Faculty vs Facility Decision

You Get To Choose!

Facility of faculty? Many of our readers caught my boo-boo in a recent edition of Caregiver Connection. Not that this was the first or only boo-boo that I have ever made, but it was the first one that I made on Monday! In my error, I stated that Aunt Bernice was “in full command of her facilities, and was obviously enjoying the time with her friends and family”.

A short trip to our friends at Google will clarify.


  1. A place, amenity, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose.
    “cooking facilities”
  2. an ability to do or learn something well and easily; a natural aptitude.
    “he had a facility for languages”
    [This definition is much closer to my original intent, but the word I actually intended to use was faculty.]


  1. an inherent mental or physical power.
    “her critical faculties”

One astute reader [name withheld to protect the innocent!] wrote in to say that she thought I meant “faculties” unless (or course) that Aunt Bernice was operating a facility as well”!

With all that being said, and proper apologies offered, we are granted a wonderful opportunity to discuss the Faculty vs. Facility decision!

The Faculty vs. Facility Decision

So all of this frivolity leads to the relevant question of the day:

What percentage of your faculties would you have to lose before you would want your family members to admit you to a facility? And what type of facility would it be?

Some people would want to stay at home for the remainder of their life no matter their “faculty level”. Others would want to be at home as long as they realized that they were, in fact, at home – then would want to be in some appropriate facility that could meet their needs.

Facility Options

But we have heard many of you state that “you don’t want to be a burden to your children if your health declines”. So, if that’s the case, it’s time to start considering your options. What specific type of facility would you want to consider as your faculty level diminishes? Here are three typical options.

Independent Living

Some facility where you are in the company of seniors but take care of your own needs. These types of housing arrangements may be referred to as Independent Living, Assisted Living or Senior Retirement Communities (or other slight variations of these names). The distinguishing feature is that you live among other seniors but you manage your own care.

Assisted Living Facility (ALF)

These facilities provide assistance to individuals who need assistance with one or more of their activities of daily living. Usually the folks in an ALF have made the move-in decision themselves. These are the folks who realize that they are needing some help and want to be in control of the “where they will be” decision. In most cases, once the get into an ALF, the ALF will do everything possible to keep them there as long as they want to stay. Only in situations where health gets really bad, do they request the family to move their loved one to a skilled nursing facility (#2).

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

This is a traditional nursing home where others provide for your needs. This type of facility is reserved for those with substantial physical or cognitive care needs that need 24 X 7 skilled nursing assistance.

Choose your own path

Of course, you can choose to combine some of the above – such as where a person would choose to live in an independent living center or ALF combined with non-medical caregiver assistance.

The key is for you to spend some time thinking about this while you are able to do so and to craft your own plan. If you are able to drive, go out to some of the senior living options mentioned above and (if Covid restrictions allow) tour some in your area. You may discover that some of these options are not so bad. As a matter of fact, some are really good!

We have had clients who have chosen to move to an independent living or ALF so that they would be better situated when their health declined even more. Most importantly, they evaluated the options and they chose the option that looked best to them to help meet their future care needs.

Best wishes to you as you plan for yourself or assist a parent with planning for their future care needs.

We want to be friends!

Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.

In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary preplanning and caregiving decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers (like Alzheimer’s Caregiver Phil Smith), as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!

We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter

Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!

Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link:

~> help.mom/cc <~

Send it to them in an email or private message. From there, they can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.

Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!

About the Author

Doug & his wife Cindy have not only helped hundreds of families with their estate planning and elder law needs over the years, but have personal experience as caregivers and advocates for their Loved Ones as well.

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