Just so we don’t lose track, AL stands for Assisted Living and AFH’s are Adult Family Homes. And I get that simply naming them doesn’t go very far in understanding what they are and how they work — another thing sometimes we assume.
Assisted Living residences provide apartments, meals, laundry, and “assistance” — hence the title. If you need some assistance getting through the day or week, but are still pretty independent, this could be a nice fit. The levels of assistance may vary with the residence, and increases as the need increases — to a certain level, but is less than would be provided in a skilled nursing facility where nursing services are required 24-7.
A possible misconception is that people are “placed” in AL’s and there forevermore. (The same could be said for Skilled Nursing Facilities, but that’s another story — and another column.) Some folks elect to move to an AL not only to have the help when needed, but also to have other folks around for socialization.
Think about it: If family is non-existent or out of the area, and friends aren’t around for whatever reason, becoming isolated is a very real dynamic. It’s easy to feel alone, when you truly are. Given living in AL, folks are around, in recreation rooms, reading rooms, gyms, whatever. And if you’ve had your fill of all that, you have your own space to retreat to. Not a bad deal.
In our county, we have three AL’s, and each accepts private-pay and insurances — including Medicaid.
Alder House at 801 Alder Street in South Bend (Across from the hospital).
360 875 6001
Long Beach Retirement & Assisted Living at 800 Washington Avenue N. in (obviously) Long Beach
360 642 2464
Golden Sands Assisted Living at 21608 O Lane in Ocean Park
360 665 0190
And what about Adult Family Homes? Another option out there and physically smaller, since they’re homes. They’re designed to help between two and six residents and 24/7 care is provided in a smaller venue than AL’s. They can be a little less overwhelming than a larger place and all have their own non-institutional atmosphere about them.
Usually bedrooms are shared and nurse visits are available as needed. We have four AFH’s in our county that accept private pay and insurances—again, including Medicaid. Who and where are they? Glad you asked—here they are with the owner/operators:
Family and Friends Carol Moore Chinook 360 777 8335
Circle of Life Andrea Noonan Long Beach 360 642 3026
Jo Heasley’s Jo Heasley Ilwaco 360 642 3727
Dolphin Cove David Palmer Tokeland 360 268 7135
If any of these sound like something you’re looking for, give them a call and arrange for a visit. Each place, no matter how large or small, has its own feeling—and feeling is important.
Information & Assistance: Long Beach: 942 3634/888 571 6558; Raymond: 942 2177/888 571 6557; www.o3a.org