Do you have a loved one who needs dedicated senior care? Today there are over one million seniors in assisted living, and in the next decades, that number is set to increase as more baby boomers retire and age. Some seniors are able to age in place in their homes, with perhaps the occasional visit from a home health aide. This can be a great idea for some seniors, but others require round-the-clock care and additional senior living options.
If you and a parent are considering the switch to an assisted living home, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of resources available to guide your choice. Here are a few steps you might need to follow in order to arrive at your decision and find the best alternative for everyone in the family:
1. Have honest discussions about senior care options. At first, many seniors are reluctant to admit that they may not be able to age in place at home. This can create tension in the family if the subject of assisted living is not brought up tactfully. However, if you have health concerns for your parent, such as injuries from falls or depression caused by isolation, then you can bring these up as potential reasons to move to assisted living.
2. Get medical advice from your parent’s doctor. If your words are not enough to sway mom or dad, the family doctor may be able to make recommendations regarding senior care. A medical professional might be able to bring up the benefits of living in a senior community and even explain common treatments and care available in these homes.
3. Research your options thoroughly. It’s important to know how senior care will be paid for. Some homes may be covered fully by Medicaid funds or Social Security, but others might require retirement money instead — yours or your parent’s. There’s also sometimes a huge difference in cost between for-profit and non-profit senior homes, so make sure that you know which services you’re getting and at what price.
4. Visit a senior living community in your area. The best way to determine whether or not a senior care facility is for your loved one is for both of you to check one out yourselves. Visit the facility and observe both the staff and residents to see how pleased they are living there. Also, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions and talk to residents about their experience, if possible.
Have more questions about choosing senior care? Be sure to do research online and offline to find the best senior living options. You can also leave a comment below with questions and suggestions. More on this.