For seniors, the transition from their own home to an assisted living facility can be difficult, especially if they’ve lived in the same place for decades and have long-established routines.
Still, over one million Americans over the age of 65 are living in assisted living facilities, according to a report by the National Institute of Health.
If any of your elderly family members will have to join their ranks, selecting the best-assisted living facility for their needs should be your top priority. Here’s how to go about it.
1 – Budget From the Start
To start with, make sure to clearly outline your budget and be transparent with the facilities you’re reviewing.
The last thing you want is to find a place that’s absolutely perfect and that your elderly family members love – only to find out then that you can’t afford it.
Talk to your family members about their retirement nest egg, pension, and any assets they may be able to liquidate. If you are taking on part of their costs, coordinate with your partner or spouse to set your own maximum budget.
When talking to facilities, be clear about where your financial limits are. That way, you won’t waste time vetting candidates that are out of your price range.
2 – Clearly Outline Your Needs
Next, get a clear idea of what you’re looking for together with your elderly family members. Where do your priorities lie?
Do they have medical conditions that require regular care? Then a nursing home, which has medical staff on call, is a better fit than an assisted living facility.
Are they in good physical shape and need only minimal help? Then they could benefit from a more active environment. A senior living community in Charlotte, for instance, even offers access to a pool with water aerobics classes, as well as a tennis court.
Do they have special dietary or cognitive needs? Is outdoor space an absolute must for them?
Based on these questions, create a list of priorities. With this in hand, you can now assemble a list of candidates.
3 – Vet Facilities Online and In-person
Next up, vet your candidate facilities – both online and in person.
Start out by checking out online reviews. These will give you in-depth insights into the lives of residents and any negative aspects.
One or two negative reviews could indicate that a facility simply wasn’t a good fit for another family. More than that ought to be a red flag.
Next, reach out to the assisted living facilities in question and arrange a tour. Talk to the staff and ask them about any negative feedback you’ve come across. This will also give you some insights into their conflict resolution skills.
Making the decision to move to an assisted living facility is never easy for elderly family members. By carefully selecting the best option for them, you can help reduce their anxieties and help create the best environment for them to enjoy their autumn years.