I know I need to, but how do I begin the search process?

You’ve made the difficult decision and you know it is time for mom or dad to go to an assisted living facility.  So now what?
 
This is a very emotional time which may lead to rushed decisions.  Can we afford this? Will Mom be happy here?  Where do I even start? 
 
To avoid this, we recommend taking an analytical approach to your facility selection.  There will be some subjectivity and often more than one right answer – it is important to understand what the trade offs are, to gather as much information as possible, and to ask the right questions.
 
So let’s begin.  Start with a grid or matrix, pen and paper, excel spreadsheet, whatever is most comfortable.  List out the top five features that are most important.  Maybe it is driving distance, elements of independence like a supervised kitchen, or a specific level of care that is reassuring.  Put these in rank order of importance.  Use these as the foundation for questions to ask the executive director or marketing director at each facility.  Some additional criteria that we would want to consider:
  • Quality of care: First and foremost, do you think they have the training and commitment to take care of someone that is so important to you.  You should not consider any facilities that fail this most basic test.
  • Cost: Assisted Living is an expensive proposition – does the facility fit into your financial plan that will allow your loved one to stay here as long as necessary?  Remember, this is replacing 100% of their living expenses.  Costs can range quite a bit, from $2000-8000 in some cases.
  • Location: Is the facility near the siblings and friends that are most likely to visit, equidistant to all interested parties, near your loved ones favorite setting (e.g., near mountains, by a lake, in the city). 
  • Extras: There is a lot in this bucket (e.g., “newness” of the facilities, food options, exercise activities, entertainment options, outings for events or shopping trips). If any of these are extremely important to you, give them their own evaluation bucket.  In general, these will have a big impact on the quality of life of your loved one and will help you decide between facilities that have sufficient quality of care and are within your budget.

If this raises any questions, let us know.  Also, look for posts in the coming weeks where we dissect each of these buckets in more detail and also talk about how we plan to help make it easier on you to compare facilities and get your loved one “Living Assisted.”

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2 Responses to I know I need to, but how do I begin the search process?

  1. JANICE REQUINTON says:

    NOT SURE IF I NEED ASSISTED OR INDEPENDENT LIVING. HOW DO I GET SIGNED WITH MEDICAID? MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS BUT ABLE TO GET AROUND FOR NOW AND CAN DO FOR SELF FAIRLY WELL

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