Growing older means you have to prepare for the consequences of aging that will gradually show itself as you turn 65 or 70. This can include sudden health problems, mobility issues, or simply having a hard time maintaining your home.
When this time comes, you or your loved one need to accept the hard truths of life and start looking for top senior living facilities that they will eventually call home.
It’s going to be an overwhelming process with all the researching, touring, and packing of things. But it will be extra hard and stressful for your loved one, and some may even be a little resistant at first, which is normal and valid.
So make sure to find the best fit and include your loved one in the search for the right senior community for them to ensure their long-term happiness and safety. Here are six tips on how to find the perfect community for your loved one!
1. Determine What Level of Care is Needed
There are plenty of senior care options available for the modern seniors of today. However, it will all depend on the type of services and extent of support they require to live their best life. Some of the most common types of senior living facilities include:
- Independent Senior Living Community for older adults who want to focus on improving the quality of their life by pursuing their interests and making friends.
- Assisted Living Community for seniors who need help accomplishing daily tasks, such as walking, bathing, and grooming.
- Skilled Nursing Care provides continuous care for elders who have chronic health issues or those recovering from an injury or surgery.
- Memory Care Facility refers to a specialized facility for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities are for seniors who need (or may need in the future) a full spectrum continuum care as these types of communities have it all一assisted living services, memory care, skilled nursing, and independent living services.
List down all the things and activities that you or your loved one need help with right now. It can be something as simple as washing the dishes or using the stairs.
Next, write down what you think your loved one may need assistance with in the future. For example, if they have a mild gait or slightly bad back now, that might become a serious health issue that will require extra support and assistance in the future.
2. Search Through a Senior Living Directory
Now that you have figured out what level of care your loved one needs, it’s time to look for top senior living communities suitable for them. You can do this in the traditional way (e.g., get recommendations from loved ones) or by using the internet at your disposal.
However, instead of Googling and rifling through thousands of search results, you can use a senior living directory, such as My Living Choice, to find the best senior living community near you.
On our website, you can search for the type of senior care you are looking for in your specific city. Additionally, you can also browse their compilation of top senior communities near you.
3. Prioritize Safety
The My Living Choice senior living directory provides the basic information of each senior community we feature. This includes their website, services, a short description of their facility, and the types of senior care they provide.
Once you find some of the best facilities near you, you can then visit each website to see a glimpse of what life is like inside their community.
One of the first things you should take a closer look at is your potential community’s state records and safety policies. Do a background check on them and ensure that the facility does not have any criminal history, such as mistreatment reports or reprimands.
4. Consider the Costs
Now that you have a list of top senior living communities, it’s time to crunch some numbers to know if you or your loved one can afford your facility of choice. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Contact your potential facility and inquire about their cost and extra charges. Get a breakdown if you can, so you can compare each community’s costs later on.
- List down other expenses your senior loved one might spend monthly, such as hospital bills, medication, or shopping budget.
- List down your loved one’s income and other financial resources.
If the amount does not seem realistic, don’t worry because there are many funding options that you can explore, like long-term care insurance, social security, or assistance from government programs.
Defining your budget will help you narrow down your top choices for a senior facility. Remember, though, that the best one does not need to be the most expensive one.
5. Tour the Community
After gathering the vital intel, it’s time to take your research to the ground level by scheduling a tour of your potential communities. Going on community visits and tours allows you and your loved ones to assess if a specific facility is a perfect choice for them.
Additionally, visiting your potential communities will allow you to get a real feel of the place since you will meet the caregivers, see the residents, taste their food, and do some of their activities.
Start by calling each potential facility on your list and scheduling a visitation. During your tour, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the community or voice specific concerns for yourself or your loved one.
6. Select the Best Option
After touring each facility, you probably already have your eyes set on a top senior living community. But if not, then you can decide based on what you value or prioritize the most. For instance, you can pick the closest one to your doctor’s clinic for convenience. Or you can choose the other community because you like their fitness programs and diverse activities.
If you or your senior loved one has a hard time deciding, then you can also seek the help of their GP, other family members, or a senior living advisor.