Tip for Choosing an Assisted Living Community for Your Loved One
You want to give your loved one only the best in their old age. Here are a few ways to choose a quality assisted living community for them.
Has your parent been calling you for help more often than usual? Have you noticed they’re struggling to clean, shower, or even get dressed?
Nobody likes to think about the possibility that their parent will, one day, no longer be able to care for themselves. But for many, “one day” has quickly turned into “today”.
If this sounds familiar, moving your parent into an assisted living community may be the best choice. But, no two communities are the same. You’ll want to find the best home possible for your aging parent.
Do you want to know how? Keep reading to discover our guide for choosing the best assisted living facility for mom or dad.
Think About Their Needs
Senior care isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. There are four basic tiers, each catering to a different level of care.
- Independent living is for those who do not require help with personal care (bathing, brushing teeth, etc.), but don’t want to cook, clean, or maintain a house
- Assisted living is for those need help with personal care but don’t require medical care
- A nursing home is for those who need daily medical and personal care
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care are for those who require specialized care due to Alzheimer’s or dementia
Think realistically about the level of care your parents need. Placing them in assisted living when they only need independent living will cause them to spend extra money on services they don’t need and may make them feel out of place among the other residents.
On the flip side, placing them in assisted living when they need regular medical care or specialized memory care isn’t a good idea either since they won’t have access to the help they truly need.
And Their Future Needs
It’s not just what they need today that you’ll have to think about. Take into consideration what they may need in the future.
Many senior care homes offer several types of care. If you think your parent will require medical care in the future, look for a facility that offers both assisted living and nursing home care.
This way, your parent won’t have to uproot their life again and move into a whole new facility if they require additional care. Instead, they can keep their friends and continue living in the same facility that they grew accustomed to.
Outline the Budget
Unfortunately, assisted living facilities do not come cheap. While this will vary based on your location and the facility itself, the average cost is $4,000 per month.
It’s important to talk to your parent about their current expenses. The good thing about an assisted living facility is that everything is included in the price. When you add up how much your parent is currently paying each month, these numbers may be closer than you expected.
If you’re not sure how you or your parent will afford assisted living care, make sure you make an appointment at a prospective facility. They’ll have tons of information on financial assistance that you and your parent could benefit from.
When you begin to research facilities, it’s always best to first identify a target location. Ideally, this would be something close to you as well as your parent’s bank, doctor’s office, hair salon, and grocery store. Being close to a mall and hospital is also a plus.
Most facilities offer transportation services, but you don’t want shopping to feel exhausting for your parent because the nearest grocery store or mall is 20 minutes away.
Take a Tour
Once you’ve identified a few potential assisted living facilities, it’s time to schedule tours. Make sure the facility looks clean and well-maintained. If there’s peeling paint, messes, or strange smells, leave right away.
You also want to consider your parent’s taste. Would they prefer a cozy and homey facility or a more luxurious facility? Either way, you want to make sure it doesn’t feel like a hospital when you walk in.
Pay attention to the employees and residents. Does everyone look happy? Are the employees friendly and smile as you walk by?
You’ll also want to see an available room. Some places, like this community, have a few different floor plans to choose from. Don’t be afraid to see all your options in person, so you can determine which is the best fit for your parent.
Ask About On-Site Entertainment Options
While there will likely be scheduled outings at whichever assisted living community you choose, your parent will be spending most of their time on the premises. So, you’ll want them to have plenty of entertainment options to choose from.
Many facilities have things like a pool, art studio, bingo nights, and fitness classes. Ask for a calendar of events, so you can see just how often things take place.
You may also want to request a tour while an activity is going on. This way, you can see if it’s well-attended and if everyone looks like they’re having fun.
Try a Meal
While many rooms in assisted living communities come with kitchens, your parent will likely want to spend some time in the dining hall. Not only is this great because they won’t have to cook every day, but it’s also a good way to socialize.
During your tour, be sure to ask about the nutritional value of the meals they serve as well as what types of entrees are normally offered.
Don’t be afraid to ask if you could try a meal. You want your parent to have quality and good-tasting food options in their new home.
Choosing an Assisted Living Community
Don’t pick the first assisted living community that pops up on Google. From identifying your parent’s needs to tasting the meals, there are a few steps you should take to decide if a facility is the right fit for your aging parent.
Is your parent struggling with money? Check out these tips to help them get out of debt.