It’s not uncommon for people, as they get older, to become quite dependent on members of their family because they can’t safely perform simple, daily tasks. It’s just the way life is and you can’t do much about it. When that time comes, it’s best to sit down with your elders and talk about an assisted living facility. At first, there might be some resistance but if you manage to calmly explain to them the benefit of an assisted living facility, we have no doubts in our mind they’ll be glad to move into one.
When they do, you need to meet their expectations and place them in a reliable facility, with staff that cares about their residents. Considering there are many facilities of this kind and some of them aren’t the best place to live out your old days, we thought we’d give you a hand. If you’re willing, we’d like to share a few tips on how to find a reliable assisted living facility for your loved ones.
1. Figure Out The Finances
Now, talking about expenses in the same sentence when you’re discussing the well-being of your parents or grandparents doesn’t sound quite right, but in the end, you can only afford so much. Before you even start looking at homes, you need to set a budget. The last thing you want to do is visit a facility both you and your loved ones fall in love with, only to realize there’s a way you could afford it.
If you can handle the finances all by yourself, you can always ask for help from a financial advisor or planner to help you work out your budget. Maybe you could sell your parent’s house if you won’t live in it and that influx of cash could help them spent their last chapter at a wonderful assisted living facility or you could work out a way for you to split the cost if that’s what you want and can afford. Either way, finances come first – the rest of it comes later.ž
2. Make A Shortlist
To save time and effort, go online, search for the assisted living facilities within your budget and identify the best ones by reading the reviews or something of sorts. This should help you out tremendously in making the shortlist. Once you have your shortlist or a wish list – you can then proceed to compare them, inspect them and finally settle on the perfect one.
3. Keep It Close
When making a shortlist, keep in mind that you’ll probably want to visit your parents from time to time or however often you want. If you intend on visiting a few times a week, it might be best to focus on the ones near your home, so that the visits don’t disturb your regular schedule all too much. You may find the one that’s quite far from your home but keep in mind that the visits will mean a lot to your loved ones.
4. Make Safety Your Number One Priority
According to Siennaliving, safety should be your number one priority when selecting an assisted living facility. This includes both on and off-the-premises security.
Most people don’t pay enough attention to this, but they should. Don’t judge the place by how it looks on the surface, that rarely reflects how things actually are. Make sure you check the state records before you settle on a facility. If there are any records of mistreatment or wrongdoings, offenses or crimes – you should probably stay away from that facility as they can’t guarantee your loved ones’ safety. If the “background check” checks out – consider our next tip.
5. Visit Unexpectedly
Visits and tours of the assisted living facilities aren’t uncommon. On the contrary, they’re virtually part of the protocol. However, if you plan and schedule a visit, you may be looking at a different picture. You see, scheduled visits are always prepared and they exist to showcase the facility in the best light. However, if you show up unannounced, you’re pretty much guaranteed a raw tour.
6. Be A Thorough Tourist
Once you decide to visit and tour the facility, make sure to be thorough in your touring. Inspect all of the things that can be inspected. Walk through the whole facility, inside and out, including the resident’s rooms. Make sure to pay attention to all the minor details that might be important to you or your parents. Pay close attention to how to atmosphere feels like, how does the staff handle the pressure and how do they treat the residents. Also, don’t forget to ask for a meal. Pay, if you have to, but make sure you give it a taste. This should give you a good idea of how’s the food and whether your parents will like it or not.
7. Talk To The Residents Or Their Families
While touring the facility, don’t be afraid to ask the residents how they feel, how they’re treated, what they like and dislike about the facility and so on. Don’t worry you’re going to bother them, chances are, they’re happy to talk to someone outside of their family or the other residents in the facility. Ask as many of them as you can and make sure to ask both grandmas and grandpas, as they could very well be treated differently.
Additionally, if you happen to visit on a family day – talk to the other families. They should be able to give you a good insight into how things work, based on what they’ve heard from their loved ones.
8. Talk To The Staff
Also, you should talk to the staff. Naturally, you’d want someone to take good care of your parents, as good as you would. For that reason, it’s important to talk to the staff as well. Pay close attention to their behaviour, how they talk to each other, to you or the residents and ask them any question you feel like you should ask. In general, you should be able to make a solid assumption about the staff from just a few minutes of casual conversation.
9. Listen To Your Gut
Even after you’ve done all the research, visited the facilities and inspected them back and forth, talked both to residents and staff – you still need to follow your intuition. If your gut’s telling you something’s off – you should probably listen to it. Just as much, if it feels right – give it a try!
In the end, all we could say is that we hope we’ve been helpful. We’ve tried our best to give you some quite useful advice and we sincerely hope we’ve managed to do so.