Not to be melodramatic, but this New Year’s resolution can have life-changing consequences. If your desire is to find better care for your loved one, parent, spouse or an elder you are close to, this is a pledge worth keeping.

People have been trusting us for more than five years to care for their loved ones, and that requires being a straight shooter, so I’m giving it to you straight. Because we want something better for our parents than our grandparents had, in 2011 we engaged in a model of care that disrupts normal healthcare practices.

According to the Kansas Health Care Association, traditional nursing facilities provide 2.4 hours of direct care per day for each person residing in their facilities. In our small neighborhood homes, the average is 4.7 hours of direct care per resident.

This is life-altering because good caregiving takes time. Caregiving cannot be automated, rushed or scaled. To be personalized and highly relational, it must be done one resident at a time. We spend more time with your loved one to ensure great quality care is being provided in large quantities on a one-to-one, highly relational basis.

Some implications of elder placement are measurable. In a survey of some 1,800 traditional nursing facilities, the longevity from admission to death was found to average 14 months. In examining the results for our home in Baldwin City, open for nearly six years, I found the average stay is 31 months. We can’t know why our residents live longer. We can only speculate that providing substantially more care allows our residents to thrive, to enjoy emotional well-being and to have a greater desire to live. If not a greater quantity of life, great care certainly results in a greater quality of life.

In this short article, we can’t completely address the concept of cost. What should be stated is that Medicare, as opposed to Medicaid, only covers a short period of rehabilitation after a period of hospitalization. Medicaid does cover long-term care stays where Medicare does not, but an unmarried person must generally have less than $2,000 in assets to qualify. Simply put, Medicaid only provides when a senior’s resources have been legally exhausted. Stripping a senior of assets to qualify for governmental assistance should involve legal counsel to avoid inadvertently committing Medicare fraud. Many, if not most, of our elders will pay out-of-pocket for long-term care until they reach the $2,000 threshold.

Our vision for Ottawa is to provide a beautiful neighborhood home, outstanding personal and individualized care and an unsurpassed quality of life to a small number of residents, and to be a resource to their families. We exist to fulfill that vision and help you give your loved one the care they need.