Wait List, Wait, Hurry Up GO!

By Eunice K. Neubauer, CSA

Elderly Senior Care Facilities Wait List Twin Cities MNThere are many senior housing options going up around the Twin Cities right?   You would think there would be availability?  But if you aren’t the first to get on the reservation list of a new building in development you may not get in.  That is assuming you can afford to pay for market rate apartments.   If you need low income housing also known as subsidized or Section 8 housing, the majority of those wait lists around the metro are closed and you can’t even get on them.

Tips on Wait Lists for Independent Senior Living

  • If the wait list is free, and it’s a building in a location that you desire, there is no harm in getting on the wait lists. Put your name on more than one wait list if you like the community.  This gives you more options.
  • Understand a senior living’s process for their wait list? If you turn down an apartment what happens?  Sometimes you go to bottom on the first decline other times on the second decline and some you never go to the bottom.
  • They may ask you if you have a time line in mind for moving and therefore won’t call you until that time of year.
  • If you have a very specific unit you are waiting for such as a 2-bedroom 2 bath, facing east with a balcony, your wait could be longer so narrow it down to top communities and be specific in your wait list detail.
  • Understand if there is an external and internal wait list?
  • If you are on the wait list and have a health crisis, does it change their approach to getting you in their building? For example, at many buildings today that are continuum of care communities, Independent and assisted living can be in the same apartment.  There may be more of a priority for assisted living move ins and they want to help when in need.  You may find this approach in the nonprofit options.

Be Ready To Move

  • If the apartment you are waiting for becomes available, think seriously before turning it down. You typically have 30 days before rent is due for an independent apartment and sometimes longer.
  • Start the process of downsizing well before you move to a senior living option. This is an overwhelming process for many.  We can help with contacts to help make this easier, such as professional organizers and move managers that have a good sense for what can be sold vs. donated etc.
  • It’s still a seller market today. Have your home inspected and invite several realtors to give you a market assessment of your home so you know who you will list with when the time comes.
  • It’s always easier to move and then sell the home. If your finances allow that, it’s the way to go to save on emotional and physical stress in the process.   After all, moving for anyone at any stage is a difficult stressful life event.

Recently in touring with a client she told me that they called her from the CDA (Dakota County Senior Housing Program) and she had 24 hours to tell them if she wanted to move.    The thought of selling quickly and moving overwhelmed her and she turned it down.   Now the wait list is closed and she has very limited choices and would have liked to be in a more social senior living community.

It’s scary to make the move, yet know that many many  have done this before you and so many will say, ‘I should have done it earlier!’

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