Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Excellent Senior Care is Expensive in Sonoma County

It's as simple as supply and demand.  There are many families looking for quality senior care facilities, yet there are few quality senior care facilities in Sonoma County.  Yes, there are over 160 licensed residential care facilities in Sonoma County, but few of those facilities carries a reputation for excellent care.  Many long term care facilities in the North Bay are board and care facilities providing a bed and minimal personal care.  In contrast, excellent senior care facilities provide 24 hour care and are managed by an Administrator with medical credentials.

The level of involvement of management in the care of every resident also separates the quality RCFE's from the average $3,500 per month assisted living facilities.  Few care homes can claim that a registered nurse is involved in the care of every resident.  In fact, Wild Rose Care Home is one of the handful of assisted living facilities in Santa Rosa that is managed by a Registered Nurse who is on-site 5 days a week.  While many large assisted living facilities may boast of low staffing ratios you need to question the role of staff in resident care.  Having a 1:5 staff-to-resident ratio is not very impressive if maintenance, kitchen, and non-care staff are included in the calculation.

In light of the lack of quality long term care facilities in Sonoma County the few that exist are fairly expensive.  Many of the better assisted living facilities charge over $8,000 per month.  With that said, some of the larger assisted living facilities that excel in marketing more so than resident care also charge high rates, so be mindful that price alone does not indicate quality of care.  In evaluating the quality of care consider the rate, number of vacant rooms, medical expertise of staff and managers, and on-site operations.  Does the facility understand Title 22 regulations?  Do the managers understand dementia care or are they only business persons.  You'll need to make your own determination before admitting your loved one, but whatever facility you choose be prepared to pay over $8,000 for a good assisted living facility.

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