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  • Assisted living in Des Moines?

    I'm reposting this here hoping somebody else lives in this silly state. I've lost my caregiver, my companion, my love...I need to make other arrangements.

    Anyone in the Des Moines area have first hand recommendations for a semi-assisted living facility? I've found tons of possibilities, but I wouldn't mind some "been there, done that" info.

    I'm going to need a one bedroom, with maybe a den for my computers. I know I can't be completely independant...I could use assistance with showers, and maybe food in the room. I can still walk with a walker (indoors) but use a wheelchair for longer distances.

    If the company I work for allows me to continue working from home, budget is about $6k/month...if not, I'm down to $3k.

    Suggestions?

  • #2
    I would recommend talking to someone at your local Independent Living Center (ILC) as they should be familiar with those who may accept younger residents and/or those without only dementia.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
      I would recommend talking to someone at your local Independent Living Center (ILC) as they should be familiar with those who may accept younger residents and/or those without only dementia.

      (KLD)

      I am so sorry to hear about your loss, and that this has been such a hard year for you.

      KLD gives a good idea. I am not sure how old you are, but unfortunately our local Independent Living Center would not help us because my Dad is over 59. They are not supposed to discriminate based on age, but our local ILC basically only gives useful advice for those people on Medicaid and younger age. They deferred us to our local senior services organizations. But I would still talk to your ILC first, and then talk to the local senior center for additional referrals. Who knows... maybe they would also have additional ideas about how to stay in your home, with assistance.

      http://www.centraliowacil.com/

      What was most helpful for us.... I went to a senior services "fair" where I met a couple people who work as advocates for seniors who are looking for independent/assisted living facilities in their area. You don't pay them, but they probably get paid something by the place you decide to move in to. I honestly thought these people wouldn't be helpful, but when I described my father to them, she right away told me the one place she thought would be best for him. She chose it based on his income, age, type of environment/people he liked, services and location.

      If you can't get any direct info from your local ILC/senior services departments or from folks living locally, I might search online for something like "A place for Mom"... and see what they come up with. I also got pretty decent advice from a local (well recommended) Elder Care attorney, who I spoke to for a 1 hour consultation for multiple issues. These attorneys can also give you good advice on negotiating contracts with these places.

      You will probably find the same thing that we did. Most people living at these buildings are much older then you, but at most places we saw there were at least a handful of younger folks who were more disabled then elderly. MS was more common a diagnosis then SCI.

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      • #4
        Thank you for the responses. I've actually already talked with "A Place for Mom", and an eldercare law firm (I am 67). I'm fairly commfortable that the paperwork, etc. will be handled correctly. There's even a place at http://www.sospts.com/home.asp that both recommended to assist with moving, selling the house, and sorting thru the stuff we've accumulated over the years.

        What I'm looking for is first hand recommendations of a specific places...

        I've got a pile of brocures, and there's a couple where the price is right and the apartments are pleasant...but I know, in the end, it all boils down to the people that work there.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
          Thank you for the responses. I've actually already talked with "A Place for Mom", and an eldercare law firm (I am 67). I'm fairly commfortable that the paperwork, etc. will be handled correctly. There's even a place at http://www.sospts.com/home.asp that both recommended to assist with moving, selling the house, and sorting thru the stuff we've accumulated over the years.

          What I'm looking for is first hand recommendations of a specific places...

          I've got a pile of brocures, and there's a couple where the price is right and the apartments are pleasant...but I know, in the end, it all boils down to the people that work there.

          You are really on the ball. We also found it very hard to find recommendations from people who lived at this places - especially from people that had a similar situation. I doubt you will find many people on this site to help with specific local recommendations, since so few are in the older age bracket and can afford assisted living and live in your area. It may be worth going to a website like city-data to the Iowa group and ask there. Or maybe in the retirement group of city-data.

          http://www.city-data.com/forum/des-moines/

          In our area, these facilities are losing money in this down economy, so many are offering free stays to try out the place. For example, staying for a few weeks in one of their model apartments. So my Dad is going to try one out and we'll see how it goes.

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          • #6
            I am sorry for your loss. I would suggest that you visit the places and ask to speak with others who live there. Is there a common dining area? If so, see if you can join in a couple of meals and spend a day.

            My great aunt just went into assisted living (93 had lived alone until 6 months ago). She went to the facility for a day and several events. People in the dining room were pretty open.

            I know one CareCure member in your area, I will touch base with them and get back to you or have them post.

            I would also check with the State Ombudsman as well as the Dept of Public Health and see if any complaints have been filed at the various facilities and of what nature.
            Every day I wake up is a good one

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            • #7
              Since I live about 60 miles away, don't drive, and can't visit in person, my daughter-in-law has been visiting facilities for me. She's recommended a couple places for me. I've checked out their "Medicare" ratings and all seem to come out "average". Since the medicare criteria has so many "say what?" kinds of measurements, I don't think I trust their judgement.

              Since I'm mobile indoors, but don't get around well out of my apartment, I'm kind of a loner, so as long as my neighbors are quiet..I'll be happy.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                Since I live about 60 miles away, don't drive, and can't visit in person, my daughter-in-law has been visiting facilities for me.
                Since this is an extraordinarily important decision, it might be worthwhile doing whatever is necessary to visit your top candidates in person. Can your daughter-in-law or son drive you? Wheelchair accessible vans are available for rent.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                  Since I live about 60 miles away, don't drive, and can't visit in person, my daughter-in-law has been visiting facilities for me. She's recommended a couple places for me. I've checked out their "Medicare" ratings and all seem to come out "average". Since the medicare criteria has so many "say what?" kinds of measurements, I don't think I trust their judgement.

                  Since I'm mobile indoors, but don't get around well out of my apartment, I'm kind of a loner, so as long as my neighbors are quiet..I'll be happy.

                  I agree with Katja that you should do the final screening. It is great your daughter can check places out for you, but then she needs to bring you to do a detailed visit of any place you are seriously considering. There are things important to you that will not occur to her. I would also ask to stay in the top place at least for a few days/weeks, for free (!), before you make your decision.

                  Good luck.

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                  • #10
                    I understand what you're saying. I've got a wheelchair van and a first hand look does make sense.

                    My primary concern is the staff...which is why I'm asking for someone with first hand knowledge...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                      I understand what you're saying. I've got a wheelchair van and a first hand look does make sense.

                      My primary concern is the staff...which is why I'm asking for someone with first hand knowledge...
                      My suggestion about meeting your neighbors was because they are great "first hand knowledge" about the staff. Believe me, they will tell you if they would move out, dislike an employee, think someone is great.
                      Every day I wake up is a good one

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                      • #12
                        I did manage to get out and look around Sunday. Looks like I'll be going to "The Shores at Pleasant Hill". Went for a visit...met the chef...some of the residents...great setting...apartment isn't huge, but it bigger than I expected. Still some details to work out, but looking good...

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                        • #13
                          I'm really glad to hear you visited.

                          I hope this transition goes smoothly and makes your life easier.

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                          • #14
                            So glad to hear the visit went pretty well, and that you met some residents. Hoping for a smooth transition for you. Keep us posted on your experiences.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                              I did manage to get out and look around Sunday. Looks like I'll be going to "The Shores at Pleasant Hill". Went for a visit...met the chef...some of the residents...great setting...apartment isn't huge, but it bigger than I expected. Still some details to work out, but looking good...
                              Glad you went and checked it out. Hope you have a smooth transition and the new place works out for you.
                              Every day I wake up is a good one

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