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Alabama Hill
Adult Family Home
3614 Alabama st.
Bellingham, WA 98229
Facility (360) 922-0196
Cell (360) 306-2329


This is our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. This page should answer some questions regarding our Adult Family Home and some about Adult Family Homes in general.

Q: We are concerned about placing our family member, as their independence has been important to them. We are feeling confused and guilty about doing so.
They are considering moving / don't want to move from their home, and/or we feel that we should be taking care of them at our home instead of placement.
Is this common to feel this way and what considerations should we be thinking about?

A: It is very common and is not unique to each family. It is common to have clients admitted that should have been in a supervised setting long before. It gets pushed back until the last minute when dangerous behaviors or situations have to finally be acknowledged and addressed by the family or guardian. Also, family members take on a daunting task of trying to deal with caring for someone while still leading a normal life, which is very difficult. Jobs, family, activities, children, and careers can be challenging and distracting from the full time job of caring for an elderly person, who may also have special needs and services required.
It is often the best solution to place a family member in a safe, professional yet home-style environment where care is focused on their needs 24 hours a day.

Q: What is an Adult Family Home?

A: An Adult Family Home is one of the living arrangements available to senior citizens who cannot comfortably or safely live alone.

Q: Are there different types of homes?

A: Yes, generally offering the same type of care, but differing in levels of care offered. In the state of Washington each is limited to a maximum of six residents with some offering rooms from as few as one to the maximum of six residents depending on the ability or size of the home. Many have shared rooms due to size of home while some larger ones can offer private rooms.
A private room is generally more expensive than a shared one, and a shared room is generally available for lower paying medicaid clients or because of size limitation of home.

Q: What about this home?

A: This home is approx. 2,500 sq. ft. and offers six private bedrooms

Q: What about bathroom facilities?

A: All adult family homes are inspected and required to provide safety bars & grab rails for resident safety and protection. However, that is the extent of the requirements and bathrooms are just like in any other normal home. In a departure from that, this home has a walk-in shower with a shower chair. This enables a resident to safely enter and exit without having to try and lift legs and body over a high bathtub wall, preventing accidents.

Q: What about phones or televisions in the room?

A: Adult Family Homes vary; most do not offer those services. The family may have to pay to have an installer install a phone or cable line to the room at the family's expense, for installation and subscription. This home has everything already installed and the cable T.V. is included. The private phone line and jack to the bedroom is in place and a phone is included. The basic phone service though, would be paid by the resident who wishes that convenience. It is approx. $21.00 per month.

Q: Any specialty type homes?

A: Some Adult Family Homes specialize in ethnic languages and offer that service along with those types of meals to seniors who prefer that. There are also developmentally disabled, dementia, men's only, women's only, mental health, and other specialty homes. Some allow smokers, others do not, and pets are also a factor with some houses.

Q: What specialty's and/or restrictions does this home have?

A: A large majority of Adult Family Homes has English as a second language, along with the food style that is prepared. This is normal as many providers are immigrant Americans. As one of the few native born this home specializes in English as a first language and traditional American dishes as a first food style. This would be considered a specialty in the Adult Family Home area.
There is Wheelchair accessibility, and all types of care such as dementia and mental health, in addition to other needs that can be met. We do not allow smoking or pets however, to ensure a healthy environment free of asthmatic or allergic conditions.

Q: How do I know the type of facility to place my family member in?

A: Generally there are three basic types. Starting from an assisted living facility, then an Adult Family Home, and then a nursing home for skilled nursing care. Care needs and rates start from assisted living to Adult Family Home and then to nursing homes in that order.
Our rates actually match the assisted living rate while providing the extra service.

Q: How can I tell which level of assistance they need?

A: There are qualified assessors who can do an assessment, which ranges from $100.00 to $250.00. Our nurse delegator is a qualified assessor at a reasonable rate.
You can contact us and we will provide you with information on how to reach her.


ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY: A person who is independent in most ways and are fully cognizant, who may just need convenient cafeteria meals.

ADULT FAMILY HOME: A person who is forgetful, may fall, needs help with remembering things, needs assistance with activities of daily living, needs monitoring or supervision, or who needs more intensive help and care would be a candidate for an Adult Family Home.

NURSING HOME: A person who has a condition incapacitating them requiring skilled nursing facilities, or is a danger to themselves or others, has severe dementia or other condition requiring that type of skilled care as determined by their assessment or a physician.

Q: What if my family member declines due to old age or illness? Do I have to move them or can they stay in the home until their passing?

A: The term for that is called HOSPICE. We are unique in this area as we allow residents to age in place and hospice. The resident is able to live out their remaining time in a familiar comfortable home environment.
This also spares the family & resident from panic and turmoil caused from placing resident at such a time in a special program, institution, or special hospital wing and the cost of those rates.

Q: What are your fees?

A: Fees are charged accordingly to the level of care required by the resident and can range from $4000.00 or more per month. 
Q: Do you accept Medicaid or state clients?

A: Yes, we do accept such clients and they receive the same amenities as private pay clients.

Q: If the resident runs out of private funds and converts to Medicaid / state funding, will they be able to have continued residency?

A: Yes, we have had that happen in the past & continue their stay with no changes in service. Unfortunately, due to the way the state system is set up for pay many homes cannot or will not accept state / Medicaid clients and further, will tend to discharge a private pay resident who converts later due to the significant reduction in payment the state offers, although the care need and services remain the same.
This is the current situation until the legislature changes it, which may be a long time in the future if ever.

Q: What is required to move in the home?

A: Our nurse delegator will do an assessment before move-in. A care plan will then be created, medications arranged for, and the first month's rent paid for minus any prorated deduction from the first of the month & date of move-in.
There are no long-term contracts and rent is on a month-to-month basis. Our tenant/resident rental contract is a standard state approved form. Rent is rarely raised except for the most drastic changes.

Q: What about visiting hours?

A: We have an open door policy within reasonable hours of 8 am to 10 pm.

Q: Is someone always in the home?

A: Yes, caregivers are required to always be in the home as per the regulations. This involves sleepovers, live-ins, or multiple shifts.

Q: What if my family member needs help?

A: Most homes have monitors and/or call buttons to further ensure prompt attention.

Q: Do we as the family or relatives have to make doctor appointments, pick up medications and deliver them, make sure Access bus rides are scheduled, or be concerned about any other responsibilities?

A: No, we handle everything. The exception is transporting resident around for personal trips.
We can arrange for Access bus rides, and we are on a bus line, but the family would transport resident to places otherwise. This is standard for most homes.

Q: What is covered as far as costs?

A: Everything is included with the exception of personal items, prescriptions for the resident and related expense such as R.N. delegation, medical supplies, incontinent briefs, or specialty gourmet / prescription foods such as Ensure.
There are no added expense tab billings that may be standard practice elsewhere. We own everything for the free use and convenience of our residents.

Q: What about damage or carpet stains caused by our family member? Do we have to pay for the repair or cleanup?

A: Generally that is what happens in most cases. However, our facility owns a professional portable carpet-cleaning machine, & we use it at no charge to the family for that or any repairs. (A carpet service to come in would be expensive.)
The exception to this would be if a resident actually 'breaks' or tips over a TV. or misc. object or is deliberately destructive, then of course reimbursement is expected to replace that item.

Q: How does your Adult Home handle the medical needs of residents?

A: We have trained staff who are able to observe and monitor residents and notice any changes requiring attention. Any concerns are immediately relayed to the health care professionals and any changes in medication, doctor appointments made, or care direction prescribed by them will be implemented. We can call & receive fax prescriptions with delivery to the home by that same evening, relieving family members of that burden which is common form most Adult Homes.

Q: Do you have specific training for this work?

A: All Adult Family Home staff & providers have to undergo training in; Fundamentals of Caregiving, Nurse Delegation, CPR / First Aid, obtain a T.B. test, food handlers card, and background inquiry form and register with the Dept. of Health for the NAR (Nursing Assistant Registered) card. This facility further has specialty training in Mental Health and Dementia also required for providers. (Operators of the home)

Q: What if I have more questions?

A: You can contact us through phone, mail, E-mail, or you can write to this site and inquire and I will answer or direct you to the appropriate agency or person if needed.

Notice: The information provided here are the personal observations, opinions and experience of this provider and is intended as a general overall synopsis put together in one place intended to cover most issues concerning placement.
This is not intended to replace any information available but to add to it.