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 factors to consider in making the “right” decision the first time. That means finding the community that most closely matches your and your loved one’s needs AND preferences, so you never have to move again. Making a move is a very emotional and life changing event. You want to have confidence you are making the best decision possible. These factors include:
- Be realistic about what your needs are currently and in the future. It doesn’t help to say you don’t really need much help when you may within a year or so. Many communities offer a full range of services, but some cannot support certain medical conditions like sliding scale insulin or two-person transfers. Be transparent with actual needs.
- Location. Location is always a main factor when you make a move at anytime in your life. When a move is in the last phase of life, considering who the key people are, that are caring and advocating for you, is important. The easier it is for that person to visit the better. When driving ceases, does it really matter that you or your loved one lives in their same community? Will people take you to their church of many years? Will relatives drive often to visit and care for you?
- Quality of Care. Factoring in where all family members live is very important, as visits are a vital part of your care. 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 wait lists. 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 materials. You want to be sure you understand any waitlist payment rules, frequency of care management meetings, process of recording care services, pricing on services, timing on move in and payments. Although cost is very important. It isn’t always the most important factor in your final decision. The most important thing to know about the community you choose if you feel you will out live your assets is whether or not they accept medical assistance.
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. If you need assistance in your choice, call Choice Connections, we’ll educate you on all the options and save you time in your search.