The majority of seniors agree that aging in place in your own home is ideal. For those who need a minimum amount of help every day with non-medical activities, in-home care can be a great option. However, if seniors are looking to live in a community environment, or if their care needs exceed in-home care, it may be time to look at other senior living options.
Fortunately, there are several types of communities available to them, ranging from independent living to skilled nursing homes. Families want the best care and environment possible for their elderly loved ones, but waiting until a crisis occurs will limit your choices of senior living. It’s important to plan ahead if a senior living community is in the near future.
“The best time to look is six months to a year before your parent will need to make the move,” said Paula Carder, an assistant professor at the Institute on Aging at Portland State University in Oregon, and co-author of “Inside Assisted Living: The Search for Home.”
The following steps are recommended for finding the best senior living community for your aging relative.
Determine Your Loved One’s Needs
The first thing to consider is what level of care a senior needs to determine which type of community they should look for. Is your loved one healthy and active but searching for a community? Then they might want to look into an independent living community, which will provide socialization with other residents and a home that is safe to navigate and doesn’t need much maintenance or upkeep.
Assisted living communities are best for those seniors who need more personal care and help with activities of daily living, including help with medications, but don’t need round-the-clock medical supervision. If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s, then a memory care home is a good an option to consider. If a senior has a higher level of personal care or medical needs, then a skilled nursing home may be the best option.
Other things to consider are your financial budget, the location and accessibility of the community, and the future caregiving needs your loved one may have.
Research and Tour Local Communities
The next step is to find communities in your area that fit your needs. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to search online and read reviews for anything – including senior living communities. However, you don’t want to rely on this information alone. Take your loved one for a tour around the community and be sure to note the following:
- The cleanliness and housekeeping procedures (maintenance, laundry, etc.)
- Living quarters size and layout
- Common areas, outdoor areas, and activities center
- Friendliness, experience, training level, and professionalism of staff
- Ratio of staff to residents
- Security and safety of entire premises
It is best to set up a tour during a time when you can participate in an activity or enjoy a meal with the residents to get an overall feel of day-to-day life. Be sure to ask questions and get feedback from residents if you are able, and discuss personal care options with the staff. Overall, it’s best to trust your instinct. Do you and your loved one feel comfortable and at ease in the environment?
Get Help from a Senior Living Advisor
Amada Senior Care recognizes that not every senior can age in place at home, which is why in addition to non-medical in-home care, we also provide senior living advisory services. We truly want what’s best for your elderly loved one, so we take the time to research, visit, and build relationships with the senior living homes and communities in your area. This helps us identify the community that best meets your loved one’s needs.
Because Amada has extensive experience with long-term care insurance, veterans’ programs, and other non-traditional payment options, we’re also able to help families figure out the best ways to pay for senior living options. All of Amada’s senior housing and assisted living placement services are completely free. We specialize in referrals for the following types of facilities:
- Assisted living communities
- Large and small communities
- Independent living communities
- Board and care homes
- Adult family homes
- Senior care homes
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Alzheimer/dementia communities
To locate an Amada Senior Care in your area, visit www.AmadaSeniorCare.com/Locations or call 877-44-AMADA.
Written by Taylor French, Amada contributor.