tag: assisted living

Finding The Best Dementia Care Facility

Assisted Living , daily lfe , Dementia , Senior Care     no comments    

Dementia is a term for mental decline that is severe enough to interfere with the activities of daily living. The most common type of elderly dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are many other causes. Elderly dementia itself is not a disease, but it is a term that encompasses a wide range of symptoms.

When to Look for Help
It can be difficult to decide when a loved one with dementia should no longer live on their own. Many people with various forms of elderly dementia can live independently for years with the right support and memory aids.
Eventually your family member will need to be moved to a facility, but knowing when is difficult. This is especially true since many people with elderly dementia will often conceal their struggles. The following are some signs to be on the lookout for:
They are no longer sending letters of birthday cards regularly.
They have stopped initiating phone calls.
They are in a hurry to get off the phone every time you talk.
They are making calls at strange hours for non-emergencies.
When elderly dementia progresses, it can become difficult to carry out the steps needed to write and send a letter. Losing the ability to carry on longer conversations and communicate with letters can mean that they are also struggling with driving and cooking. When someone is struggling with self-care tasks, you might see some of the following:
Their weight is changing without explanation.
They don’t dress appropriately for the occasion or the weather.
Their clothes do not look clean or they smell.
While the previous signs indicate your loved one might be losing the ability to care for themselves on their own, the most obvious signs are much more serious. Any of these could indicate your loved one is no longer safe at home and needs to be moved to a senior care facility as soon as possible:
Having the utilities turned off because the bills are not paid.
Evidence of donations to charities your loved one does not have a history of supporting.
Robbery caused by doors being left unlocked or because of people they are letting into their home.
Getting lost of wandering off.
Choosing an Elderly Dementia Facility
One of the most important considerations is whether the senior care facility you choose cares for people with all stages of dementia. You don’t want to place them somewhere and then have to move them again when their disease progresses. This could be both frightening and heartbreaking, so make sure they can stay in their new Costa Mesa or Yorba Linda home for the rest of their lives.
You want to choose a senior care facility where the staff is specifically trained to care for individuals with dementia, and they can handle the associated behaviors such as combativeness and sun downing.
There should be specific safety precautions in place for these patients to prevent them from wandering, and these can include locked dementia units or personal monitoring systems.
Paying for Elderly Dementia Senior Care
The majority of families pay for their loved one’s residential care themselves. There are benefits that cover residential senior care, and those include long-term care insurance, Veterans benefits, and Medicaid. Medicare only pays for short-term skilled care and does not pay for the cost of long-term residential care.
At Senior Home Advocates, we have the expertise and experience to help you make the best decisions possible for your loved one with elderly dementia. We’re a comprehensive senior care agency, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

What to Look for in a Facility

Assisted Living , blog , Senior Care     no comments    

Trying to find the right care facility for your senior can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Cost, level of care, and environment are just a few of the factors you need to take account when trying to find a new home for your senior. Knowing what to look for and knowing which questions to ask when visiting facilities can make the process easier for you.

The first step is knowing where to look. There are so many options out there that you can feel overwhelmed before you even get started. Here are a few ways to start to narrow down your search.

  • Distance-Begin by looking in an area close to family and friends. It is easier for friends and family to visit a loved one if the facility is conveniently located.
  • Referrals- Ask the people you know if they have any recommendations. Does your family physician or specialist have a facility they recommend? Have your friends had experience with different facilities? Hearing about experiences from others can help you decide what you want for your loved one.
  • Medical Needs- What specific medical needs does your senior have? Do they have a special condition that requires special care? You want to make sure that the facility has experience and is capable of providing that care.

Once you begin your search and find a few facilities that you think fit the needs of your senior, there are some things you need to look for in the facility itself.

  • Cleanliness- Is the facility well-kept? Does it appear clean and neat? If you can smell urine or if there is a strong deodorizer attempting to mask the smell of urine, this can be a red flag.


  • Food- Pay attention to the food that is being served. Does it appear fresh, nutritious, and appetizing? If your loved one has special dietary needs, be sure to ask the facility how they accommodate those needs. Also take note of what kind of assistance is available during meals.
  • Arrangement- This varies depending on the type of facility. Nursing homes tend to resemble medical facilities with centralized nursing stations, whereas residential care facilities have a more homely feel. Larger assisted living facilities tend to have apartment style living. When deciding on a facility, it is important to take your senior’s preference for living arrangement into consideration.
  • Activities- Be sure to ask about the activities offered by the facility. Cognitive activities are important to maintaining your senior’s mental health, just like exercise is important to maintain their physical health. Also, ask if they take the residents out on weekly or monthly trips. These trips can be a fun opportunity for your senior to get out of the facility.

The quality of the staff and caregivers is a crucial factor when choosing a new home for your senior.  It is importantPathways_to_Care_Senior_with_Caregiver_14 to get a feel for the staff and caregivers when you visit the facility. It can be hard to know what to look for, so here’s a short list to help you get started.

  • Staffing- How many caregivers and staff members does the facility have? Do they have 24 hour awake staff? How many staff members and caregivers are there on weekdays, weekends, and in the evenings? What is the staff or caregiver turnover rate?
  • Interaction with You- When you go to visit the facility take note of how the staff interact with you. If you are visiting a smaller facility, such as a residential care facility, you will most likely meet with the owner. Are they rude and trying to rush through the meeting? Or are they kind, friendly, and helpful? Do they want to discuss how they would handle your senior’s medications, health condition, and possible emergencies?
  • Interactions with Residents- How does the staff interact with the current residents? Are they warm and kind? Do the residents appear happy and engaged with the caregivers? See if you can observe a meal. Are the caregivers there to assist those who need help with eating and mobility?

Even with these tips, finding a home for your senior can be overwhelming and difficult. We at Senior Home Advocates are here to assist you with your search. Give us a call at (714) 793-0527 for your free consultation to learn how we can help you find the next home for your elderly loved one.

What Are The Financial Risks The Elderly Face When Living Alone?

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It can be easy to overlook the financial risks the elderly face when living alone, especially when considering the more obvious emotional and physical risks. Don’t forget, the financial risks can be just as serious and shouldn’t be ignored. As their mental and physical abilities decline with age, seniors can become easy targets for financial scams and fraud. They can also lose the ability to responsibly manage their finances.


Fraud can take place over the phone, through mail, or face-to-face. Some common scams to watch out for involve prizes and sweepstakes, investments, charity contributions, health and life insurance, home repairs and travel packages. Some offenders will use their charisma or false concern for the senior’s well-being to gain trust.  Others may rely on the trusted bond of a financial planner or annuity agent to gain the trust of the elderly, and then they make false representations regarding the senior’s finances and retirement funds. If your loved one mentions winning a prize or any other one of these common scam opportunities, be aware and look into it immediately.

Even if your loved one does not fall victim to a financial scam, they may still need additional assistance if they cannot manage their financial affairs responsibly. These are several red flags you can look for which may mean that your elderly loved one is mishandling their finances.

  • Unopened mail is piling up in their house: If you are noticing large piles of unsorted and unopened mail that appear to be bills and statements from mortgage and credit card companies, it could be a warning sign that your senior is physically or mentally incapable of accomplishing the monthly task of paying bills.
  • They are forgetful about cash: Have you noticed your loved one forgetting how much cash they have and when they go to pay for something they realize they don’t have enough money? You may also find stacks of undeposited checks lying around their house. This could be a sign that they cannot physically make the trips to the bank or ATM to deposit checks and take out cash, or that they cannot mentally keep track of their day to day expenses.
  •  Creditors are calling repeatedly: You can check the phone logs to see if creditors have been making repeated phone calls to your loved one. These calls may be from credit card companies or from household help, and can be a sign that your senior is not paying their bills in a timely fashion.
  • They are making expensive new purchases: While your loved one has the right to splurge occasionally, you should pay attention if they continue to make numerous expensive purchases. This excessive spending can be a sign of impaired judgment or memory loss, which can be an early sign of dementia.
  • They are complaining about not having enough money: If your loved one is constantly bringing up the high cost of living expenses, it may be a sign that they are having difficulty managing their finances on their own. You may observe subtle hints that money is tight, such as declining invitations to go to eat or skipping home repairs.
  • They are physically unable to complete daily financial tasks: Remember that daily tasks that were once simple can become unmanageable for the elderly if their physical state is deteriorating. Vision and mobility challenges can make it difficult for them to go to the bank on a regular basis, while arthritis can make writing checks and addressing envelopes challenging.

To learn about other signs that may indicate your senior needs more assistance, you can download our free eBook.