Tragedy in Loomis

Scary news out of Loomis, California. Two residents have passed away and four other people are hospitalized after eating soup made by one of the employees. Early reports seem to suggest a well intentioned employee made soup using toxic mushrooms – a sad reminder that food safety regulations must be followed closely.

Our prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Updated information on the tragedy can be found here.

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I know I need to, but how do I begin the search process?

You’ve made the difficult decision and you know it is time for mom or dad to go to an assisted living facility.  So now what?
This is a very emotional time which may lead to rushed decisions.  Can we afford this? Will Mom be happy here?  Where do I even start? 
To avoid this, we recommend taking an analytical approach to your facility selection.  There will be some subjectivity and often more than one right answer – it is important to understand what the trade offs are, to gather as much information as possible, and to ask the right questions.
So let’s begin.  Start with a grid or matrix, pen and paper, excel spreadsheet, whatever is most comfortable.  List out the top five features that are most important.  Maybe it is driving distance, elements of independence like a supervised kitchen, or a specific level of care that is reassuring.  Put these in rank order of importance.  Use these as the foundation for questions to ask the executive director or marketing director at each facility.  Some additional criteria that we would want to consider:
  • Quality of care: First and foremost, do you think they have the training and commitment to take care of someone that is so important to you.  You should not consider any facilities that fail this most basic test.
  • Cost: Assisted Living is an expensive proposition – does the facility fit into your financial plan that will allow your loved one to stay here as long as necessary?  Remember, this is replacing 100% of their living expenses.  Costs can range quite a bit, from $2000-8000 in some cases.
  • Location: Is the facility near the siblings and friends that are most likely to visit, equidistant to all interested parties, near your loved ones favorite setting (e.g., near mountains, by a lake, in the city). 
  • Extras: There is a lot in this bucket (e.g., “newness” of the facilities, food options, exercise activities, entertainment options, outings for events or shopping trips). If any of these are extremely important to you, give them their own evaluation bucket.  In general, these will have a big impact on the quality of life of your loved one and will help you decide between facilities that have sufficient quality of care and are within your budget.

If this raises any questions, let us know.  Also, look for posts in the coming weeks where we dissect each of these buckets in more detail and also talk about how we plan to help make it easier on you to compare facilities and get your loved one “Living Assisted.”

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The official launch – continued…

This is the other half of the Living Assisted team.  I’m also excited to finally get this project off the ground. 

Four years ago, my grandpa began having “mini strokes” and in short order he had to move from his Florida condo to an assisted care facility.  I watched as my Parents, Aunts, and Uncles spent countless hours trying to determine what would be the best fit for him taking into consideration the type of care that would meet his needs, the quality of care and facilities, the location, and, not least of all, the cost.  With a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, he landed at a brand new facility in Chicago minutes away from several family members (including myself!) that were able to visit frequently.  My grandfather was a real family man and I truly believe that the extra family exposure extended his final years and made them more enjoyable for him as well.

One fact that was clear from my grandpa’s experience is that the available resources to support your search to select and get the most out of an assisted living facility are lacking.  Over the next few weeks (and hopefully months and years), we look forward to bringing you our insights into this complicated web with the hope that it will help you successfully navigate the Assisted Living landscape and find the best place for your loved one much like my family was able to do for my grandpa.

And thinking of grandpa, I’ll leave you with a link to one of his favorite tunes that brings back fond memories – An Irish Lullaby.

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The official launch of Living Assisted

So tonight I decided it was time to begin. As an entrepreneur from Texas, I knew it was only a matter of time before this happened. I love solving problems. And after learning about the senior living industry, I became frustrated.

I wanted to start this with a friend, so here we are, equal partners. This is dedicated to changing assisted living. Because it should be about living, first. The smell of a fresh baked pie from the kitchen. Those first rays of sunlight on a spring morning. Sharing the twists and turns of a book with a friend. And assisted, the care should always be there, excellence in nursing, passion for taking care of people. We should expect nothing less for our sisters, mothers, grandmothers.

We want this to be educational, informative, entertaining, and most importantly to stir up beautiful memories of the past. We are here to make sure you can trust that living comes first, assistance a close second.

To our grandmothers, grandfathers, moms and dads, and to our friends who said it is time to stop talking about this and make it a reality. Help us make this a success! Living Assisted

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