It can be a difficult moment when you come to realize that your mom or dad needs senior care in a setting like assisted living. Some will provide care for parents in their own home for a period, but this is not always possible or desired by the children or the parents.
Naturally, many families find themselves searching for assisted living, an intermediate level of residential care for seniors who aren’t safe living alone. Ideally, your parents can be full participants in the search; but when your loved one is impaired by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia you may have to proactively take more control of the decision making.
If you see that your parents need assisted living care, here are steps to help you find the right care:
1. Get Your Loved One Involved
The more involved your parents are in the search, the better. Of course you can do much of the legwork for them, but have discussions with your parents about their desires and preferences and, ideally, present them with a range of options.
2. Figure Out What You Can Afford
Like it or not, money is going to be a factor in most families’ searches. Look at what your family can afford on a monthly basis. Look into veterans benefits and other creative ways to pay for care.
3. Tour Senior Communities
Schedule visits for you and your parent at least three of the communities on your short-list. If you can, it may be helpful to view up to five or six communities as your narrow the search. A good time to tour is during a meal. Potential residents can try the food and get a good sense of the community’s culture; as most of the residents will be out and about during a mealtime. Based on these initial tours, narrow down your search down to two or three favorites. Perform follow up tours, perhaps even unannounced, to get a good sense for the community you and your parent are considering.
4. Come to a Decision
Whether your parent is choosing the community or whether you need to make that decision for parents impaired by dementia or Alzheimer’s, try to make sure that everyone in your family feels good about the choice. When possible, have conversations with your parents discussing the pros and cons of each option and try to find consensus about the right option. Reading reviews of senior communities can also help your make an informed and confident decision. Finally, you can also check the background of an assisted living community you are considering with the licensing agency in your state that monitors assisted living.
5. Make the Move
If you’ve come this far in the process, there’s no sense needlessly delaying the process. It’s risky to procrastinate when a parent needs care, as the delay can lead to avoidable accidents and medical problems.
For more information on assisted living for your aging parent, contact Spring Arbor.
A Place for Mom