With the baby boomer generation getting older, many people are in the position of making big decisions about elderly care for aging parents. Whether you’re a senior looking at your next steps, or you’re a caregiver to a senior parent in need of personal care, it’s a good idea to do some planning around this important transition. For things to consider when transitioning your parent or family member into an assisted living facility, or for the older adult looking to find the right assisted facility for their own personal care, read on.
Start with an Honest Conversation.
The decision to move a loved one into an assisted living facility is a big step. Whether it’s that home care isn’t working out, that chores have become too much for the older adult, or that a diagnosis like Alzheimer’s Disease has the family concerned about the level of care needed, it can be difficult to make a final decision about placing a family member in care.
However, the reality is that many assisted living facilities offer seniors the ability to live independent lives while providing help with activities of daily living. That is, while some families worry that their loved ones won’t like living in an assisted living facility, the truth is that many seniors enjoy the amenities and opportunities these facilities provide. For example, at Vista Springs, there’s an emphasis on a senior’s spirituality. If that’s important to the older adult in your family, it’d be a great choice for you.
Start with a conversation with your parent or family members about their fears and concerns about long-term care, assisted living, and other options. Talk about what matters to your loved one most. What do they value? What are they afraid of? How can the facility meet that need? In being honest with your limits, fears, and even hopes, it’ll be easier to make a decision everyone feels good about.
Consider all Costs.
Once you and your family member make a decision about the right assisted living community, there’s still the concern about how to pay for accommodations. As retired seniors, most people who move into these communities are on a limited budget. For this reason, you’ll want to consider ways to save money to make the facility easier to pay for. Things like the right prescription discount card for prescription medications, costs of wellness plans, and other expenses are important to think about before moving into an assisted living facility. Start with enrolling in a discount program at your local pharmacy and go from there. You’ll be glad you paid closer attention to the budget when you realize your average savings.
Make a Plan to Stay Connected.
As a move to a new facility nears, it’s a good idea to make a plan of ways you’ll stay connected. For many seniors, there’s a concern that their family won’t visit or that they’ll be left out or forgotten. By coming up with a regular schedule to connect—such as weekly phone calls and visits, you’ll all be on the same page as to ways you’ll stay connected.
Explore all options.
While it might be tempting to register for the first affordable facility you tour, it’s a good idea to explore all options. When doing your research, you’ll need to think about the future and higher levels of care. Ask about activities, private rooms, opportunities for staying connected, and more. While one facility might have fantastic common areas, another could offer care for a specific form of dementia. Knowing these options ahead of time will help when making the right decision for you. At the very least, it will make the transition easier.
At the end of the day, it only makes sense that you want the best for your family member. Whether you’re just beginning the process of looking into outside health care providers or calling assisted living facilities for informational purposes, or you be moving a member of your family soon, the best way to make this transition is with honest conversation and a plan to stay connected. Taking the time to talk about the impending move now, understanding preferences and things like medication management needs will mean a better quality of life going forward.