Memory Care in LA
July 12, 2016 4:43 PM   Subscribe

I might be moving my mother (91) from an assisted living facility outside Boston to the LA area. She has dementia, but is in quite good state.

I am looking for any guidance, research, homework, experience, in so called "memory care" facilities in the LA area.

Bonus points on thoughts of the best way to move her?

Thanks very much,

posted by silsurf to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I can't help with facilities. However, I recently moved my mother in law, who has dementia, across the country. We packed up the things she was going to keep in a truck, and one of us took off driving for the new place. The rest of us entertained her in her old place for a day. We took her to all her favorite places, places that were filled with memories. This was to give the truck driver a head start.

The next day we flew with her from her old city to her new city. We allowed plenty of time for security, got a wheelchair for her, and turned it into an event. At the airport we did some shopping, had lunch, and generally carried on as if it was 1955 and we were there to see the airplanes (something she did with her husband on weekends back in 1955). We flew to her new city and then spent the night in a hotel.

On the third day, the truck arrived and we unpacked all her favorite things in her new place and settled her in.

You'll probably need more than 3 days, but you get the idea. You need help with someone to drive her things, a way to distract and entertain her for a few days, and then a way to settle her into the new place.

My mother in law has always liked me, but at the time of the move she did not remember who I was. This worked out well -- I could help her with things, and she was comfortable with me, but she didn't know who I was, so she wasn't embarrassed. She treated me like a hired caregiver. I stayed with her in the hotels, I helped her with showering, hygiene, etc.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:10 PM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

We have a family member that has been in several memory care facilities in LA (and OC). She is currently in a Silverado facility for going on 3 years and has had shorter stays in two of their other facilities. They are a chain, the facilities are relatively large (20+ residents), and although it hasn't been without issues, the care and facilities are both generally good. There's at least one other similar chain whose name escapes me right now.

She spent several months in an Assured Horizons facility in Orange County. These are just regular homes with 24-hour caregivers. As her disease has progressed, we would probably move her back to one of their locations if they weren't so far from us. (Further disclaimer: these are owned by a family friend.)

She also stayed for a while in another facility that was the (fairly new) memory care unit of a larger senior housing facility that was mostly assisted and independent living. We would definitely not recommend it (MeMail me for the name, if you're curious). The way their rooms and common areas were set up was just a very poor fit at the time, and the way that the team there wanted to address the problems (move her to assisted living!) was absolutely bonkers.

We worked with a service that helps find housing like this, but as you can see we've also had to be willing to change her living situation as warranted. We did look at some facilities that had a more complicated financial structure (more like buying into the facility) and I hate to think how we could have been locked into a facility that wasn't working.
posted by jimw at 7:56 PM on July 12, 2016

My mother in law is in the memory care unit at Whittier Place Senior Living in La Mirada, near the border of Orange and Los Angeles Counties, and her care has been overall quite good. I don't know how expensive it is, though - we have medical power of attorney but don't handle the financial side - and I know that she has a pension as well as Social Security.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:49 PM on July 12, 2016

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