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CCRC vs Memory Care?
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 1:24 PM
Joined: 9/3/2019
Posts: 3

This is my first post. Mom is 75; I moved her to a CCRC 2.5 yrs ago. My father is already gone & I'm an only child. We have no other family. 

I thought the CCRC was the magic answer - that she would have whatever care she would need without ever having to move. (This CCRC is non-profit.) After lurking on this board for a few days, it got me wondering. So I started Googling "alzheimers care" and "memory care" in our area, and the CCRC my mom is at very rarely populates. I went back to the CCRC website (the paper packet is at home) and there is no mention of memory or Alzheimer's-specific services. So now I don't know if they don't provide care for these issues or didn't want to scare potential residents on their website. 

Is there a big difference? Did I make the wrong choice? She had enough money to sign the long-term contract (5 years up front) and we were told if/when she runs out of money, she can stay (which then and now still sounds too good to be true). Mom is starting to show more signs - frustration, demands of the staff, not returning to the bus when they need to leave a store, etc. I know if we have to move her from the Independent Living to the Assisted/Skilled Nursing side of the CCRC what money she does have will go very fast. This discussion board is making me fear at some point they will tell us she has to move - which we cannot afford. Help, please!

Rescue mom
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 1:50 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1500

I don’t know the facility you’re talking about, but I can tell you that Assisted Living is often not enough care needed to deal with moderate or later Alzheimer’s.

Assisted Living is usually for patients who are self-directed—they know they need help with things, and will ask for it. They know they need to bathe, eat, take meds, etc., and know to ask for help with that. They know what needs to be done, they have some more physical problem doing it.

Most Alzheimer’s patients don’t know what they need. They don’t know, or can’t remember, to  bathe, take meds, dress right, eat, etc. They do not ask for help, and may actually fight bathing or toileting.  They may wander away. ALFs are not usually set up or staffed for that. Or, for example, they will help you bathe if asked, but they don’t keep up with whether you bathed or not.

That said, some ALFs offer tiered services, or some blended services or levels of help for Alzheimer’s, but the price is always higher as the needed help increases, IME.

So many people go into CCRC with ALFs thinking they will not have to move, but I’ve seen sooo many who DID have to move because Assisted Living did not provide enough help for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Many people don’t realize the difference until they have to.

If you have not yet talked to a lawyer about Medicaid, from what you said, I’d say you need to do that yesterday.

OTOH, if she never develops Alzheimer’s or dementia, assisted living may well be all she needs.

If your facility does not mention Memory Care (For Alzheimer’s and dementia) or Use those words, I’d be concerned. And them saying she can stay even if she runs out of money, just sounds like....not believable, unless you already have some Medicaid flowing. A place that cares for you even when not paid? That, unusual, and as you say, red flag, unless you have some other kind of payment or deal to offer them.

Rescue mom
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 2:15 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1500

A good source for finding facilities, and what kind of services the facilities offer, is your local Alzheimer’s Association. They can give you comprehensive lists and explain the various types of facilities, at no cost to you. They will not recommend one over another, but they can help you decipher which one does what, at what costs.

That could help she’d some light on the facility you have now. You can google to find your local Alzheimer’s Association.

And again, if your mom does not get Alzheimer’s or dementia, Assisted Living could well be all she needs. 

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:02 PM
Joined: 9/3/2019
Posts: 3

Thank you for this suggestion. However, the closest Alzheimer's Society to us is 90 minutes away.
Rescue mom
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:09 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1500

They emailed some lists to me, IIRC.....but I may misremember that.
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:38 PM
Joined: 3/25/2015
Posts: 673

A continuing care retirement committee has various 'levels', such as independent living, assisted living, and nursing home. They may also have memory care. 

My mom was in a CCRC that had all four levels. She went directly from AL to the nursing home (healthcare center). (She began in AL, not independent.) She had dementia but was calm, cooperative, and did not wander. She did not have needs specifically requiring memory care. She was quite frail and needed assistance with mobility and ADLs, and the nursing home cared for her very well. 

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 4:44 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18542

You very well may have a "mis-placed" mother but let's start with has your mother been diagnosed following current correct protocol?
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