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  1. #1
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Default Elder care - communal housing

    I saw something OTOB that bothered me somewhat. In general, for purposes of containing health care expenses and therefore govt expenses, it was suggested that senior citizens be moved into "communal housing" for ease of caring for them. It was suggested that home care would be less expensive if seniors were all together in communal housing.

    As a senior, I was pretty upset that there are people who think old people should be warehoused until they die.

    What are your thoughts on this idea?


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  2. #2
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    Oct. 18, 2011
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    Default

    well not sure of all the particulars - isnt that what "retirement communities" are already? i guess the difference would be "having" to move into a particular housing scenario vs "wanting" to be somewhere.


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  3. #3
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    There's lots of senior housing. If I were forced, yes I'd be ticked, but otherwise...that's what many people choose.

    I'd prefer to see mixed housing, perhaps surrounding a shopping center. Handicapped accessible housing for those who need it, quiet housing for those who want it, singles, families, etc.

    I've seen it in a couple of communities. IMO, I would think it would be depressing living in a retirement community, but that's me.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  4. #4
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    My MIL spent three weeks in a nursing home not too long ago and she didn't mind it one bit. She got waited on by family and staff, three squares a day, TV or reading plus a little PT, no washing the dishes or cleaning up or straightening up. She'd get bored after a couple of months unless she could leave but I don't think that lifestyle would bother her.
    Right now she is in the process of moving from her dream house in the country to a subsidized Senior apartment. I guess the dream was too much work, too much driving.
    If it's a choice, I don't have a problem with it.
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  5. #5
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    There is also something called (I think) co-housing. That's where people of all ages (there might be 55+ too) have individual houses, but there is a communal dining room also, and joint things like craft rooms, and exercise rooms, etc that can be used by all. You don't necessarily have to eat communally, or share the cooking (at least I don't think so), but many choose to have dinner with others in the community. I think that would be a nice alternative to living separately, but still have companionship and activities.

    Not all retirement communities are nursing homes also, and I'm sure you all know there are many levels of care and independence. Some are more like apartments but with age restrictions.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


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  6. #6
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    Jan. 14, 2003
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    If it were done right and a choice then perhaps it might be a more affordable way to care for people and still allow them to keep their independence.

    What if your town had communal living so that you could stay in your community, perhaps assisted by people you know.

    I can see where it could work and be more affordable than having a home health care person for individual households or forcing people into nursing homes.



  7. #7
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    I think people who refer to it as warehousing probably are not the best suited residents for senior housing to begin with. I also find them somewhat insensitive to the real needs of seniors to find a housing solution that they can afford now that the towns have increased the taxes on their homes to the breaking point, the oil companies are charging them outrageous prices to heat their homes, and they themselves can no longer do the work to keep their houses and yards in good condition. Sometimes coming down into a smaller living space that is affordable so they have money left to eat and get medicine can be a blessing. As the daughter of a parent who is now required to live in a nursing home, and since I am now writing checks to the tune of $10K a month so that parent can have access to the care she now needs to have, I find the term 'warehousing' to be offensive. And that's putting it very, very politely to the OP.
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  8. #8
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post
    If it were done right and a choice then perhaps it might be a more affordable way to care for people and still allow them to keep their independence.

    What if your town had communal living so that you could stay in your community, perhaps assisted by people you know.

    I can see where it could work and be more affordable than having a home health care person for individual households or forcing people into nursing homes.
    I don't think anyone "forces" some into nursing homes.
    Sometimes, the situation some find themselves in makes moving to a nursing home the best solution for their problems.

    When there is loss of basic physical and/or mental ability to function, a nursing home at times becomes the best, safest place for many of those affected and their families.
    In fact, the better nursing homes here have a waiting list of over a year or more, people have already signed themselves into them several years previously, once they realized they were probably going to be needing those kinds of services.

    Having participated for years in dog assisted therapy in hospitals and nursing homes, I can say they are not "warehouses" at all.

    Do go volunteer in some in your area and you will see there is a whole different but real world there, not a warehouse.

    I think that what bothers those that are not familiar with nursing homes is the disabilities people there show to have and the curtailed quality of life those bring, more than where they are now living.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief2 View Post
    I think people who refer to it as warehousing probably are not the best suited residents for senior housing to begin with. I also find them somewhat insensitive to the real needs of seniors to find a housing solution that they can afford now that the towns have increased the taxes on their homes to the breaking point, the oil companies are charging them outrageous prices to heat their homes, and they themselves can no longer do the work to keep their houses and yards in good condition. Sometimes coming down into a smaller living space that is affordable so they have money left to eat and get medicine can be a blessing. As the daughter of a parent who is now required to live in a nursing home, and since I am now writing checks to the tune of $10K a month so that parent can have access to the care she now needs to have, I find the term 'warehousing' to be offensive. And that's putting it very, very politely to the OP.
    The OP isn't talking about nursing homes. Some people can't be medically cared for at home or are too far gone for assisted living. If you CHOSE that option and pay for it, fine. Same for assisted living and other communal options for people with more mobility. But the OP's talking about people (ie government) deciding "It's cheaper if seniors on retirement HAVE to move into these communities, because they're too expensive and hard to keep track of if we LET them keep living elsewhere, so if they want their Social Security/Medicare/state aid/food stamps/whatever, they MUST move into Community XYZ."

    And the thing is, from a purely regulatory standpoint, yeah, it makes sense. If they're living primarily on government checks, it kind of IS the government's responsibility to do it as cheaply as possible. So I can see where people would be getting the idea. And once you get into government rules like that, they have to apply broadly, with relatively little wiggle room for individual cases, because that raises costs, too.



  10. #10
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    Nov. 8, 2007
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    The only people forcing seniors into nursing homes are their children.


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  11. #11
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    Dec. 27, 2012
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    Hi, BabyGreen i don't think so that, the case is same everywhere as you have mentioned about children who force their parents to a nursing home or assisted living home. But i think sometime we are so busy and too much involve in our job or work that, could not have enough of time to take care and look after our aging parents. And for the purpose sometimes it's much better to transfer your parents at a old age home, as some of these are really providing all necessary and luxuries facilities at some reasonable prices, like furnished bed room, equipped bath, t.c lounge, internet, wheel chair, and two lifts. Along with 24/7 nursing facility with complete privacy according to their needs. Which we are sometime unable to provide them at home with all other family members and children.



  12. #12
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    Well that's very charitable of you, but speaking as a childless spinster, no thanks.



  13. #13
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    I know many seniors that moved themselves to the local senior's community and several in another. These facilities are up to Level 2 care which covers comminal meals, keeping track of meds, supplying van transport for chair-bound. Each unit also has a small kitchen, and the residents can cook or not, depending how they feel. Many still have and drive their own vehicles, and some are part-time residents and live at home in the summer, moving back in winter; one part-time resident that I know quite well went home and grew and put up her garden and took the procedes back to her suite this fall; betting she is sharing this with some other residents. The youngest in the local facility is 62 and the oldest 90 something. Our local 100+ woman now is in another facility with a kitchen and still cooks for herself and only eats in the dinner hall when the mood strikes her. She is ONLY there because she can no longer manage stairs and put herself in at age 106.

    The whole senior complex thing isn't a bad idea for many and many choose to admit themselves.
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  14. #14
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    Jul. 26, 2007
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    I am not sure, OP, what aspect of this is offensive. There are people who cannot live alone physically/emotionally, and some of them don't have the resources to live in the exact style that they might prefer. I have worked with many seniors who, for whatever reason, found themselves without the resources to pay for the homes they'd lived in for the past years, with no family willing/able to help them. What would you suggest for these individuals? That they be allowed to live, at your expense, in the large, multi-story, isolated homes in which they raised their family 50 years ago? That they be housed in random isolated units all over the city so that government-funded care providers (whose costs you are paying) have to spend half their work hours driving to each home? Or would you prefer that the government wash its hands of these individuals and blame them for their own lack of resources/planning?

    Or, could you possibly put yourself in someone else's shoes and consider that offering seniors a place to live that is designed for senior living and can efficiently provide many of the services that most seniors require, might be a good way of government taking care of the people that have no one else willing to take care of them, but still need to be taken care of?

    Are you "offended," too, by people who choose to board their horses at a fine communal stable? Imagine, the poor beasts being warehoused at a group facility. The very thought. True, the horses have access to more amenities an opportunities for healthy herd socialization than they might have if boarded individually at their own homes, and having someone else feed and clean and turn out results in consistent care and there is always someone around to keep an eye on the horses, and plus this allows the horses's owners to pursue other responsibilities. But still, they're being warehoused. Egads.

    It is entirely admirable that you have planned for/ensured that you have the resources to continue to live independently. Not everyone else is in the same position. I would encourage us all to be grateful for government-sponsored senior congregate housing. If not, give me your address and I will hand it out to the hundreds of seniors I meet who have become unable to live independently, but now have no place to go.



  15. #15
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    Nov. 2, 2006
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    Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post
    There is also something called (I think) co-housing. That's where people of all ages (there might be 55+ too) have individual houses, but there is a communal dining room also, and joint things like craft rooms, and exercise rooms, etc that can be used by all. You don't necessarily have to eat communally, or share the cooking (at least I don't think so), but many choose to have dinner with others in the community. I think that would be a nice alternative to living separately, but still have companionship and activities.

    Not all retirement communities are nursing homes also, and I'm sure you all know there are many levels of care and independence. Some are more like apartments but with age restrictions.
    This sounds nice. I have met so many nice folks who are alone, largely widows whose kids (if they have them) don't live nearby. This type of option sounds like a good one. One friend has a mom who is looking in to a senior living center which also has a standard nursing home she could transition to when the time comes.



  16. #16
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Our Mom moved into Assisted Living this summer. She is dealing with multiple medical issues that require a walker, walk-in shower, etc, etc. Only one sibling lives near-by on a farm out in the country. Not to mention the home is not setup for someone with limited mobility. Also not to mention - both DB and SIL work full time so she would be by herself most of the time.

    We took Mom to 2 facilities for her review and decision. The facility she is in is wonderful. The folks are thoughtful to her and to our family.

    This has been a great option for our Mom so she has some privacy even while they are checking on her throughout the night and day. Plus she can interact with people of similar ages and infirmaties. A fit for an independent woman who has had to face her limitations.

    Another DB and SIL moved her Mom into a community which she loved. I understand she will be moving into assisted living soon as old age is affecting her now.

    While it sounds like we have warehoused Mom - look at it another way. She is unable to live alone and requires assistance bathing, dressing etc. As noted one Brother's home and live style would leave her alone too much of the time way out in the contry on their farm in a home that is not set up for her condition. Other 2 brothers and I live in other states where she would not know anyone but us. So this has been the best of less than perfect situation. She is cared for, has her space and is around people she knows.
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