Assisted care facility opens
Despite the financial risks involved with opening a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE), Judy Dimmock’s biggest worry isn’t going under.
“I have some apprehension because I want it to work,” said Dimmock, a retired geriatric R.N. who recently opened the Alpine View Care Home. “I want (the clients) to have the best that they can have.”
The Alpine View Care Home is a five-bed assisted care facility that houses seniors who don’t need skilled nursing. The facility, located at 11420 Alpine View Ct., looks like any other home in Truckee except for a few modifications – the showers, hallways and walkways can accommodate wheelchairs.
Dimmock, who retired from nursing in December, said to open the home she had to take a yearlong certificate course, pass a state board exam and be First Aid and CPR certified. Additionally, she will have to do 40 hours of continuing education per year to keep her license.
The cost for a private room at the home is $3,000. A semi-private room costs $2,500. Meals, transportation and a 24-hour a day staff that helps with laundry and other duties is included in the price, but some extra care costs extra.
“A walking, talking individual will cost less than someone requiring more care,” Dimmock said.
Truckee Tahoe Seniors Council board member Tom Ballou said “there aren’t very many or any” RCFEs in the Truckee area, adding, “there’s a ton of need.”
Part of the reason there are so few RCFEs is because of their cost, which most insurance companies won’t cover. Until a doctor declares a person completely unable to care for himself, there is little financial help towards assisted living, Ballou said.
“There are a lot of people who can’t afford it and consequentially will suffer for it,” he said. “It’s all out of pocket. It’s expensive to provide the care but it’s also expensive for the tenant.”
Nick Buick, who runs a senior meals program and who has worked in and around RCFEs in the San Francisco area, said the cost of maintaining a 24-hour staff is what drives the cost up.
“It’s not easy and not lucrative,” he said.
But despite the expense of running a 24-hour staff, Dimmock said she plans to entice better employees by paying above the industry standards and offering health benefits. Alpine View Care Home employs three full-time workers and will employ one part-timer when all the beds are filled. Dimmock also believes that many service providers will prefer to work at a smaller home than one with more beds and more clients.
“It’s much more rewarding with less clients because it’s like a family here.”
For details, call Judy Dimmock at 550-7878.
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