To Charlie and others in similar situations, I feel the pain you all must be dealing with regarding placing a loved one in a home or nursing facility. To be brutally honest, it is not an easy or pleasant place to be and must say, an emotional rollercoaster awaits.
I went through this horribly tough time with my mom. She didn't do well living with my brothers, and even though we tried to make things comfortable for her, she wanted to live on her own. After several back and forths, a fall here and a forgetful moment there, my brothers and i figured it wasn't safe for mom to be on here own. Due to here physical and psychological ailments, we could not take care of her, and we had no choice but to place her in an ALF close to one of my brother's home. Hindsight, we should have done more research into services available and other ways to deal with the situation other than sticking mom in a home. Six months after checking into the ALF, she passed due to the negligence of the facility and her primary care physician.
My advise to you is this:
1. Research every available service you can get either for free or for a reasonable cost.
2. Avail yourself of any government program, facilities, service, or whatever, that you can qualify for.
3. If after all that you still have to place a parent in a home, make sure you check the facility out inside and out. Ask for records, licenses, employee information, and anything else that you can get your hands on. In my case, some of the employees were no qualified to work in the field and had little if any training. Basically, my mom fell, broke a leg, the facility waited 2 plus hours to contact me or call the ambulance. Results, mom passed within 24 of reaching the hospital.
4. If at all possible, keep close tabs on your loved one. Sometimes those who call themselves professionals are far from it.
After my very painful ordeal, I have decided to start a small business to help keep ALFs and nursing homes honest. Here in Florida, AHCA, who is supposed to regulate these facilities, is a joke. The state is trying to tie the hands of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and our elderly are going to suffer quite a bit unless we find a way to keep the systmen honest and our seniors safe.
My business is called the Center for Dispute Resolution and Public Advocacy. Among our services, we offer surrogate visitations. In essence, we serve as your eyes and ears and will visit your loved ones who may be residing in a nursing home, ALF, or other facility. Right now, CDRPA can only service Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties here in Florida but hopefully we can expand in the future. The surrogate visitation program will give you some peace of mind in that someone is keeping an eye on your loved one and relaying the information to you expediently. The cost, you might be wondering, is nominal. Email me at email@example.com and we can discuss the particulars.
Thanks and good luck to you all and if at all possible, keep mom and/or dad at home with you.