Decisions about assisted living

I have a friend who is 80 years old and extremely bad heart among other things. 50 feet is too far to walk without stopping to rest. Cooking a simple breakfast knocks him out for 1/2 a day.

He is being forced out of his home which has been sold and wants to look for an apt. His condition has been rapidly declining the last few years. I help him with things a couple of times a week and the rest of the time he just struggles. He does still drive but prefers his electric scooter when distance allows.

I painted a conservative picture here, in your opinion do you think I should try to talk to him about getting into an assisted living situation instead of an apt?

He sounds like the exact kind of person that assisted living was created for - people who are still mentally functional but need help with physical care.

Absolutely. This is someone who needs to be checked on every day.

I would look at both independent and assisted living alternatives depending on what level supports his needs.

Independent living arrangements can vary quite a bit, but in general it should involve having his own apartment in a seniors only community that serves 2-3 meals per day in a dining room and also offers basic support, such as transportation to stores or the doctor. Depending on how nice it is, these can run anywhere from $2000 per month and up. Independent living is usually defined as “can he get from his room to the dining area on his own.” If he can do that and take care of his own hygiene then independent living is the way to go.

Assisted living brings in additional medical support and care, primarily distributing medicines as required under a doctor’s orders as well as housekeeping, laundry, and limited personal care. My grandmother is in assisted living and pays about $4000 per month for her room and other services.

He may want to talk to an estate and / or tax lawyer to arrange his finances before going into these. He will have to pay these out of pocket (some of which is tax deductible). Unless he is destitute (and this will vary state-to-state) it is unlikely there is much financial support available for him. Destitute is defined by the government, not reality, so it is good to get a lawyer involved as they can set him up to look destitute in government eyes.

On plus side, senior communities usually plan several events a week so there is always something to do. Also, as a male, he is likely to find himself in a target rich environment. Judging by where my grandmother is, there are about 80 little old ladies and about 10 older gentlemen. From what I can gather from the staff and some of the more talkative residents, several stay fairly active with the opposite sex.

He is on the border of assisted living and independent living but sliding down fairly fast. He doesn’t like old people and likes to flirt mostly with 40 year olds. His life would be much easier on assisted living but he would hate his neighbors.

Assisted living would probably be right for him in that case. He will get all the support he needs as well as have someone just a call button away if he needs immediate assistance. You may want to reassure him that you’ll be coming by regularly, folks at that age worry about being a burden, but they don;t want to be shoved away somewhere and left. My grandmother appreciates me coming by and certainly loves our outings for lunch and to the grocery store so she can buy flowers for her room.

No getting around there are going to be a lot of old people wherever he chooses but it will be what he makes it. And there will be plenty of nurses and aides running around for him to flirt with.