request for info re assisted living places in San Diego

mahatmacat1June 19, 2006

Hi--for my MIL we're needing to research assisted living in San Diego. If anyone has any leads on relatively affordable communities, I'd much appreciate it. I don't even know the questions or extra qualifications to be looking for yet. My BIL has power of attorney, not my DH, but we're trying to help. Thanks.

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Your BIL should contact the Council on Aging in that city. If he does not live in Calif, the power of attorney may not be valid. Go on line and type in assisted living, San Diego CA, or get a phone book. San Diego is a very large area, and very expensive. Transportation is not easy. How clost to medical is it and can/will they take new patients? There are a ton of things to check out, and compare--

Do a search on what quesions to ask and what to look for.
Good luck

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 5:14PM
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Thanks, Marie...He doesn't live in CA, but supposedly he got a POA...I'll ask him to make sure of that. We'll be doing all those things (contacting Council on Aging, etc.) but I was also just posting in the hope that someone lives in the area and has a few must-check-outs or must-avoids, iykwim...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Does she have anyone who lives in San Diego? If she has no family close by, then consider this temporary until she can be moved to somewhere close to one of her children.

I drove down to Arizona every month for 3+ years, sometimes with 2 hours notice, or caugt a plane at the last minute, because Mother did not live close to me. I moved her here, so she was 13 miles away, not 725 miles away. Saved my sanity for sure.

And make sure you have all the rest of the paperwork in order, not just a POA but everything else, and make sure that there is more than one name on those papers, in case one party cannot be available. If BIL is traveling in Italy, does DH have powers.

Power of attorney is one very small part of the entire package of papers. Of MIL has more than about $50K in assets, then she needs a trust. POA for health matters, someone on her checking account, etc etc.

Whew. It's a bug job. Is she just now leaving her private home because she needs to have assistance? Was it a health matter that brought this about, like cancer or something else that needs treatment? Was it general frailty? If it is Alzheimer's, then you're looking for specific places. Many AL facilities will not take AD patients due to not being able to make the property secure for those who may wander, as AD patients wil do.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 6:31PM
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Hey, fairegold,

Well, she moved out to SD on purpose to be by herself after a divorce, WAY not near any of the children. It's a bit of a problem because honestly, she's rather unpleasant and critical, and none of the kids can really stand being around her for any period of time. Really crushingly critical. She's gotten even more critical, if it's possible, and paranoid as early dementia has set in (they're not calling it Alzheimers, just dementia). She just a couple of weeks ago fell and broke her wrist and is in the hospital now. They're saying to my BIL that she's not able to go back to live by herself; so far I don't know anything more. Maybe as you describe, a situation near BIL might be a good idea, since he's the only one she really trusts (and even that, less, since the dementia). It would mean uprooting her, though, but hard decisions have to be made.

GOOD idea about more than one name on the papers. It should probably be SIL. I'm thinking that my BIL has this in hand already--he's pretty canny and aware of what needs to happen. At least up to this point. Now that she's crossed this point we all have to do some quick studying.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 7:42PM
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There are a number of different sorts of dementia, so she may or may not have AD, or be in the early stages. How old is she? Just being unpleasant isnt the worst thing in the world, altho there is obviously a sliding scale of unpleasantness, ranging from just mildly annoying to horrid. My mother was depressed and negative about everything, and I realized that Dad, beforw he died, had always been the pleasant, social part of the equation, and he kept her from being too bad. AFter he died, she was miserable. And told me so every day. Sigh.

OK, what to do with someone whom no one likes? You can check her into the AL home (will she recover from the broken bones enough to return to her home? What's THAT assessment?) and come out only for emergencies. As people get older, they tend to have more and more emergencies. At a certain stage, I figured that I had to be with Mother for every doctor visit she had, for every banking transaction, for more and more little things that she could no longer cope with. It would be a call to say that her TV was dead, and she needed to get a new one. She had merely hit the TV/VCR button (and there was no VCR) on the remote. I could not talk her thru it on the phone, and so I'd go over there and tell her that I needed to replace the battery in the remote, when all I really did was hit the TV button to make the remote work again. See what I mean?

So you can leave her far away from family, by her own choice, but somewhere down the road, if she indeed does have dementia, AD or not, you'll find that family members will spend more and more time on a plane and in a hotel dealing with her problems.

I understand all too well all the people in retirement homes or AL facilities or nursing homes who complain that their families are not visiting. Between you and me, many of these people have been unpleasant and actively driven off their families. Or their families just don't try to push thru just enough to make a compromise. As in, yeah, mother is a PITA but at least I can sleep at night because I see her for lunch once a week. Some people (and this is not a negative, IMHO) can sleep at night anyway, just knowing that Mother is housed, fed and safe.

Families all deal with these things differently.

Good luck. This isn't easy, nor are there any 'correct' answers.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 12:27AM
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Thanks, fairegold. It's very different from my mother and her 10 year decline from Parkinson's. She stayed at home (except for hospital visits) until the very end. The problems DH and his siblings have with their mom are pretty darn far off the horrid end of the scale, but we don't have to go into that...

I do take your excellent point about the distance being a problem when emergencies come up increasingly often. I'll bring that up with DH possibly to suggest to BIL. I found a free local (S.D.) referral service--so that's a place to start, with an evaluative eye, of course.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 12:54AM
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I also think that you, well not you but the BIL, should do serious evaluation about whether she's going to fully recover from this set-back or not. If she oonly needs assistance while she is healing, then what happens when she is better? Back to her apartment? There are levels of services available. At the least, there are senior-retirement communities, which will offer some group meals and activities and transportation. Then Assisted Living in a broad range of facilities ranging from large life-care places to small board-and-care homes. Lots of AD patients wind up in the small homes. And then there are the skilled niursing facilities, suitable for patients who really need more care.

You're also looking for a place with re-hab services, so that she can (ideally) recover to her former level of functioning.

So the first thing your BIL needs to understand is what the doc meaans when he says she can't go back to living by herself. No, she cannot be released from the hospital to return to living alone. But what's a longer view of the situation? That might require a sit-down with the doctor and the case worker at the hospital. And more doctor visits for deeper assessment.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:30AM
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Fairegold, we gave BIL your advice about increasing number of emergencies (he happened to be over in SD from Boston because of this emergency...) -- and also my DH gave him the referral service lead I'd found -- he had a talk with the hospital placement counselor today, but we haven't been able to get to talk to him since then, so we're waiting to hear exactly what the hospital is thinking about what "not living by herself" means...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:59PM
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Your BIL will have his hands full, that much is for certain! Let us know how things progress.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 9:28AM
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They have *already* found her a place, can you believe it? It sounds like an upscale board and care place, a second unit that the group is opening, and my MIL and another gentleman will be the first in there. They're evidently *really* concerned with compatibility--so they're happy that my MIL, who was a highly educated dietician and fairly liberal, will be a good fit with the man, who was a college professor and evidently very liberal :). My BIL, who is a professional consumer advocate, was completely comfortable and impressed after he checked them out.

WOW. This step, at least, has been easier than almost anything was with my mom. I wish this forum had been around when we were all going through that.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 12:35PM
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