with State of Oregon links in blue, and private organization links in green
When you are managing the care for your aging parents, in the Portland, Oregon area, you have choices of licensed facilities: Assisted Living, Residential and Adult Care Homes. Getting your parents settled, downsizing, organizing what they need in their new home, and frequent visits follow. Next: a gentle reminder that you also need to take care of yourself.
Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF’s) are wheelchair accessible and each person or couple has a private apartment. They are intended so people maintain their independence, privacy and dignity while getting light to moderate care. Residential Care Facilities (RCF’s) are licensed under rules similar to ALF’s, and can take 11 to 15 residents at a time. Both provide ample activities, and socialization. Cost averages about $3850/month.
Which Assisted Living or Residential Care Facility is Right?
Seniorhomes.com posts a comprehensive series of articles that answers common questions. The State of Oregon has compiled an excellent document, Guide to Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities. Oregon Health Care Association is a trade association with listings of over 620 facilities. Review sites for ALF’s and RCF’s can give you a sense of what other family members experience.
Assisted Living Seems Too Big? Private Adult Care or Foster Homes
Oregon led the way for the whole country as a pioneer in adult care homes. Foster care providers and staff must meet state licensing regulations and training requirements, with more comprehensive experience than the care staff at ALF’s and RCF’s. They have 3 levels, based on care needs. Level 3 even includes heavy care and dementia. Private costs vary considerably, from around $2000-$5000/month. The licensing agencies and senior care info are different for each county: Multnomah http://web.multco.us/ads, Clackamas http://www.clackamas.us/socialservices/, and Washington http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/spwpd/pages/offices.aspx#washington.
Several placement services can help you find the best match, in these smaller, more personalized, sometimes family-run homes in neighborhood settings. For resources and referrals to Adult Care Homes: Senior Resource Network, Adult Placement Network, A Place for Mom.
Downsizing, Organizing for “the Move”
You might check out this article Caring.com on downsizing. I have found the following services invaluable: Lighten Up Organizing, Graceful Space and Gratitude Assistance. If your parents have pets, and need help with transport to doggy day care or the vet, keep this listing handy: Yeller Cab Pet Taxi. (and read this fun Oregonian article.)
Self-Care When You Care for Aging Parents
Plan self-care time into your daily schedule. Enjoy spiritual and social groups. Sing. Dance. Check into the outstanding support groups for adult children who care for aging parents, and specialty groups for children and caregivers of parents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s. Your county’s Area Agency on Aging will have lists. You realize you are not alone in the hair-tearing moments, share a laugh in the side-splitting moments, and connect with others when you burst with pride for the parents who used to be proud of you. For self-care tips on the internet, try Self Improvement from SelfGrowth.com.
Most importantly, do not neglect self-care. Loving your parents is not a substitute for loving yourself.
Sometimes juggling your own life and caring for an aging parent can deplete your inner resources. Schedule an appointment with Integration Massage, near Portland’s Multnomah Village for pain and stress relief, relaxation, and a good night’s sleep. You deserve it! 503-708-2911.
Rosi has been caring for elders since 1988: first in Southern Oregon as a caregiver in an adult care home; for 8 years she offered a placement service for families looking to find care for aging parents; now she has joyfully managed the care for her own mother in Portland since 2001. She has been a massage therapist since 2009, and enjoys working both with elders and their advocates/caregivers/children who are looking for self-care, posture awareness, pain relief or stress relief.
This post is a continuation of Advocate, Friend, Daughter to Aging Parent