Sunday, July 22, 2012

What is Dementia? What Causes Dementia?

Dementia does not refer to a disease itself.  Rather, the term dementia refers to a multitude of symptoms that may manifest in various ways.  Some symptoms include confusion, short-term memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, mood swings, forgetting names, difficulty with language, disorientation in familiar surroundings, personality changes, etc.  In essence, when someone is said to have "dementia" they are manifesting certain symptoms rather than a disease.

Dementia is caused when certain areas of the brain associated with language, memory, learning, and decision making are affected by certain conditions or diseases.  Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and is responsible for 50-70% of dementia cases.  Other causes of dementia include stroke, head injury, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.

Finding elder care for seniors with dementia can be challenging.  If an assisted living facility has a tiered level-of-care rate structure the cost of assisted living for seniors with dementia may be high.  However, some Santa Rosa assisted living facilities excel in dementia care and provide flat-rate pricing.  Contact us and let Accessible Elder Care help you find a great assisted living facility that can meet both your elder care needs and budget.

Small vs. Large Assisted Living Facilities

Some people have to make a choice: should we select a small or large assisted living facility?  Small assisted living facilities have 6 or fewer beds.  They are often occupied by the owner who also acts as a caregiver.  Also, small assisted living facilities are usually not custom built; they are regular single family houses that have been remodeled to accommodate 6 residents.  Consequently, some rooms and bathrooms are usually shared.  In contrast, large assisted living facilities have both shared and private rooms.  They are custom-built facilities owned by legal entities, hire staff ranging from caregivers to landscapers, and have extensive activity schedules.

Small assisted living facilities are usually cheaper than larger assisted living facilities.  Since they are typically occupied by the owners, are far greater in number, and are not custom-built they are usually less expensive.  The vast number of small assisted living facilities in Santa Rosa are the reason why the median cost of assisted living in Santa Rosa is $4,125 per month.  Many of these smaller assisted living facilities charge between $3,000 to $4,000 per month.  However, some smaller assisted living facilities are poor; they deliver sub par personal care or maintain hazardous conditions.  If you are considering a smaller assisted living facility call Accessible Elder Care at (707) 237-2750 for free placement assistance and advice.  We've evaluated Santa Rosa assisted living facilities and can guide you to the right one.

Larger assisted living facilities are expensive.  They usually charge a tiered rate that increases with the level of care rendered.  For residents with dementia that require frequent personal care this rate structure can cost more than $8,000 per month in larger assisted living facilities.  In addition, some larger assisted living facilities are reluctant to accept residents with poor mobility or advanced dementia.  However, seniors with fair mental functioning and good mobility will benefit from the social atmosphere and tasteful surroundings of a larger assisted living facility.

If you need help finding a Santa Rosa assisted living facility call us at (707) 237-2750 for free placement assistance.

What Does A Placement Agency Do?

A placement agency helps family members find an assisted living facility that can provide the required level of care at a rate that the senior can afford.  Specifically, an elder care placement agent should personally meet with you to evaluate the senior seeking placement.  This is very important since the placement agent is looking for things like severity of dementia, physical limitations, aggressive behaviors, etc. that the administrator of an assisted living facility will look for during the assessment that they will perform before admitting a resident.  This personal meeting and evaluation helps the placement agent refer you to assisted living facilities that can provide the level of care that your loved one requires.  Also, the placement agent will learn more about your budget and what you're looking for in an assisted living facility.  After this personal meeting the placement agent will call assisted living facilities that they have already evaluated and believe will be a good match for your loved one to inquire about room availability and to confirm the rate that the placement agent has on file.  After making these inquiries the placement agent will provide you with a short list of assisted living facilities that meet your criteria.  You can call these facilities and schedule tours, and if you like the placement agent can accompany you.  Once you've toured as many assisted living facilities as you care to, you and your loved one can select one.  Lastly, the placement agent will help guide you through the admission process.

The best part is that there is no charge to you for all of this work.  The placement agent is paid a referral fee by the care home that you select.  

Accessible Elder Care is a Santa Rosa placement agency.  Call us at (707) 237-2750 to get help today!

What Is A Santa Rosa Assisted Living Facility?

There's a lot of terminology out there.  Assisted living, independent living, long-term care, nursing homes, care homes, etc.  Keeping it all straight can be difficult, but this post should clear things up.

Assisted living is a general term that encompasses residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE's), more commonly known as care homes.  Assisted living facilities provide non-medical personal care in a residential setting.  In contrast, nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities (SNF's) provide medical care.  Hence, the distinguishing feature between assisted living facilities and nursing homes is the provision of medical care.  Assisted living facilities will provide assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL's).  An assisted living facility will aid a resident in eating, bathing, transportation, etc, but will not provide medical care.  Similarly, "independent living" or "retirement communities" that provide personal care services like eating, bathing, transportation, etc. are also assisted living facilities.  To recap, if the long-term care facility is providing non-medical personal care services, it is an assisted living facility.  However, if the long-term care facility is providing medical care, it is a nursing home.

How Much Does Assisted Living In Santa Rosa, CA Cost?

Assisted living in Santa Rosa, CA can be expensive.  Set in the heart of the wine country, Santa Rosa is home to high real estate prices.  As a result, Santa Rosa assisted living facilities are generally more expensive than similar assisted living facilities in California.  According to a national survey, the median monthly cost of assisted living in Santa Rosa is $4,125, and the median annual cost of assisted living in Santa Rosa is $49,500.  In contrast, the median monthly cost of assisted living in California is $3,500, and the median annual cost of assisted living in California is $42,000.  Therefore, the cost of assisted living in Santa Rosa is slightly more expensive than elsewhere in California.

Using a free placement agency can help you choose a Santa Rosa assisted living facility that meets both your needs and budget.  We have evaluated many Santa Rosa assisted living facilities so we know which facility can care for your loved one.  Call us at (707) 237-2750 & let us help you find the right Santa Rosa assisted living facility.