Choosing the Right Home
You don’t want your loved one to live in just any senior living community. You want to find one that’s the “right fit.” It should be a place that’s comfortable and makes your loved one feel safe and secure. But with so many communities out there, how do you settle on the right one? We’ve got the top three things your family should consider during your search:
Some senior living communities only offer one care option, while others offer several. It’s crucial to find one that has the right care option for your loved one. Take time to think about what your loved one needs: Do they require supportive care, memory care, or around-the-clock medical or rehabilitation care? Below is a quick reference to the various care types and how that might determine which senior living community you need.
- If a senior needs Support, independent living may be the right choice. Independent living provides supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, transportation, and opportunities for social engagement.
- If a senior needs Care, assisted living might be the right choice. Assisted living offers most of the amenities of independent living plus care staff to help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming, and medication management.
- If a senior needs Memory Support, an Alzheimer’s and dementia care facility might be the best choice. They offer specialized programs and secure environments designed for those who are living with dementia.
- If a senior needs around-the-clock medical care or rehabilitation, skilled nursing might be the right choice. Skilled nursing is an environment that can provide around-the-clock nursing services and/or short-term rehabilitation.
Everyone’s needs are unique, and yours may not always fit into these categories. Start with the care type that seems right and go from there. It is important to decide the best care fit for your loved one both now and in the future.
The old adage in real estate “location, location, location” is true of senior living but for different reasons. Finding a facility that is close to family and friends is ideal. Close proximity means you can make frequent visits, and participate more in your loved one’s life.
Sometimes a move means that your loved one must leave their own community and move to a different town or even different state to be closer to family. This kind of decision, which is faced by many families, requires open, honest discussions. Many families do decide it’s in the best interest of a senior to move closer to family members.
Once the care needs and proximity are determined, it is important to “try on” local facilities to see if they are the right fit. Before you go on a visit, spend time discussing what features are important to your family. Make a list of the top three to four non-negotiable items a community must have. This might include being a pet-friendly community, having a certain size apartment, or accommodating a particular dietary need. Bring that list with you and discuss these with the staff. Some other things to consider on your visit:
- Does the facility feel comfortable when you walk in?
- Is the environment clean and clutter free?
- Are residents engaged?
- Do staff members smile and greet you?
- Does the size and location of the apartment accommodate your loved ones needs?
- Are there activities are of interest to your loved one?
At Brookdale, we have years of experience helping families find the right community. Feel free to give us a call and we can help you through the process.