We all want the best for our elderly family members, that they lead happy and fulfilling lives in their older years. However, there may come a time when they need more help with activities of daily living or more medical attention than a family caregiver can provide. If it becomes apparent that you can no longer provide a comfortable lifestyle for your aging loved one on your own, then it’s time to consider the move into an assisted living facility.
To get the process started, there are some things caregivers should know as they begin the search for the best new home for their loved one.
1) Tour various assisted living communities and ask for info. Once you have some information regarding the assisted living facilities available in your area, visit them in-person, preferably with your elderly loved one, and get a feel for the community. It’s a good idea to visit at least five different facilities and narrow your search from there. Visit during social hours like meal times so you can meet some of the staff and residents.
2) Figure out the financials. You’ll need to figure out how much your family can afford on a monthly basis. This may involve selling your loved one’s home and/or car, cashing in a life-insurance policy or pooling money from other family members to help pay for the costs.
3) Involve your loved one in the decision-making process. This is one of the most important factors. If your loved one is able, make sure they participate in the search and let them know that the opinions they have matter. Discuss the pros and cons of the facilities you’ve looked at. Communication is key during this time period; your loved one may feel overwhelmed by all the changes occurring, so making sure they have a voice in the decision can be vital.
4) Be prepared to help your loved one with the move. You may be moving your loved one out of a home they have lived in for many years, so downsizing is going to be a key. Personal items are welcome at assisted living facilities, but space will be much more limited. Take the time to go through items and decide which heirlooms and mementos they’d like to bring with them.
5) Get to know staff members. Some of the employees you should make it a point to get to know include the wellness nurse or nurse practitioner, the activities director, social workers, dietary coordinator or clinical nutrition manager, housekeepers, etc. Feeling confident that your loved one is happy, safe and in good hands will help ease your mind that they are living comfortably in their new living situation.
American Senior Communities has a FAQ page that can help answer your questions when you’re starting your research on assisted living facilities. We encourage you to visit www.ascseniorcare.com for more information about assisted living at American Senior Communities.