Whether it’s to look after a senior parent or another aging family member, some of us would take over sole caregiving duties if we could give up work. Unfortunately, we need to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads, so if the time has come for your loved one to go into a senior living facility, knowing what to look out for is essential.
You want to be assured your senior loved one is receiving excellent care, so before making any rash decisions, here are some steps to take to pick the perfect senior living community.
Understand Community Types
There is a plethora of senior living communities to consider before going any further. Each one will cater to different needs, so you’ll need to establish which is the right fit for your loved one. For instance, an assisted living facility can benefit seniors who require a helping hand with day-to-day tasks, whereas a memory care facility is ideal for seniors with dementia. You can use Caring Advisor to find a senior living community near you. Before deciding on one, make sure you weigh up the pros and cons of each facility.
Establish a Budget
Whatever senior living community your loved one goes into, it will naturally come at a price. These range from very affordable facilities to incredibly expensive luxury communities. Now is the time to draw up a budget so you can determine a realistic price point. Also, there are numerous sources of money that can pay for your loved ones’ senior living, such as long-term care insurance, social security, and veterans’ benefits. Other sources of income include life insurance, real estate assets, and retirement income. You need to thoroughly examine your loved ones’ sources of income to help you find the right senior living community.
Choose the Right Location
When choosing a senior living community for your loved one, understandably, you’ll want them to be housed nearby. Knowing you can drop in and see them whenever you like is a huge plus point. The last thing you want is for your loved one to be living hundreds of miles away. Not only will this make it difficult to visit, but if they have dementia and are rapidly progressing through the stages of the disease, you will also lose precious time with them. Thankfully, there are fantastic senior living communities dotted all over the country, which means you shouldn’t have too much of a problem finding a facility close to you.
As you start searching for a senior living community, it pays off to conduct your own research. This means taking to the internet and checking out testimonials. When you read firsthand experiences of the facility, this should fill you with more confidence. You may want to engage with other families of residents too. They can give you an honest account of what life is like at the facility and whether it’s the right fit for your loved one’s needs.
Take a Tour
While you can conduct tons of research online into senior living communities, there’s nothing quite like going on a tour and viewing the facility in person. As you walk through the door, you’ll know within an instant whether it’s the right fit for your loved one. Of course, make sure your loved one comes along too. After all, they will be the ones residing there! There are several things to look out for on the visit, such as how clean the place is, and the size of the bedrooms. You can even sample the cuisine which will give you a better idea of what your loved one will be eating.
Talk to Staff
When on a visit to a senior living community, use this as a chance to engage with staff. Make sure to speak to not only the caregivers, but the manager too. You’re bound to have an array of questions regarding your loved one, so it’s wise to note them down before going on a tour. That way, you can be armed with everything you want answering, and you won’t leave with more questions. Any reputable senior living community will have friendly and attentive staff, so if this isn’t the case and you don’t feel at ease, it’s wise to continue your search.
Involve Your Loved One
Throughout the whole process of looking for a senior living community, make sure you involve your loved one. Their opinion matters more than most, so if they’re of sound mind and fully aware of what awaits them, you’ll need to have honest and frank discussions about what they want to get out of the facility. Whether it’s engaging with other residents, taking up hobbies, or simply putting their feet up and enjoying their golden years, talking to your loved one throughout the decision process is a must.
Making the decision to place your senior loved one into a care facility is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whatever community type you decide on, you’ll want to know they’re in safe hands when you’re not there. To ensure you feel confident with your final decision, taking the steps above will provide reassurance.