How Do I Find Assisted Living Facilities Near Me?
Your parents are getting older. You worry about them being alone in the old family home by themselves. What if they fell or forgot to take their blood pressure medications?
They don’t need round the clock care and they are adamant about not going someplace they will feel locked up and bored.
Luckily for you, and your loved one, there are options now that allow seniors to get a little extra care and help while still maintaining a little sense of independence.
You want to find someplace that will check in on your dad to make sure he remembered his pills. But you also want to make sure mom has plenty of social activities and can stay busy.
If this describes you, then you will want to check out some assisted living facilities near you.
This article will be your ultimate guide to choosing the best option in an assisted living facility for your loved one. We will consider your particular situation, the features you need as well as your budget. Save this article as it will answer all your questions.
What Is an Assisted Living Facility?
There are approximately 39.5 million Americans aged 65 and older. And this number is only going to increase as more Boomers age. A big concern as your parent or loved one grows older is where they are going to live.
The senior care home industry is increasing as well as the options available to you. Navigating the process of finding the perfect home for your loved one can be intimidating. We will break it down for you so that you can make the best decision possible for your family member.
As your mom or dad ages, they might require more assistance then they can give themselves living at home, but they don’t need total care. This is where assisted living facilities come in to help you and your loved one.
An assisted living facility will provide a higher level of care than living independently, while also giving your loved one a sense of independence. Your mom or dad might need a little extra help getting in and out of the bathtub. Or they might need a friendly reminder to take their medications.
But they don’t need round the clock nursing care. This is where assisted living facilities shine. That middle ground that offers a little extra assistance but also allowing personal freedoms.
Residents usually live in their own rooms, condos, or apartments. There is a staff on-site that is available to check on your mom or dad but they won’t enter without being called to do so.
There are cords in the bathroom your mom or dad could pull if they find they need a little extra assistance. But in general, they will need to be able to get themselves to the bathroom on their own and know when they need to do so.
Many times assisted living facilities even allow your family member to keep their personal vehicle and offer parking options. Other times, a company van and driver are offered as a key benefit. Whether your mom or dad is able to still drive themselves or not, it’s likely the facility you choose will be able to ensure your mom or dad can still go to their doctor’s appointments, hair appointments or church.
Benefits of Assisted Living
An assisted living facility is different from a traditional nursing home you might be picturing. Firstly, they allow a bit of privacy for their residents who live in small apartment homes rather than shared rooms.
This also allows your loved on to keep a small amount of independence as they will be living in their apartment alone and only asking for help when they need it. There are opportunities to socialize as well as scheduled activities off-campus that your mom or dad could join in.
Overall, there are many benefits to choosing an assisted living facility over another level of nursing care. Assisted living facilities provide some very helpful benefits that your mom or dad will surely appreciate including:
- Three meals a day
- Laundry care
- Assistance with medications
- Grooming assistance and barbers or hairdressers on site
- Pharmacy services
- Social work assistance and services
- Accessible vehicle and driver for appointments
An assisted living facility helps your loved one with their daily activities such as ensuring they get help when they need it. The activities of daily living can vary from bathing and dressing in the morning to meals and social activities throughout the day.
These benefits cover the concerns you have about your loved one staying in their home. You won’t have to worry about your dad skipping a meal or forgetting to take his pills. There will be caregivers on-site at the facility around the clock to ensure his well-being.
Not only do assisted living facilities take care of your parent's medical and physical needs, but they care for their social and mental well being also.
Features of an Assisted Living Facility
Along with the medical and care-giving benefits that come with assisted living facilities, your mom or dad will enjoy the many personal features that are provided.
It's important for us to stay active as we get older. The days of sitting in a nursing home are past us. Today's senior citizens are staying active much longer, and this is helping them to stay healthy much longer too.
Activity staff will remind and encourage your family members to attend events. They will get to know your parents and encourage them to come to the events they know they enjoy.
- Social activities on site
- Social activities off-site and field trips
- Book clubs
- Trips to the movies and movie nights at the facility
- Exercise facilities and knowledge physical therapy staff on-site
- Religious and spiritual staff and services
From bingo to book clubs your mom is sure to find the perfect social circle to keep her entertained.
Social activities directors get to know each of the residents at their facilities. They know what activities each person enjoys and they work hard to provide those activities for your family members. They will remind your loved one before each activity starts to ensure they don’t miss out on anything.
Drawbacks of an Assisted Living Facility
As your mom or dad ages, they may find their needs change. Their required level of care may increase. This will require your family member to move to a new facility.
Some senior care facilities are offering multiple levels of care on one campus to allow your family members to stay on campus but move to a facility that will be able to give the proper level of care needed.
If you want your mom and dad to stay together this type of multi-level care campus may be important so that each spouse is able to get what they need.
If your parent or loved one likes to have their independence, assisted living facilities allow your family member to come and go as they please. However, if they start to have memory problems, this type of independence could become detrimental. Ask questions to find out just how open or locked down your assisted living facility is.
How You’ll Pay for It
One of the first things each facility will want to know from you is how you’ll be paying for their services. There are a number of different options, and you can combine some of them.
Look over the list below and know upfront just what your budget will be for the facility. Decide now how you’ll pay for this higher level of care.
- Sell the family home when mom and dad move out
- Savings and retirement accounts
- Long-term care insurance
- Veterans care insurance through the VA
If your dad served in the military he will qualify for long term care. And depending on when your parents were married, spouses are sometimes covered as well. Call the VA and ask questions, find out what is covered and who is covered. This will help you make your decisions.
The choice to downsize now, while your family member can help make some of the decisions, is very advantageous. They can help make decisions about which items should be kept in the family and which can be sold. Having an estate sale could help fund the move to an assisted living facility.
Know your budget from the beginning, so you don’t fall in love with something you simply can’t afford. Likewise, know what services your mom or dad needs the most from the sections above. Don’t overpay for something and find you aren’t using half their benefits or features.
Budget isn’t a fun subject, but you are making a huge life decision. These tough conversations need to happen now so you can make the best decision for your family member.
How to Find the Perfect Assisted Living Facilities Near You
This type of decision is going to take some time and research before you pick one. Whether you are choosing for yourself, your spouse, or a parent you need to weigh all your options before deciding.
Take the time to do your research. Visit each facility. Bring your notepad with you and take notes while you’re touring. Refer back to these notes later on as you weigh all your options.
The best way to find the perfect facility for your loved one is to have a plan of action. Grab a notebook or tablet and start making your list of what your loved one will need.
Use the lists above to help you if you find yourself stuck on what they might need. You aren’t limited to their physical care giving needs. Different facilities will offer different options for social activities, religious services, and even trips off-campus.
Lastly, as you weigh all your options, be sure to include your loved one in the decision. Remember they are going through a big transition in their lives. They may be moving out of a home they have lived in for many decades.
Be sensitive to this transition. Involved them in each visit if that’s possible. Unfortunately many times families wait until there has been an accident and mom or dad is in the hospital while you are making this decision.
But if you can, do everything you can to involve them in this decision. It will be one of the most important decisions and transitions in their lives.
What to Look for When You Visit
You won’t be able to make the best decision for your loved one by looking online only. You will need to schedule a visit to each facility. The best way to get a feel for whether your not your parent or spouse will truly feel at home is to visit in person.
Walk around, talk to the staff, watch how the other residents are able to get around. Drop-in on a social activity if you can, you might see just how well your mom will fit in and find new friends right away.
These in-person visits will put your mind at ease once you move your family member in. You will be able to rest easy knowing they are being well cared for and will have plenty of welcoming social events to attend.
Visiting in person will be very beneficial for you as well. You will likely be visiting quite often.
You'll want to ask yourself the following questions:
- How long is the drive?
- How bad is the traffic?
- Is the surrounding area a neighborhood you will comfortable visiting at night after work?
These are all questions you should ask each time you tour a new facility. They will help you in making the best decision you can for you and your family.
You want to find a place that offers safety and security for your loved one while also providing support with their daily lives. Assisted living facilities offer just that and more.
You're sure to find the perfect facility for your mom or dad with a little research and armed with a plan of action.
The Best Years of Our Lives
At the beginning of this article, we promised you the ultimate guide to finding the best assisted living facility near you. We hope we have done just that. We have defined for you just what assisted living facilities will (or won’t) do for your loved one.
From providing you with peace of mind that your parent or loved one will be well taken care of to providing safety and assistance to your loved, assisted living facilities are a great transition out of the family home and into a higher level of care.
You can rest easy knowing your loved one is getting better nutrition, an increased social life, and help with their many activities of daily living. Reduce your stress today by talking with your family member about an assisted living facility.
We have given you the benefits and features so you know what to look for when you tour each facility. If any facility is lacking the key benefits you want, keep looking. The perfect living situation for your loved one is out there and you will find it.
Armed with your plan, your list of wants and must-haves, along with your budget you are sure to find the perfect long term living solution for your parent, spouse or loved one.
Keep browsing our website and blog. We put up information every day to help you make this difficult decision. This is where your loved one will live and you want to make sure they are well taken care of and feel at home.
Don’t take this decision lightly, use the information in this article to find the perfect place and begin your search for communities.