What Factors To Consider When Selecting Assisted Living in the Twin Cities
By Lori J Larson, CSA
When it is time to look at Assisted Living options, either you have prepared ahead of time or you are in a crisis and need to make a decision quickly. Either way, there are 4 factors to consider to make the “right” decision the first time. That means finding the community that most closely matches your needs AND wants so you never have to move again. Making a move is a very emotional and life changing decision. You want to have confidence you are making the best decision possible. These factors include:
- Be realistic about what your needs are. It doesn’t help to say you don’t really need much help when you may within a year of so. Many communities offer a full range of services, but some cannot support certain medical conditions like sliding scale insulin or two-person transfer.
- Location vs. Quality of Care. Factoring in where all family members live is very important, as visits are a vital part of the emotional health of our seniors. However, it is more important to select the community that provides the highest quality of care and service to the family even if it means driving another 10 minutes.
- Timing. Ideally we all plan far enough ahead to maximize our options, but this isn’t how it always works out. For those who are planning ahead, spend the time to visit at least 3 -5 communities and get on a wait list if the one you like doesn’t have current openings. It usually doesn’t take long before you get a call. If you are in a time crunch, there are always multiple options to wait for the place you want. You can stay in a rehab center and pay the daily rate, you can move into a furnished “respite” apartment, you can bring in extra in-home care for a short time. Consider your options and don’t let timing drive your decision.
- Cost. Be sure you read all of the agreement. You want to be sure you understand any wait list payment rules, frequency of care management meetings, process of recording care services, pricing on services, timing on move in and payments.
Moving to an assisted living community can be the best thing that you can do for yourself or your loved one. Many people are sorry they waited so long to make the move once they start receiving all the services. Make your community choice the “right” one the first time.