Simply stated, “Plan B” is a back up plan in the event of a crisis or emergency. Many people live independently for years and then something happens and they end up in the hospital and/or a skilled nursing facility and are unable to return home. That's when I get the call that goes something like this, “My mom is getting kicked out of rehab tomorrow, what do I do?” Unfortunately there is no single right answer because it depends on the situation.
In order to react in this situation it's best to be proactive BEFORE you're in a crisis situation. If you've done your research and looked at the various options available and also included the person who needs care, then the decision should be clear. This makes for a much easier transition. Keep in mind that no one wants to figure out Plan B when they or their family member is in crisis and under a tremendous amount of stress.
I recommend talking with your parents or if you're thinking of a Plan B for you and/or your spouse, have a conversation and figure out what will work best not only for you, but for our family as they will most likely be visiting and participating in your care.
Consider the following when putting together your “Plan B”: How will we pay for a care? Keep in mind Independent, Assisted Living, Memory care and Behavioral Health communities are NOT covered by Medicare, but are private pay. There are funding options such at VA Aid and Attendance and ALTCS ….IF you qualify. It's best to speak to a local, reputable Placement Agent to discuss your options.
TIP: Have your paperwork in order as soon as possible:
POA, Living Will, Advance Directive, etc.
What type of care do we need? Options Include:
Living with Family
Adult Day Care
In Home Care with professional caregivers
Moving to an Independent or Assisted Living Community
Secured Memory/Dementia Care
Behavioral Health, etc.
Again, speak to a local PLACEMENT agent who is familiar with the options and can serve as a resource to help you find the best fit for you or a family member.
How much time do we have to make this happen?
Again, it depends on the situation, but usually it's a week or more, I would advise 10 days to be on the safe side.. If you're moving to a community, then you need doctor's orders which may or may not require a doctor's appointment. A current medication list is required as well as a TB Test. In most cases it's best to also have your Powers of Attorney in order and that includes: Medical, Financial, Healthcare and if dementia is an issue, it's also very beneficial to have a Mental Health POA. In some cases you may also have to give 30 days notice at your current community or apartment, Plan ahead and add in a some extra time in case things don't go as smoothly as you would like.
*If you're in crisis and try to rush the process it will not work! Any community who will accept you without proper paperwork, medications and documentation is not reputable and if you move there, you may find you're not getting the care and services you were promised.
The Final Decision?
Reach out to your resources: Placement Agents, Marketing Directors at Communities, your Physician, Social Workers, Case Managers, and anyone involved in you our your family member's care. Ask neighbors and/or friends who have been in your situation and gather as much information as you can, but ultimately go on your gut instinct. You have the honor and privilege of making this decision for yourself or a family member and you should feel good about it!
If you have questions about this topic or would like more information on local resources to help you develop a “Plan B”, give me a call. Robin Coats, Tucson Senior Placement 520.373.0349