Updated: Apr 1, 2019
Was talking to a friend the other day. She is trying to find a suitable and safe living situation for her mother that won't be prohibitively expensive. Ha! Currently her mother is living with her and her family but due to other family members it has become stressful for her to stay there. Naturally my friend is trying to find the least costly arrangement possible because you just don't know for how long the person will live, how long you will be paying monthly for her care.
The reality is that there is no inexpensive care for her. She is memory impaired and declining regularly. Memory care units are super expensive. Even a retirement facility is expensive. Even if you find the cheapest one you will still have to pay for a caregiver to go in and look after them one on one... ca-ching.
She started to look into renting a house and putting two caregivers in there round the clock. They would have free room, possibly some board. Between the two of them they would take care of her mother. I know this sounds dreamy but what is the reality? The reality is caregiver burn out. Once that happens then care goes down hill fast. I also reminded her that "familiarity breeds contempt". In this situation one caregiver is known to the family and came recommended. The other is her sister from Uganda who has no training at all. Even if you brought in a third boarder/caregiver it still wouldn't be enough. There's no oversight except for the family which is too busy to begin with. There are no policies in place to establish order and no way to enforce policies that might be established. When you're in an inspected legal facility you have accountability and over sight. There's a person in command who is in charge of day to day procedures and keeping it all legal etc. But it is expensive.
There are two anecdotal situations that I can write about.
First, a friend in San Francisco had a neighbor who was referred a Philipine Dr. who was living in this country legally and had worked as a nurse. His medical degree didn't translate to any hospital here. He moved in to live with a man who's wife had died. The man was frail and needed help. This Dr./nurse lived with him for free and was paid about $75,000 a year plus healthcare, taxes etc. He had family in the SF area that he could visit when desired. I don't know what happened when he went on vacation or needed a day off. When this man finally died there was another man on their road who took the Dr/nurse in because now he needed care. So he lived with him for about 8 years until he died. I don't know why this worked except that he was paid. He wasn't doing this for just room and board.
Second, this situation was for a woman who was recently widowed. She could get around but needed help taking out the garbage etc. She took in visiting college professors/students from the neighboring college. They are given a room for free and buy their own food. They agree to do small helpful things. This has only been going on for a short time but seems to be working. I don't know what will happen when the widow's needs become more demanding.