Updated: Aug 8
You and your loved one have discussed moving into an assisted living community, whether it is for the additional support that can be provided or for increased social opportunities. However, choosing a new place to call home can be a difficult decision and one that should not wait for a crisis. It is better to evaluate and select a facility before one is needed - this way a plan is in place. Below are some tips to take into consideration when deciding on an assisted living facility.
The cost of assisted living can vary widely depending on location and the
services and amenities offered. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the median monthly cost of assisted living is $4500, although in some areas that jumps to $6300. Before you start looking, it is important to determine how much you can afford and how you will pay for assisted living. While some people have long term care insurance or Veteran’s benefits that can cover some of the costs, many pay privately and often sell or rent out their homes in order to afford the move. In some states, Medicaid can assist with the cost for eligible individuals.
Size and Atmosphere
Your loved one needs to feel comfortable in his or her new home. If they are accustomed to living in a single family home, then a move to a large multistoried building may be too much of an adjustment. You may want to consider a smaller facility or one with a more home-like layout. However, it is not just the size of the community that is important, but also the feel and atmosphere. Some assisted living communities may feel like a spa or hotel, whereas others feel more informal. The activities offered at the assisted living and the available amenities will also contribute to the feel of the community. You may want to visit several facilities to determine what size and atmosphere is the best fit for your loved one’s personality and lifestyle.
Location is not just about the neighborhood. Consider how easy it will be to access medical providers, favorite stores and restaurants, places of worship, and other activities in the community, as well as the ability of friends and family to visit. People frequently move to assisted living to be geographically closer to their children; however a move can also create a loss of community since friends and activities may be too far from the new residence. Consider whether this is important to your loved one.
Evaluating and Choosing an Assisted Living
Hopefully, you have narrowed down your choices by now. If you haven't already, talk to friends and family members who live in assisted living for their opinions. and if you still need assistance, consider hiring a care manager or an assisted living placement agency. It is important to visit your preferred assisted living communities because this will most likely be what helps you make a decision. Make sure to ask questions and talk with the residents and staff while visiting.