You Get To Choose!
Facility of faculty? Many of our readers caught my boo-boo in a recent edition of our caregiver newsletter, Caregiver Connection. This was not the first or only boo-boo that I have ever made. It was, however, the first one that I made on that particular Monday! I stated that Aunt Bernice was “in full command of her facilities“.
A short trip to our friends at Google will clarify my error.
- A place, amenity, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose.
- an ability to do or learn something well and easily; a natural aptitude.
“he had a facility for languages”
[This definition is much closer to my original intent, but the word I actually intended to use was faculty.]
- an inherent mental or physical power.
“her critical faculties”
One Connected Caregiver who is an astute reader [name withheld to protect the innocent!] wrote in to say that she thought I “meant “faculties” unless (or course) that Aunt Bernice was operating a facility as well”!
With all that being said, and proper apologies offered, we are afforded a wonderful opportunity! Let’s discuss the Faculty vs. Facility decision!
The Faculty vs. Facility Decision
All of this frivolity leads to the relevant question of the day:
What percentage of your faculties would you have to lose before you would want your family members to admit you to a facility? And what type of facility would it be?
Some people would want to stay at home for the remainder of their life no matter their “faculty level”. Others would want to be at home as long as they realized that they were, in fact, at home. At that point, they would want to be in some appropriate facility that could meet their needs.
But we have heard many of you state that “you don’t want to be a burden to your children if your health declines”. So, if that’s the case, it’s time to start considering your options. What specific type of facility would you want to consider as your faculty level diminishes? Here are three typical options.
Facilities where you are in the company of seniors, yet take care of your own needs. These types of housing arrangements may be referred to as Independent Living, Assisted Living or Senior Retirement Communities (or other slight variations of these names). The distinguishing feature is that you live among other seniors, however you manage your own care.
Assisted Living Facility (ALF)
These facilities provide assistance to individuals who need assistance with one or more of their activities of daily living. Usually the folks in an ALF have made the move-in decision themselves. These are the folks who realize that they are needing some help and want to be in control of the “where they will be” decision. In most cases, once they get into an ALF, the ALF will do everything possible to keep them there as long as they want to stay. Only in situations where health gets really bad, do they request the family to move their loved one to a skilled nursing facility (#2).
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
This is a traditional nursing home where others provide for your needs. This type of facility is reserved for those with substantial physical or cognitive care needs that need 24 X 7 skilled nursing assistance.
Choose your own path
Of course, you can choose to combine some of the above – such as where a person would choose to live in an independent living center or ALF combined with non-medical caregiver assistance.
The key is for you to spend some time thinking about this while you are able to do so and to craft your own plan. If you are able to drive, go out to some of the senior living options mentioned above and (if Covid restrictions allow) tour some in your area. You may discover that some of these options are not so bad. As a matter of fact, some are really good!
We have had clients who have chosen to move to an independent living or ALF so that they would be better situated when their health declined even more. Most importantly, they evaluated the options and they chose the option that looked best to them to help meet their future care needs.
Best wishes to you as you plan for yourself or assist a parent with planning for their future care needs.
Your Next Step
I implore you to talk to your family members about creating an estate plan and a healthcare plan. At the next family gathering, you can share your concern and the proactive steps that you are taking to prepare yourself. Contact your local Elder Law Attorney right away
You have probably already taken several steps to make the life of your Loved One better. Hopefully you have picked up a tip or two from this article to help even more. However, we can’t stress enough how important it is to plan. Let this story, albeit fictional, encourage you to read our FREE eBook as you get a jumpstart on your (or Mom’s) financial planning. We hope to hear from you, allowing us to help you avoid costly estate planning mistakes!
If you, or someone you know, are from Arkansas and would benefit from more information like this, be sure to sign up for our free Arkansas Newsletter by going to https://elp.legal/arknews.
ELP YouTube Channel
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We have covered some legal topics in this edition and as always, I want to emphasize that (1) the law is different in every state, so if you live in a state other than Arkansas, just know that the law may be totally different in your state; (2) your situation is unique, so one size doesn’t fit all – meaning what we discuss herein may not be right for you; (3) we have purposely over-simplified many of the topics above (otherwise this would be many pages long and unreadable because of all of the legalize). It is imperative that you meet with your attorney (hopefully us!) and get a plan that will work for you. Please don’t attempt DIY Estate Planning based on what you read in this (or any) article AND don’t try to go it alone. Please consider this, get your questions answered and take action.