HJ/EDHerald Journal, Oct. 31, 2005

Adult foster care provides alternative option

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

While Barbara Anderson of Montrose was watching the evening news, she was shocked to see a job she had been doing for eight years being advertised as a new type of business.

The business that was being advertised was a home foster care for the elderly. It is called by many names including adult foster care, residential care facilities, or Homes Plus.

“We care providers are self-employed individuals who have chosen to have our homes licensed by the state for the purpose of caring for adults who can no longer care for themselves,” Anderson said.

According to Anderson, these homes are nothing new.

“My dad was in foster care when I was in my 20s, so I know it has been around since the ‘60s,” Anderson said.

Anderson has been a licensed caregiver since January 1996, and moved her business, Inner Gardens, to Montrose about two-and-a-half years ago.

“I just thought it was a needed thing,” Anderson said.

Her home is set up as a care facility to accommodate up to four elderly residents.

She provides care for those who are 60 years old or older, and specializes in general, dementia, respite, and end-of-life care.

Anderson can take care of clients for years, or just for a week or two, if needed.

“If a family wants to go out of town for a little bit, or someone just got out of the hospital, I can accommodate that,” Anderson said.

In her home, Anderson provides 24/7 assistance, including providing for personal needs, such as diet, skin care, exercise, and bathing.

Anderson finds her clients like the consistency of one staff member taking care of them, rather than seeing a different person every day. This can be helpful when monitoring her clients, as well.

“It’s continual care, which means you might see something that might be missed elsewhere,” Anderson said.

Her home is also equipped with motion sensors outside of the bedrooms allowing Anderson to know when someone gets up in the middle of the night. She can then view a monitor in her room to determine if they need help or not.

Anderson believes it is important for everyone to be happy with the care they are receiving, and she admits she is not the only one who can provide this type of care.

“If they don’t like my house, there’s others,” Anderson said.

In fact, there are 24 Homes Plus adult foster care homes licensed to care for adults in Wright County, according to the Central Minnesota Council on Aging. To find a listing of homes, a search can be conducted on the website www.cmcoa.org.

All of the homes offer three meals a day, laundry, a range of personal care services, and can house up to five residents.

“It’s a home setting, an alternative to institutionalized care. They feel they are really cared for,” Anderson said.

With individualized attention, one might assume that adult foster care settings would cost more than a nursing home, but Homes Plus are usually less costly than nursing home care, according to the Central Minnesota Council on Aging.

Prices range, depending on the home, but start around $100 a day, and can reach almost $300 a day.

For more information on adult foster care, visit www.cmcoa.org, or call Anderson’s Inner Gardens (763) 675-2830.

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