When the time comes, many families struggle to take the first steps in finding the best fit in senior living for their aging parents. The process can be overwhelming and exhausting without the right resources available to you.
Finding the best community isn’t just about finding the community with the best reviews. It’s about matching your parents’ needs, lifestyle, and budget with a community that can provide what they want and need.
If you know the right questions to ask, how to prepare, and plan to have open conversations with your family, the process can be relatively easy and successful.
Step 1: Determine Budget And Find Senior Living Communities That Fit
Cost is a very important factor when it comes to looking for senior living options. It’s important to note what payment plans the community offers, if any scholarships, grants, or other savings are offered, and what is included for the price.
There are many options that some don’t know are available to them for financing senior living. Don’t leave any stone unturned in this process. It might be helpful to look into the following to see if you or your loved one qualifies for assistance:
- Social security
- VA benefits
- Life insurance cash-out
- Selling a home
- Reverse mortgage
Be sure to speak with a trusted financial advisor to find the best financing option for you and your family.
Step 2: Talk To Your Parent(s)
It’s important to keep them actively involved in the decision-making process. Their needs, desires, and preferences should weigh heavily on the final decision. You can do the hard work of finding the communities for them, but once you have a list compiled, you should present them with the options and find out which ones they think might be a good fit. Share your opinions and let them know what you like about each community.
Step 3: Take a Tour
Another important part of the decision process is actually visiting some of the communities to see their community in person (or virtually if they’re not fully open yet). This gives you a great chance to meet some of the staff, residents, and get an overall feel for the atmosphere. Try to schedule a tour during mealtime so you can try a sampling of what their dining service has to offer.
Step 4: Make a Checklist
Every individual has unique needs and desires. The best way to evaluate the communities you’ve found is to make a checklist of amenities and offerings in order of priority. Must-have items should be top of the list, followed by desirable items.
Step 5: Do Your Due Diligence
In order to get a birds-eye view of the communities you’re considering, it’s important to do some digging to make sure they live up to the promises in their brochures.
- Read reviews on SeniorAdvisor.com (and other comparable websites).
- Check in with your state’s licensing agency tasked with monitoring senior living communities and check out the background of your desired communities.
- Ask around. Friends, family, or even Facebook connections might be able to give you their firsthand experience working in or with those communities.
Step 6: Prepare For Transition
It can be easy to spend a large amount of time on the information-gathering stage and procrastinate on making a decision and moving your parent, but taking extra time can be risky in some cases.
If your parent needs extra care for their health and safety, it’s important to make informed decisions, but also to move quickly.
Here are some things that may need to happen to ensure your parent is ready to move:
- Donating and selling items (if they are downsizing)
- Making a detailed plan and setting a moving schedule
- Gathering legal documents, tax returns, and other important information that your parent may need in the transition process
Regardless of how involved you are with the decision process, you should offer to help your parent in any way you can. The prospect of moving to a senior living community can be overwhelming and scary for your parent. They may not like change or may feel sad about moving out of their current home. That’s why it’s important that they feel good about their chosen community. Offer to help in any way you can.
Come See Us
Our friendly team would be happy to give you the grand tour of Auburn Hill Senior Living community. We would be honored to be part of the consideration process for yourself or your loved one. Come experience the Auburn Hill difference by scheduling a visit today!