NextSteps: Family needs geriatic-care manager to determine father's needs

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By Jan L. Warner and Jan K. Collins
Q: A year after our mother died, we saw Dad become more unsteady on his feet, and he needed help remembering to take his medications. He wanted to stay at home, but we finally talked him into entering an assisted-living facility where he has lived alone for 18 months, except for visits with my family and my siblings.

Although the monthly fees began at $2,100 per month including meals, the cost has now risen to more than $3,500 per month. The director tells us that Dad requires more care and assistance, thus the higher bills. We have noticed that he has become more and more frail lately. Is it time to seek a residential care facility or a nursing home? Does Medicaid cover residential care if we keep him there because his money is running out?

A: While we believe that assisted-living facilities certainly have their place, we have seen and heard horror stories where sick residents were retained without being given the appropriate care.

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