Assisted Living

Assisted Living facilities, which include Personal Care Homes and Nursing Homes, are out there for you whenever you can no longer provide all of the care that a person needs at home. Providing 7x24 monitoring and care at home is cost prohibitive for most of us. Whether the need is for physical care or memory care, making the decision to move a parent, spouse, or sibling out of the home and into a care facility is always a difficult thing to do.   But, often it improves their quality of life as well as yours.

In 2020, I finally had to make that difficult decision for my wife who has Vascular Dementia.   One thing that I found out right away is that you give up a lot of control whenever you do that. Assisted Living facilities have a lot of rules.  Many are common sense rules that the facility has imposed due to their experience in caring for their community.  But, many of the rules have been dictated by the government.  Many of those government imposed rules are designed to protect the residents from unscrupulous operators while they are in a facility.  They make sense.  However, many of those government imposed rules seem to have been have been put in place as a result of situations which have occurred that have resulted in litigation.  Those types of rules do not always make sense because some of them seem to be overreaching, and some of them can have adverse side effects.

Safe Dementia Bed


My wife has rolled out of her bed in the facility more than once.  It seems that this is common with people who have dementia.  Something that we have that senses the edge of the bed while we are sleeping and tells us to stop there is lost whenever dementia strikes.  Initially she just had some bruises. 

But this last time that it happened resulted in a fractured hip, requiring a partial hip replacement. Some kind of a partial bed rail or similar device seemed to be called for.  However, I encountered a flurry of rules that ban the use of any kind of partial bed rails or similar device designed to keep her in her bed.  Being frustrated by the rules, I created a ‘Safe Dementia Bed’.    Click Here for Details


Answer-Only Phone


I had a private landline installed in my wife’s room so that she could continue to converse with her friends.  She remains people oriented, and can talk about ‘the old times’ with them.  I got her a cordless phone because that is what she is accustomed to using.  That seemed like it would be more convenient and would be safer without the cord. She could keep the cordless phone near her during the day rather than having to be getting up to answer a corded phone that was in a fixed location. 

However, it wasn’t long before her calling out created a number of problems. So the facility removed her private phone.  While reverting back to an old corded touch tone phone with the buttons removed (or just disconnected) was an option, I elected to convert her cordless phone to an Answer-Only Phone instead.  Click Here for Details



Assisted Living facilities are good to have whenever you really need them.   However, continuing to support your family member with little things to improve their quality of life should not go away just because they have moved.   It becomes a little more difficult to do when they are not right there with you – it requires a little more creative thinking.