4 Ways to Prepare for Different Senior Housing Options
Are you and your family members searching for the best senior housing option for a loved one? Preparing to make this monumental decision isn’t easy. You want to ensure your loved one is happy and healthy, but you also have other important factors to consider like price and care needs.
To ensure your family is ready to make some big decisions regarding different senior housing options, take the following steps. These will help you in your search for the perfect senior housing option for your loved one.
Create a Budget
Let’s tackle pricing first. This is likely your family’s biggest concern when it comes to senior housing options. What can you afford?
Before you even begin your search, you need to determine your budget. In your research for the right living situation for your elderly loved one, you’ll find that there are a wide variety of options, each with a different price tag. If you don’t have your budget outlined, it will be hard to gauge what your family can afford on a month-to-month basis.
You might be considering caring for your senior loved one in their own home. While the house might be paid off, there are plenty of other costs associated with this living option that you might not be aware of. Depending the type of assistance a senior needs, in-home care can be expensive. And, the level of care needed could change at any moment with an illness or an injury. So, what you pay today might not be the price for the future.
Weigh the in-home care option against an assisted living community. While paying a monthly price might seem like you’re spending more money, there are a number of amenities and assistances built into that cost. For instance, the monthly cost could cover round-the-clock care from a trained staff. It also covers transportation, so your loved one could sell their car and reap the benefits of this convenience. These are just two perks on a long list offered by top assisted living communities.
Plus, if you choose the community option over in-home care, your loved one could sell their house. This would cover a large percentage of the cost of an assisted living facility.
Find the Right Fit
Although there are dozens of senior housing options to choose from, it’s important to find the best fit for your loved one. And, if you’re still considering the in-home care, determine if your loved one’s needs are too great to be met comfortably with this housing option.
As you look for the right community or senior living option, keep the answers to these questions in the back of your mind.
- Does your loved one need medical care? Are you looking for a senior housing option that offers daily care and assistance? Make sure the option you choose allows your loved one to get the care they need. It’s important that you consider both a senior’s care needs now and in the future, too.
- Do they need memory support? For Alzheimer’s or dementia patients, living in senior communities provides quite a few benefits, like a routine, a healthy diet, memory therapy, and frequent, attentive care.
- Are they independent? While your loved one might be healthy and independent today, that might not be the case a few years down the road. You don’t want to put off tough decisions until you’re faced with a difficult circumstance.
It never hurts to ask! As you’re researching assisted living communities and other senior housing options for your loved one, you will probably run into some questions about the community. To get answers, go right to the source.
Reach out to the community and ask all your questions. Each community will have contact information listed on their website, i.e. the best email or phone number to reach them. Call or email their staff to ask any questions.
This isn’t a process you should take on alone. Does your loved one have questions? What about the other members of your family? Have an open discussion with everyone involved and compile a list of questions you have.
Here are a few questions you should consider asking:
- What are your staff training requirements?
- Are there nurses at the community 24/7?
- How will you care for my loved one’s specific medical issues?
- What is the resident-to-staff member ratio?
- What is the monthly cost based on my loved one’s care needs?
- Do you currently have a wait list, and if so, how many people are on it?
- What is included in the monthly fee?
Tour Your Top Options
Finally, the best way to evaluate a community is to actually visit it yourself. Schedule a tour of each senior housing option you’re considering, and bring along all the family members involved in the process, especially your elderly loved one if they’re able.
As you’re touring the community, try to get to know the staff members you encounter. Ask as many questions as possible about the care they provide and how long they have worked at that community. For many staff members at assisted living communities, senior care is their calling, and they’ll be happy to give you as much information as you need.
Next, pay attention to the residents. How well are they cared for? Are they engaging in community activities? You want your senior to feel at home in this community, so it’s really important that they like the other residents and find activities that help them connect with their neighbors.
Ultimately, you want to use these tours to decide if each community could truly feel like home for your loved one. They deserve a senior housing option that provides both comfort and dignity. So, consider their happiness above all the other factors.
As your family works through these four steps – budgeting, finding the right fit, asking questions, and touring communities – keep the needs of your senior loved one in mind. Finding the best senior housing option is vital for ensuing they have a happy, healthy life.
Deciding between different senior housing options can be difficult. Use this free guide to make your choice easier.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.