When your loved one can no longer care for themselves independently, a senior living community can provide the personal and medical attention they need to continue enjoying a full life.
Once you decide to make the move, the journey has just begun. You’ll have many decisions to make in your search to find a community that best suits your preferences. Every assisted living experience is different, and as you review communities, meet with staff, and ask questions, it’s important to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples.
Tribute has helped dozens of families on the journey to assisted living. Here are six tips to help you make the best choice for your loved one.
Start Your Search Early
Whenever possible, begin the search for a senior living community before your loved one needs to make the move. Having an initial list of options will help the process go much faster when the time comes.
Set Your Budget
Communities can vary in pricing based on location, services, and more. The national average cost for a senior living community is $4,000 per month. While many families plan to cover this cost using private funds, there may also be government programs and other financial assistance options to help offset the cost for qualifying families.
Before you begin your search, look at your loved one’s financials to determine how much they can afford to pay per month, and if they qualify for any assistance programs.
Select a Location
Choosing a location can be challenging, especially if your parent or loved one no longer lives nearby. Moving to a community near their own home can ease the transition and allow them to continue working with their current medical team; however, relocating your loved one to be closer to family may have better long-term benefits. It’s important to weigh these options and come to an agreement before starting your search.
Make a List of Needs (and Wants)
Every community has a different list of included amenities and optional add-ons. For example, do you want your loved one to have a private room or a shared living space? What medical services will they need? What activities do they enjoy?
Making a list of the services you’ll need – and a second list of amenities that you’d like to have – will help you narrow down your list of communities. It’s also important to ask which amenities are automatically included so you clearly understand the monthly investment.
Read the Reviews
Once you’ve selected a few communities, check the reviews. Don’t just rely on the reviews on their website – check Google reviews, Yelp, Facebook, and other social media sites as well. You can also do a Google news search for the name of the community to see what type of media coverage they’ve received in the past.
Visit… Then Visit Again
When building a potential relationship with a senior living community, it’s important to get a feel for day-to-day interactions. Your initial visit will likely be a formal tour (and may be virtual due to current pandemic safety regulations). Follow up by asking for another tour, or look for opportunities to join in support groups, training, and community outreach. By exploring the community in a variety of interactions, you’ll have a better feel for the atmosphere your loved one will experience while living there. .
With a little planning ahead of time, you’ll be able to simplify your loved one’s transition to a senior living community. At Tribute, we’re always available to answer questions – reach out to us here to schedule a virtual tour, or give us a call at 972-734-1388.
We know the search for the right community can be stressful, so we’ve created a free downloadable questionnaire. These questions can help you determine which services and amenities are most important to your loved one, and which community will best suit their needs.