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Old 23.01.2023, 10:57
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Moving elder parent to CH with Dementia

Spinal's post brings up an important point.

There is a difference between an Altersheim and a Pflegeheim. A Pflegeheim has rehab capacity, and is usually geared to short(er) term stays for acute care.

An Altersheim is a residence, usually offering basic daily care - but the degree of care offered can vary quite a bit.

Medical costs, including rehab therapy, are usually charged on top of accomodation and 'basic daily care' in an Altersheim.

A Swiss resident, with Swiss insurance, will have some portion of medical/rehab covered through the KK - but not necessarily all. The 'mice type' in your contract with the Altersheim needs to be studied very carefully., and you need to understand what your KK covers. If you have private insurance you might find more is covered.

A 'medical tourist' will pay the full whack. And that could be a LOT of money, depending on the needs of the patient.


Some Altersheim don't have rehab staff so the family might need to organize a rehab plan with the patient's doctor and bring in outside rehab folks to visit the patient. And of course you have to organize the patient's Hausarzt visits. Most Altersheim have an arrangement with a local GP to visit in case of emergencies, though.

It's also very important to understand what is, and is not, included in 'basic daily care'.

Things my friends have run into caring for their spouses:

At some Altersheim/Pflegeheim one is charged for the food as part of the package. If the patient can't eat the food, you still pay for meals. If you know going in that the patient cannot eat you could try to negotiate that part. But once the contract is signed, you pay for meals.

There is a worrying staff shortage in many Altersheim and Pflegeheim. That might mean that basic daily care is done on a schedule rather than by need, and thus family might need to help with that, especially if washing/cleaning the patient is needed 'off schedule'.

In the case of dementia care... you really need to understand what kind of care is offered.

If you can find a facility with a dedicated memory care unit you likely will find more care available than in a local Altersresizenz whose focus is on residential living, where a patient with dementia is sometime more or less just 'warehoused'.

If you think that residential care is even on the distant horizon, now is the time to evaluate what your local Altersheim and the area private Altersheim offer. Do it early, so that you can evaluate with a clear head.

In most of my friend's cases, the need to go into a home arose from an emergency, there was no lead time - and the patient had to take whatever was available, wherever, there was no choice. If you have researched options ahead of time, at least you are spared some of the crisis running around.

By the bye, most Altersheim charge an entry fee close to what one pays for a month, so your first month will likely be twice as expensive. Plus fees when the patient leaves. I bring this up because if your loved one is unhappy with the place found during the crisis and you want to move them once a place is available in a more suitable residence, be aware that there may be a lot of up front money involved.

One should also talk to an independent advisor, such as an expert from Pro Senectute or a similar group, to understand what additional help with finances might be available. Be aware, though, that qualifying for help is fairly difficult, that you need to spend down much of your assets before qualifying.

Lots to consider. Researching options now, even if just to keep that info inthe background, is a prudent thing to do.
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