do residential care facilities
for the elderly provide?
They should provide 24-hour supervision,
three meals a day plus snacks, special
diets for diabetics, assistance with
administering medications, laundry and
housekeeping service and help with bathing,
grooming and dressing. Some facilities
assist elders with bladder and bowel
incontinency and others who need close
supervision when walking or transferring
to and from a wheelchair.
facilities accept people who use walkers
Accredited residences must he licensed
for non-ambulatory individuals if they
accept people who need the support of
wheelchairs. Residents with walkers
who cannot vacate the facility in a
timely manner without assistance and
those with severe dementia are
is the range of costs care?
About $750 to $3,000 per month depending
on the facility and amount of care
required. Alzheimer's care facilities
will cost from about $1,500 per month
to $4,000 or more.
medical insurance co the cost of services?
No, but long-term care insurance policies
with a home-care or facility-care provision
or rider may pay for residential
Medical or Medicare I for care?
No, because residential care facilities
for the elderly are not health-care
facilities. However, Medicare does pay
for certain home-health medical services
provided by medical professionals to
residents. These services usually must
be approved by the resident's physician.
do you evaluate facilities?
Prepare a list of questions schedule
a tour of each facility.
Interview the owner or administrator
and observe residents to see if they
look content. Note the cost, location
and cleanliness of the residence.
Does it look secure? What is the quality
of the food'? What activities are offered'?
What is the staff's experience? Does
the staff speak English? Ask your elder-care
professional for a questionnaire as
a guide for your visit.
are the signs that a residence is being
managed in a responsible and reliable
A residence should he clean, with nice
furniture and surroundings, landscaping
and an outdoor area for residents. Residents
should look happy, healthy, clean and
are the signs that management is not
providing needed services?
Danger signs would be an unkempt, dirty
facility accompanied by bad odors. Residents
who look depressed, who are frail, have
poor personal hygiene and are loudly
complaining also may not he supervised
properly. Residents who refuse to eat
or take medication also may not be receiving
the specialized care they need.
The key to finding the best facility
is to discuss your loved one's needs
with a knowledgeable eldercare professional,
follow a checklist when you visit and
inspect a facility and ask for and demand
answers from administrators to the questions
Schreck is president of Elder Care
Referral Services in Sacramento.
His firm .specializes in providing free
counseling and elder-care facility
placement .services to families in Sacramento
and surrounding counties.
Schreck saw a need and filled it!"
" Senior Spotlight", a profile of an outstanding
person whose contributions make the community
a better place to live.
helps families sort through maze of residential