What to consider when choosing an Adult Family Home in the Bothell area

Choosing the right Adult Family Home for your loved one (or loved ones) takes preparation. What happens in reality is, however, a little more challenging because the availability of suitable residences might not coincide with the readiness of your loved one. Often, the time simply creeps by, and one day, it becomes a little urgent. Your loved one – and you, for different reasons perhaps – know that now is the right time for the Big Move. The time of life is often in parallel with one of the busiest stages of the family-building stages of the adult children who are leading the project. That then presents the challenge of balancing immediate child-rearing activities with the careful process of sourcing, understanding and selecting the ideal Adult Family Home for your loved one. The process is therefore often rushed, and when an available room opens up, it’s tempting to simply grab it and move your loved one in quickly. So, how do you avoid this type of situation? How do you examine alternatives, with a view to getting into the best place? Here are some of the salient factors to consider, and best steps to approach the process:

Get on a few Adult Family Home waiting lists

The typical Adult Family Home will have a waiting list of potential future residents. That list might only have one or two names on it, but it’s a great facility for the typical prospective resident because it allows them to have a potential “first mover” advantage whenever a room opens up as a vacancy. It’s a benefit for the managers of the Adult Family Home residence, too, because they can limit the number of empty slots as much as possible. In all cases, everyone benefits. It gives time, then, for the prospective resident to go visit that home, talk with the staff and managers, and make sure the fit is good, as well as to know well the place they will move into. It’s good to be ready, and this significantly lowers the levels of anxiety for everyone.

To get on a waiting list, you simply have to give an Adult Family Home a call. From there, it’s good to schedule an appointment, go for a tour, and let the managers know you, too, so that they are eager to call you when the time comes.

Talk directly with the staff to see who they are

I believe that, to see how you are going to be treated by a provider, first look at how the organization treats its employees. If the employees are fearful of their bosses and residence managers, then it is likely that’s how your loved one will at some point feel when the time comes for them to live at that residence.

it’s also important for the care givers to meet your loved one. The more that is familiar before the move, the easier the move will be. The care givers will also find it easier to take your loved one on board, if they know a little about them before they get there.

Document all medical and medication facts before the move

A major reason for a move to an Adult Family Home is that it has become increasingly challenging for you to take care of them full time at home. For the same reasons, your loved one is likely taking medications for several things. My own mother, who is in her mid-eighties now, still drives off to her bridge tournaments, the supermarket and hairdresser, but she is on seven different medications every day. That takes a bit of management, and for the moment, my sister has taken charge of helping there. She drives to my mother’s house every week and carefully sorts out the following week’s medications into a purpose-designed slot box. From there, it’s easier for my mother to take each day’s doses, and without getting confused. For many elderly, just managing those doses can be challenging. In an Adult Family Home, all that is taken care of. To help the staff in that effort, a clear table of what medications are taken is essential. It also must be completely up to date, and medications doses can change often at this stage of life.

Select and pack what your loved one will want to take with them

For some, it’s a few framed pictures. For others, it’s a large wardrobe of favorite clothes. And for others, it’s a musical instrument and a set of books. Whatever their favorite items are, be sure that these are packed and secured ahead of time, where possible. Obviously, you don’t want to pack their electric shaver three weeks before the move, but some things can definitely be packed ahead. This will make the move so much easier on the day.

Think about a gift for the Big Day

It can be an emotional move. When my own father moved into a nursing home, he somehow believed he would be coming back home after he ‘convalesced’ for a few weeks, but in reality – and we all knew this truth – he wouldn’t be coming back to live in his home of fifty plus years. We knew he had become too much of a care burden for my mother. She no longer had the strength nor the energy to look after all the needs of this man who was becoming more work to take care of as each week passed. Because of all that and more, the move into an Adult Family Home can be a deeply emotional experience. Your loved one may well believe that this is the ‘last chapter’ in some sense, and they will no longer be living with their extended family. It’s a big change, and one way to take a bit of the pain out of it is to create a beautiful, framed picture of the whole family together as a gift. Present it on the day of the Big Move, and encourage everyone to bring something to make the day special.

More next week!