Placing A Parent in an Assisted Living Facility


Prestige Care Aventura Assisted Living Facility-min

Am I going to place my mom in an Assisted Living Facility? No way!

Placing your parent in an assisted living facility is an extremely hard decision for every party involved.

Mom or Dad have been living in their home for 20-30-40 years. A home in which they knew every corner, every spot on the wall, and every neighbor they said hi to on their way through the lobby each morning.

For them to leave their place and go to some institution is tough, very tough.

No matter how beautiful the place is; amazing lobby, beautiful lamps on the ceiling, marble on the walls, smiling and friendly staff – nothing is going to replace their home of many years.

There is another piece to this puzzle –  us. In addition to the important pieces listed above, we have another dilemma.

We love our parents, we know how hard they’ve worked to make our lives as best as humanly possible. How they didn’t sleep waiting for us to return home after a late-night party or how they waited for their daughter to deliver her first child, and everything other act of love they selflessly gave. But, now we have our own families, kids, jobs and cannot care for our parents 24/7. Now, we must make the decision of placing them in Assisted Living. We feel guilty – second guessing our decision thousands of times.

But, this is the reality and we must deal with it. God didn’t promise us that life was going to be easy.

Many, way too many, families are struggling and delaying making this decision month after month. We think that we are doing what’s best for our parents by doing everything we can to leave them in their homes even when they cannot take care of themselves.

We don’t want to admit it, but in reality, we are thinking about ourselves – we want to feel good.

When the time comes, we must take a clear and objective look at the situation. Of course, in some cases our parents can live at home with some help from a homecare agency, but the time comes when this is no longer the logical choice.

My close friend’s mother fell in her condo and was laying on the floor for two days before the Fire Department broke through the door and rescued her. She was hospitalized, got better, discharged and came back to her house. My question to her daughter was – “why don’t you want to place her in Assisted Living?” To which my friend answered – “no, that’s okay, she has a homecare agency taking care of her” … 3 hours a day every other day!

My next question is – what will happen if she falls again? Will she be able to wait two days for help to come while laying on the floor? Or, what exactly is she doing during the day between her aid’s visits? Does she have any social life, talk to other people, play games, listen to music? Just a few of the activities Assisted Living provides. And honestly, during her aid’s visit, how is she being entertained (besides laundry and cooking)? From my experience, most (not all) aids sit and play with their cellphones. Nobody is watching them – nobody is ensuring they give our parents the treatment they deserve.

After these important (and honestly obvious questions), my friend’s answer was…the usual – “my mom doesn’t want to leave her condo”. Sad.

When the situation is not objectively analyzed and the correct decision isn’t made, the

Best-case scenario is ending up in the hospital with broken bones. If they cannot completely recover due to old age we face the worst-case scenario – losing them.

Now, we must become ‘parents’ to our parents. There comes a time when we have to tell them what to do, as they used to tell us.

Talk to them, explain with love and understanding, make this transition as slowly as possible. The earlier we start this process, the less hurtful it will be for them and for us.

Our parents did everything possible to make us (their kids), happy, successful and safe. However, there comes a time when the roles are reversed, and all of a sudden, we find that our parents are not that “young” anymore. Now, we have to make them feel successful, happy, and safe.

As their children, we must decide whether it is safe to leave them at home, and if so how to make them safe there. On the other hand, we may decide that it is best if they move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. To place your parents in an assisted living facility is an extremely tough decision, both financially and most importantly emotionally, for both parents and us, their children. However, to protect them we must be responsible and, if needed, make this decision before it becomes too late.

We will discuss this tough and hot topic in the next issue of the Aventura News.

If our parents are still fortunate to be in a condition where they can continue to enjoy their home, we will discuss how to make them safe there as well.

This article is presented as a public service by: Prestige Care Aventura ALF- The Only Home Environment Assisted Living Facility in Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach and Hallandale. If you would like to schedule a tour or receive more information about Prestige Care Aventura ALF, please call at (305) 912-7799 or (954) 274-5879 or email at info@senioraventura.comto visit their website go to:

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  1. I have owned the Care Patrol Senior Advisors Franchise in Miami, Florida for almost six years now. This is never an easy decision, but at Care Patrol we make sure that we find the safest care options when families are looking for independent living, assisted living, memory care, and in-home care. Many times, the doctor tells the family that it’s just not safe for the parents to live at home. This is why my business gets busier right after the holidays. Adult children go home and realize that the parents are living in unsafe conditions. There could be falls risks, forgetfulness, isolation and loneliness, medication management issues, and hoarding concerns. When the doctor tells you it’s unsafe for the parents to live by themselves, there are so many alternatives out there it’s down-right confusing. To make matters worse, many people have no idea what assisted living actually is! Up until the 1980’s assisted living didn’t exist. This Scandinavian concept came into being and caught on quickly throughout the world. There is actually a continuum of care beginning with (usually) in-home care (which is quite costly). Next, independent living, where meals, snacks, laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, and socialization are offered (in addition to the home with all the utilities). Next is Assisted Living, which provides those things that independent does with the addition of help with the ADLs (or the activities of daily living in social worker speak) These are bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, ambulating, socializing, medication management. These are considered custodial care and they are paid for in a variety of ways (but not by insurance, unless you enviably have the ever-important long term care insurance policy). Other ways to pay for assisted living are from the sale of a home or other assets; savings, Veteran’s benefits, Life Insurance settlements, Medicaid Waiver, and the PACE program. Finally, there is nursing home care. This is what everyone hopes they never need. This is for the sickest of the sick: breathing tubes, feeding tubes, colostomy bags, catheters, sores, inability to ambulate, contagious diseases. This is paid for by Medicare for 3 months. If you have assets, you must pay after the three months of Medicare. The cost of nursing home care is $300 – $600 per day. If you do not have assets, Medicaid will pay. Assisted living is a home like setting and ranges from residential care homes with six residents to luxury lifestyles in continuing care retirement communities. To find a great community that fits your needs, preferences, and finances it’s always helpful to get assistance from a Certified Senior Advisor who is knowledgeable about the violation history, the turnover, the languages spoken, and the amenities provided. There is a lot to this subject! I wish I could be quoted a time or two (in a positive light). I live in Miami and I work Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and the Palm Beaches.

  2. The real solution is for parents to make their wishes known long before the need arises and for children to respect those wishes. Have the conversation with your children or your parents. If assisted living is an option, discuss it. Plenty of people are fine with it, while others would rather find a different solution.

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