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Moving is always a chore, but making a move into long-term care can be doubly stressful. There are several ways to make it as painless as possible:
Take a tour of any prospective community before you move. It's important to see directly how the staff operates a facility, how they interact with residents, the standards of food care, housekeeping, emergency preparedness and security that prevail, and so on. This can alert you to potential problems early.
Get pre-assessed by your doctor and a qualified assessor from the candidate community. This gives you a clear picture of medical and personal care needs that need to be met.
Start planning early and divide the move into discrete tasks. You can go room by room, and take it week by week to make those difficult decisions about how to downsize. If you start more than a month ahead of time, this will lighten the emotional load of the move as well as alleviating a lot of physical stress.
Don't be shy about rallying support. The more friends and family you can get to pitch in, the easier moving day itself will be. Don't forget that senior move managers specialise in precisely this kind of move and can be a major help.
The Genworth Cost of Care survey identifies the monthly cost of assisted living in Denver as $4,500, above the national average of $3,700. Colorado offers access through Medicaid and certain waivers to an Alternative Care Facilities program.
Different kinds of care are appropriate for different types and levels of need. Getting familiar with the alternatives to assisted living will help you decide if it's the best path for you.
One popular alternative that's well-supported in Denver is in-home care, which involves caregivers visiting seniors in their homes to offer various kinds of needed support. The In-Home Support Services program facilitates various kinds of in-home care through the Medicaid program Health First Colorado.
Nursing homes are at the other side of the care spectrum, providing round-the-clock nursing coverage. Some nursing homes are designated as "skilled" facilities and provide additional skilled nursing care along with rehabilitation services. Others provide secured units with close supervision for those who have dementia.
Adult foster care is similar to assisted living and is typically provided in a smaller, group-home type of environment. This is the type of care also known as an alternative care facility.
Independent living carries many different names in Colorado, including congregate living and retirement communities. On the whole, it's for seniors whose health and alertness is sufficient to live with minimal care and supervision.
When a home has everything from independent and assisted living through to nursing home care in one facility, it's called a continuing care retirement community. The idea is to provide progressive levels of care for individuals at various levels of need as they age, all conveniently located in the same place.