Choosing a senior living facility


Many seniors reach a point in their lives where they simply can’t manage all their daily tasks alone. When that day comes, for most families the best move is to help them find a quality senior living facility where they can make a new home.

It’s a hard decision and the stakes are high. You want your loved one to be happy, and many seniors are resistant to the idea of leaving their home behind for assisted or senior living at first. If you take time to find the right facility however, the transition will be much easier and your loved one’s chances at long-term happiness should stay intact.

3 key reminders when choosing a Senior Care Facility

To make the right decision, you should take a few steps that can help you hone in on the right senior care facility for your loved one.

1. Figure Out Your Budget

First things first, you need to know what you can afford. Sit down and do the math. How much does your loved one receive each month in social security? Do they have a pension or VA benefits? How much do they currently have in their retirement accounts? If necessary (and feasible for you), how much can you and other loved ones contribute?

Use those numbers to work out what they’re able to spend monthly on a facility. If you have long-term care insurance or are eligible for the Aid and Attendance Pension, then look into how much that will cover in monthly assisted living costs as well.

Assisted living is an expense a family has to plan for, so after tallying everything up, don’t be surprised if you still come up short. If your loved one owns a home, then selling it could help you make up the difference.

2. Discuss the current & future needs

It’s important to balance optimism with a dose of realism. Be realistic about you or your loved one’s current care needs as well as their anticipated needs. Ideally, you will choose a community that is equipped to provide care now and in the future, as loved ones age.

Too often, families come to us for assistance after initially choosing a facility that was not capable of offering the level of services required. Take a look at the health issues and ask the doctor what support they will need in the future. It’s better to have a community that can handle those future needs rather than having to move your parent to another community in the near future.

Moving a loved one from facility to facility is not only burdensome and costly to your family, it can also be emotionally and physically detrimental to the senior, particularly when that senior dementia, which can make adapting to changes especially difficult.

3. Tour the Facility

Your research will help you narrow down your options, but you shouldn’t make a decision based on internet research alone. The only way to really get a feel for a facility and ensure it’s the right choice for your loved one is to go visit it together.

If you are doing this search on your own, call the facility to set up a tour of each assisted living home that made it on your shortlist. While you’re there, be sure to walk the facility, check out the living quarters, and talk to some current residents to get their take on the place.

You wouldn’t buy a house without doing a walk-through, so you should definitely do the same for any senior living facility you consider before making a commitment. You want to feel confident the place is somewhere that your loved one can live comfortably and happily.

Once you find an assisted living home for your loved one that’s a good fit, you can help them make the move while knowing that it’s truly the best thing for them.