As your parents get older, it may be time to consider enlisting the help of an assisted living or senior care community. According to recent data, almost 30,000 assisted living facilities are operating throughout the United States. If you think it’s time to help your parents choose a senior living community, what’s the best way to do it? Read on for some ways that you can help your parents choose a senior living community that will meet their needs in the best possible way.
Discuss Your Aging Parent’s Needs
Before you start looking for senior housing, it’s essential to sit down with your parents and talk about their needs. In some cases, you might be surprised to learn that they were already considering moving into some form of a senior living community. Be honest and open with your parents and talk about the challenges they’re facing. If they don’t think that they’re ready to move, let them know why you think it might be a good idea. The purpose of a senior living community is to improve your parent’s quality of life not just right now but also in the future. If one or both of your parents are dealing with health concerns, this is something to consider addressing during the conversation.
Jot Down Questions and Concerns
There are several types of senior living communities and assisted living facilities available, so narrowing down your choices is absolutely crucial. Start the process by writing down any questions that you and your parents have. Make sure that the senior living facility is able and willing to offer a free tour of the community. This will give you an opportunity to get a close look at the facility and ask more questions of the staff in person.
When you take a tour, you and your parents will feel more confident about your decision. It’s also the best way to get a good “feel” for the places you’re interested in to help you determine which one is right for you. Now is also a good time to talk about which amenities are services are most important to your parents. Ask them to make a “wish list” of all their wants and needs. Use the wish list as a guide to help you narrow down the list of contenders to around three or four communities near you. Don’t forget to go online and browse each website so that you can look more closely into what they have to offer.
Schedule a Tour of Several Senior Living Facilities
After you’ve discussed this major move with your parents and narrowed down your choices, it’s time to schedule some in-person tours. Keep in mind that these tours are just a way for you to research your options and look at each community more closely. Don’t put any pressure on your parents to make a decision just yet. Instead, use the tours as a chance to get a clearer idea of what you and your parents can expect if they choose one of the options on your list.
Think about how the staff greets you, how kind they are, and how the residents seem to feel about living there. Examine the cleanliness of the community including individual apartments, restrooms, and common areas. If possible, stop and talk to a few residents to find out what they think.
Ask what types of activities and amenities are available to residents and whether they have medical staff on-site. Take notes and if you’re allowed, it can’t hurt to take a few photos, too. This will help you remember which places you liked the most, and which ones you may decide to pass on. Make sure that you bring a list of your parent’s concerns and questions with you during the tour so you don’t forget anything. Write down the answers that you get from each facility on separate pieces of paper. This will make it easier to keep track of which places resonated with you the most.
Talk About Your Visits
The best senior living facility is one that will help to improve your parent’s life and give them safety and security. After all of the tours, schedule a time to sit down with your parents to recap each place you visited. Make sure that your parents are honest about the places they liked and disliked. Do this soon after you take the tours so that everything is still fresh in their minds. Ask them what they liked and disliked about each location and which ones felt the most welcoming. Don’t forget to ask what they thought about the apartments, dining options, amenities, and activities that each one offers.
While the location of the senior living facility affects you, what the facility offers your parents is really what matters most. Remember that ultimately, this is where your parents will live moving forward so the final decision should ultimately be left to them. If you have any follow-up questions, now is the time to ask the facilities or communities you’re most interested in. Take note of how fast they respond and what they say to help you narrow down the choices even further until you settle on the place that’s right for all of you.
Find the Best Senior Living Community for Your Parents
Remember these tips to help you find a senior living community for your parents. With the right questions on hand and a few personal tours, you’ll be able to move forward with confidence. If you’d like to schedule a tour of one of our communities or talk to to one of our senior living advisors, be sure to contact us today.