I was hoping that the Chestnut Grove Assisted Living facility was going to have everything I was looking for as I searched for a place to move my mother. My first choice of a facility turned out to be a disappointment and Chestnut Grove was number two on my list. I had my list of questions and my camera when I went for a tour.
Chestnut Grove is a lot larger than it looks and it has a mix of residents. The apartments range from small a small studio unit to deluxe accommodations with two bedrooms. They are all spacious and have ample storage room, so even a small studio would be acceptable to residents who don't have that many personal belongings.
Chestnut Grove provides support for all the activities of daily living, including dressing assistance, medication management, bathing, toileting, laundry, recreational activities and of course, three meals a days. Cable TV is included in the monthly rate, but you have to provide your own telephone line. The rates were fairly high (approximately $4,000 a month and up) and I experienced sticker shock when I realized that my mother would probably be assessed at a higher level because she needed a little more care than most.
The nursing staff was cheerful and helpful, but they seemed uncomfortable when I wanted to take pictures of some of the areas in the facility. I was careful not have any residents in the pictures, but they still fussed whenever I whipped out my camera. To me, this was a red flag. What was it that they didn't want me to see? However, I quietly and quickly snapped my photos, since I wanted to rememeber what Chestnut Grove looked at. After visiting more than a dozen assisted living facilities, I was starting to forget which was which!
The residents who live there seemed happy and content. There is an Alzheimer's unit, so those with severe impairment are kept separate from the rest of the population. I chatted with some of the ladies about how they liked living there, and they all seemed to have favorable replies. The one thing three of the ladies mentioned was that they did not have enough activities during the day, and frequently, their bingo games were canceled.
Although this may seem like a minor thing, I knew my mother would never be happy in a facility that canceled bingo games! That, coupled with the high fees, made me put Chestnut Grove on the back burner for the time being. Although it was a very nice place with good support services, I decided to keep looking until I found a place that I knew would be ""home"" for my mom.