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Put Loved One’s Interests First in Quest for Personal Care Home
By Vanessa Orr

It’s never easy to make the decision to have a loved one leave their home, but in many cases, it’s the safest and smartest way to make sure that they have the care they need. But how do you know when it’s time to have that conversation?

According to Melissa Armienta, administrator at The Community at Holy Family Manor (CHFM), there are a number of signs that may point toward seniors needing to find a more secure place to live. “When you notice that your parents or loved ones are unable to manage the household themselves, or to perform basic tasks that they were once able to handle, it’s time to start looking at what organizations are out there to help,” she explained.

While some people’s needs can be met by hiring private duty companies or having a home health aide in to assist a couple of times during the week, those who need help on a daily basis should consider a personal care home.

“Sometimes it helps to lay out what’s happening; to explain to your loved ones that they need help and that you would love to help. However, with your full-time schedule and household, it can be overwhelming to juggle both. Remind them of how nice it is to spend time together as child and parent instead of as parent and caregiver,” said Armienta.

When looking for a personal care home, there are a number of factors to consider, including location, activities, and cost. “One of the biggest things to keep in mind is what your loved one enjoys; what their lifestyle is like now,” said Armienta. “They probably don’t have the same interests as they did 20 years ago, so make sure to find somewhere that fits their personality at this point. Don’t pick what you would like—think about what they would enjoy.”

Activities at Holy Manor, for example, including Silver Sneakers, Tai Chi, bingo, guided art parties, pet therapy, Catholic mass and more. It also offers an intergenerational program that enables residents to interact with preschoolers from Mt. Nazareth Learning Center on a weekly basis.

Armienta cautions against looking at just the base price of a room as a way to stay within budget. “Make sure that you look at the full level of care provided—your loved one’s needs may change in a month or six months,” she said. “Holy Manor, for example, is all-inclusive, and you pay one rate for care until the end of life. Other places may add extra charges as the person needs more care, and you need to make sure that you’re financially prepared for that.”

Those just starting their search should do a web search for facilities within their areas, and then call their top choices to discuss finances. Tours should be scheduled with the top two choices, with loved ones participating in the visits if they are able.

TTo learn more about The Community at Holy Family Manor, visit www.chfmanor.org or call (412) 931-6996.

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