When a parent’s health deteriorates and their independence suffers, it can be tough on the kids. They’re often at an age when they’re raising their own families, they’re trying to save for their own retirements, they may live far away, and organizing and paying for home care may not be a practical decision.
Nor is home care always the best choice. There are a number of advantages to moving into a retirement residence. Seniors who make the move can:
- Enjoy more active social lives with their neighbors.
- Get easy access to exercise classes designed for seniors.
- Access care that’s designed for them.
- Add to their retirement savings using funds from downsizing.
What to Look for in Assisted Living Care
Before you start visiting facilities, you can narrow down your options based on a few core criteria:
- Is the location close to family and friends? What about doctors’ offices, hospitals, specialists, therapists, or any other services Dad may need on a regular or semi-regular basis?
- Does the facility handle transportation to and from medical appointments?
- What types of care does the facility provide? Consider what your father’s future needs are going to be like, including nursing care, dementia care, physical rehabilitation, etc.
- Is it affordable for your family?
- Is it a relaxed assisted living residence where dad can pursue his hobbies and enjoy a high quality of life?
Touring Assisted Living Care Facilities
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possibilities, start calling to book tours. It’s important that dad comes with you on these tours – he’s deciding where he’s going to live. On the tour, make sure he’s the one asking questions and doing as much of the talking as possible. He’s the decision-maker, although it’s also important that you learn about the residence as well.
The tour is also a great chance to try the food, ask about the menu, check out the amenities, and physically check out the location and the surroundings.
This is also your best opportunity to judge the suites or apartments. Is there enough room for dad to live comfortably? Is he going to have the privacy he wants, as well as the option to socialize? Make sure the apartment will also be navigable if dad requires mobility assistance.
When so much research can happen online, taking a tour is a good way to learn about the culture at a retirement residence, something you won’t get just by searching online.
Questions to Ask an Assisted Living Residence
While you’re there, be sure to come prepared with questions. You use this list to start off:
- Is the facility pet-friendly?
- Are you allowed to bring your own furniture into the suite?
- Are higher levels of care available if they’re needed in the future?
- Is your parent free to come and go as they please?
- Is the residence held if a long-term stay in a hospital or rehabilitation facility is needed?
Learn everything you can before deciding on an assisted living facility. Take the time to do your research and make sure dad is part of the process every step of the way.
To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.