by Dedra Jize, OT, CSA
Geriatric Care Manager, Law Offices of Roy W. Litherland
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” – Maya Angelou
If you or a loved one are considering a move to a senior community, it’s important to start with a conversation to determine the wants, wishes and needs for that new home. Depending on the urgency of the matter, this talk can be done over a cup of coffee or may consist of many discussions over several months.
Is it time for a simpler life? Do you want to live where meals are served, housekeeping is left to someone else and ‘movie night’ is just a stroll down the hall (popcorn included)? Maybe you desire not to deal with home repairs, contractors or repair men. Perhaps making new friends while doing the activities you enjoy such as travel, going to the gym, playing cards, swimming or other activities sounds attractive to you.
Is there a ‘need’ to move to a safer place? Do you need a place that serves healthy meals, administers medications appropriately, and has someone to check on your well-being? Maybe you stopped driving, are feeling isolated, or are struggling with depression and sadness, and you want to improve your quality of life. Perhaps, you only need help in the morning to get showered and dressed and then you’re off doing the things you enjoy for the day. Maybe it’s the peace of mind that there is someone just down the hall that can help you in an emergency.
Do you need additional daily assistance? Perhaps you’ve been living in your home of 30 years, hired a gardener and housekeeper, hired caregivers to assist you eight or more hours every day, and you still find yourself calling your children for help and find you need more assistance. You may have a health condition that requires a nurse to come out weekly or the caregiver isn’t able to provide the exercise/stretching/moving that you need. You find yourself lying in bed more often and not able to get up and out without help. Although your wish is to remain at home, you see it’s not working out like you envisioned.
What I have essentially described here are the three different levels of care that you will come across when touring senior communities: Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing. Some communities will have all three levels of care (called CCRC’s: Continuing Care Retirement Communities), but most will only have the Independent and Assisted level of care. Still, it is very confusing as you investigate what is available. What is the base price? What are all those add-ons to the price? What is a community fee? What is a move-in fee? What is a buy-in? Is there a waiting list? What is best for you? How will you afford this?
Senior living communities are very competitive and vying for your business. There are many types with different community set-ups, geographical locations and amenities, as well as the possibility of government assistance to help pay.
Contact our Geriatric Care Manger, Dedra Jize, at (408) 356-9200 or (831) 476-2400 to assist you with your senior living community transition. Dedra offers a free 15-minute consultation to determine how she may be able to help you.
ABOUT THE LAW OFFICE OF ROY W. LITHERLAND
Roy W. Litherland is an attorney whose practice emphasizes elder law and estate planning. Roy has practiced law in the greater Bay Area for over 35 years and is certified as a legal specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. In addition to his extensive legal background, Roy was also previously licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. Although Roy has an extensive background in accounting, he retired his license to practice as a CPA to devote his time and energy entirely to the practice of law, specializing in estate planning, trusts, Medi-Cal planning, and probate. Roy is a noted speaker on living trusts, Medi-Cal Planning, and estate planning. He is a member and designated Fellow of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, an organization that fosters excellence in estate planning.
Dedra Jize joined the Law Office of Roy W. Litherland in February 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University and is a Certified Senior Advisor and Geriatric Care Manager. Dedra has worked as a Caregiver Support Coordinator and Activity Assistant for the Alzheimer’s Activity Center in San Jose, as a Foster Care Provider with Advent Group Ministries, and as an Occupational Therapist at Good Samaritan Hospital. Dedra works to help our senior clients and their families with Medicare issues, and Medi-Cal applications and representations. She provides psycho-social assessments of health care needs, develop individualized plans for care, evaluate the specific needs of clients, and makes recommendations when applicable for home care services, independent living communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing facilities. Her goal in working with clients is to advocate on behalf of the senior, and to enhance the quality of life of both the older adult and his or her family.
The Law Office of Roy W. Litherland is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.