Deciding to move yourself or your loved one into an assisted living facility is a big deal. Whether you’re an older adult looking for support from an assisted living community or you’re a caregiver hoping the senior in your life can participate in activities of daily living in a place with all the amenities of home, it’s important to do some research before being admitted into long-term care.
When considering assisted living for yourself or a family member, you’ll want to make sure you ask a lot of questions about the facility. Start by making a list of the things you’ll need in your home care facility to be sure those accommodations are available. No two independent living communities are exactly the same. You’ll want to ask about common areas, daily activities, memory care, housekeeping, amenities for high-functioning seniors, outings, and more.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another developmental disability, it will be particularly important to ask about medication and routines around helping with daily activities.
Start with a call to the facility’s admissions office and ask to speak to an intake coordinator. In the United States, they’ll be likely to offer you a tour, answer Medicare questions, and tell you about availability.
Considering Quality of Life
Once you have a better picture of what services each assisted living community offers, it’s a good idea to take some time to consider the overall quality of life. You and your family members will want to decide what you can afford and what style of assisted housing might work best for your needs.
Where some communities encourage fully independent living, others offer a higher level of care. When making this decision, you’ll need to decide your care needs now and for the future. That is, it’s a good option to think about a facility that can house residents with different levels of need to make future transitions easier.
Quality of life can also boil down to the ability of residents to engage in activities and interests. Find out if you’ll be able to maintain hobbies and go on regular outings. In some facilities, there are common areas with daily activities. Other independent living communities have shared spaces with household chores. Knowing yourself and what makes you feel good and finding a facility that can honor your lifestyle is important. For some people, a private room or apartment is critical to their peace of mind. Others are more social and could enjoy roommate living.
A facility could offer the right social activities for you, but be entirely unaffordable. For this reason, it’s smart to call your health insurance plan holder before getting your heart set on one facility or another.
You’ll want to know what you can afford and weigh it against your individual needs while considering other factors like proximity to family and the ability to have visitors. When thinking about finances, consider looking into options on a reverse mortgage, retirement savings, and putting a property on the market or in trust to children.
While it might all sound overwhelming, finding a place where you or your loved one can settle in without giving up too much independence can make a big difference in your level of happiness.
In the end, finding the right place where older adults can live independent lives while having their personal care needs met, doesn’t have to be a scary or difficult proposition. In fact, there are many options for senior care out there if you’re willing to take the time to do your research, write lists of care needs, and ask questions. Happy assisted care facility hunting to you.