About USA Locally-Owned & Owner-Operated Small Business At Your Service
Senior Living Solutions gives peace of mind and the support your family needs to make an informed decision about your loved one’s care.
Meet the Owner
Dedicated to Your Care
Michael S. Cude, RRT, CSA, CDP
Owner / Certified Senior Advisor®, Certified Dementia Practitioner
A licensed, Registered Respiratory Therapist and healthcare professional for 23 years, and a General Manager in the home care sector for 18 years, Mike is a Certified Senior Advisor® and Certified Dementia Practitioner who specializes in senior living options and transitional care. He has been advising and working directly with seniors since 1999. A native of Arkansas, Mike has worked around the state throughout the duration of his professional career and is familiar with the offerings and amenities of the majority of the senior living communities, facilities, and agencies within the service area.
Mike spent 20 years in the home care industry; specifically, the DME/Home Medical Equipment industry, as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. During this time, he noticed families who had reached this transitional phase with a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. Such as:
- What types of care options are available?
- What can I afford?
- Am I eligible for financial assistance?
- Which communities provide the levels of care that I require?
- Where do I even start?
Michael Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
What does Senior Living Solutions do?
Senior Living Solutions is the only senior-living consulting agency that’s based in Arkansas and operates locally. This is important because we are very familiar with the offerings of our local communities. We are a free, concierge service that provides unbiased guidance and resources to individuals and their families who are exploring their senior living options. Our goal is to provide alternatives to nursing home care.
How is it free?
We have spent countless hours touring, interviewing, and vetting independent and assisted living communities, memory care/Alzheimer’s care facilities, and in-home care providers in Central Arkansas. We work with the ones that, we feel, provide the best care and offer the most amenities at competitive prices. The organizations that pass specifications are offered a contract to be a part of our network. They agree to pay a fee after a resident chooses their service.
What qualifies you to perform this service?
Members of my team and I have been in the healthcare industry as state-licensed practitioners and senior consultants since 1995. We’ve consulted seniors and their families on their specific plans of care, health literacy, insurance coverage, disease process, Medicare, Medicaid, VA Benefits and other confusing topics. I am also a Certified Senior Advisor. This credential applies to professionals who, by passing a rigorous program, are able to demonstrate their competence and knowledge of working with older adults and incorporate that into their professional practices. It focuses on training in normal vs. abnormal aging, transitional care, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, estate planning, social services and benefits, as well as other topics related to positive aging.
Explain the different types of senior living options.
An individual must maintain a relatively self-sufficient lifestyle to live in one of these communities. These can range from a senior apartment complex with a minimum age requirement to an all-inclusive, resort-like community. Some offer meal plans, laundry, housekeeping, activities, socialization, transportation to and from appointments and activities, and wellness programs but, typically no medical care options. Many of your day-to-day chores and home-ownership responsibilities are taken care of by staff.
Assisted Living (ALF)
These communities offer many of the same amenities and activities as independent living but also provide a higher level of care for their residents. An ALF is for individuals who are able to maintain some level of independence but still may require assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, eating). These communities are divided into Level 1 & Level 2. Both are regulated by the Department of Human Services, Long Term Care Division. So, they meet state requirements related to staffing, training, admissions, and discharge.
There are 2 levels of ALFs in Arkansas:
- Assisted Living Level 1: Can’t administer medications. They can only give reminders. A resident can’t be bed-ridden or require 24-hour nursing services even though most have nursing services available around the clock.
- Assisted Living Level 2: Can administer medications and can serve “nursing home” eligible patients in some cases but they still cannot be bed-ridden or require a 2-person-assist for transfer. A physician or nurse evaluation will determine a patient’s status and level of care required. Some communities will offer a base monthly rate and then add on amounts depending on the level of care required by the resident.
Memory Care or Alzheimer’s Care Unit
Sometimes housed in a separate wing of an Assisted Living Community or may even be a stand-alone community designed solely for the care of residents with a diagnosis of dementia. The staff is specifically trained for this purpose. Special activities are provided and, many times, the floor plan is designed to promote wandering which is commonly seen with this disease process. Many of these facilities house residents according to their cognitive level so they’re surrounded by other residents with similar disease progression.
Residential Care Home
These are private homes that can house a small number of residents in a home-like setting. They’re typically in residential neighborhoods but have a full-time caregiver and as much as a 1:3 caregiver to resident ratio in a family-like environment.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing homes typically provide Skilled Nursing Care and Rehab services. They are also licensed by the state and are highly regulated. They provide 24-hour care by nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, & speech therapists. Medicare may even cover some of the cost of this type of care if it follows a hospital stay.
What is the benefit of using a service like this to help navigate the senior care environment?
Every community has many differences and similarities and can become very confusing when comparing. Especially considering the emotions involved when it’s your loved one. We personally meet with our clients to get to know them, their families, and their specific care requirements. We then take all of that into consideration when suggesting properties and communities which deliver their specific level of care. Since we’ve personally toured and vetted each individual community and provider, we’re able to cut down on the amount of time a family must spend touring places that may not meet their needs. We can also use this information to recommend signing up for only the levels of care needed which can potentially save a lot of money. Just like someone would use a real estate agent to buy a home or a travel agent to book a trip, our agents are familiar with the nuances of the senior care environment and can give valuable input at no cost to the family.
More Than 20 Years of Experience
With more than 20 years of service in the healthcare industry, we have acquired the knowledge to help your family find the best senior living options for your aging loved ones. This includes assisted living communities, Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities, as well as long-term care and residential care homes. We could also connect you with the best in-home care providers if your loved one would rather stay in their own home. Senior Living Solutions is a locally-owned & owner-operated business.