It isn’t uncommon for a Midwestern senior to have lived in their home for several decades. Just the idea of selling it can be emotional. Those feelings can make the process of searching for a senior living community more difficult to manage. Adult children often step in to try to help an aging parent navigate through the maze of senior care options.
To help families find the community that best meets a senior loved one’s needs, we’ve pulled together a list of things to consider. From pricing to daily life enrichment programs, there are many factors to take in to account when searching for senior living.
7 Tips to Finding a Senior Living Community for a Loved One
Adults in the Midwest are fortunate to have a variety of quality senior living communities to choose from when helping an older family member search for a new place to call home. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the process:
- What type of environment is your parent most comfortable in? Do they like to dress up for dinner or do they prefer a more casual lifestyle? Would they prefer a community that has formal living areas and dining rooms with chandeliers or one that encourages a relaxed atmosphere? Keep the atmosphere and culture of each community in mind as you tour.
- How much care and support will they need? Are they a candidate for an independent living community or do they need the additional support offered in an assisted living community? If your loved one is in the early stages of dementia, does the community offer specialized Alzheimer’s care?
- The daily life enrichment programs that take place in senior living can play an important role in how happy an older adult is living there. Review the community’s activity calendar to see what kinds of programs are schedule throughout the month. Also pay attention to informal groups of residents that gather throughout the community when you are visiting and touring. Are small groups enjoying a game of cards or a movie? Is there an informal gathering of residents enjoying coffee and conversation?
- Will you feel more confident knowing your older loved one is being cared for in a senior living community that is family owned and not part of a large corporation? Families often have peace of mind knowing they have immediate access to the owners if they have an issue or concern to discuss.
- How does the senior living community handle a resident’s changing needs? Are they able to provide more care and services or will a resident be forced to move? Also, ask if there are there any conditions that would force a senior to move?
- What kind of contract will be required of your parent? Is it a month-to-month lease or is a longer commitment required? What happens if things just don’t work out? Will entrance fees and security deposits be refunded?
- Our final tip is an important one. Be sure to ask about the tenure of the staff at the community. Continuity of care and the relationships residents build with staff are vital. A senior living community with a high turnover rate might signal there are problems with how well the community is managed.
We hope these tips are of value to you as your begin your senior living search. If you need to learn more about the different types of senior care, please visit Senior Options. This information will help you better understand the differences between independent living, assisted living, memory care and respite services.