As adults grow older, sometimes they start to require help with their daily activities. These often include things like personal grooming, meal preparation, and visiting the bathroom. A common solution for this is to join an assisted living community where loved ones who are no longer able to live alone can be cared for and supported by caregivers. There are currently about 28,900 assisted living communities in the U.S., and choosing the housing that best fits your loved ones can be tough. Here are the top 3 things to consider when choosing assisted living:
Assisted Living or Nursing Homes?
The first thing to consider is whether assisted living is right for your aging loved ones. Assisted living is usually recommended for individuals who, aside from needing help with daily tasks, have no other complications that would require immediate medical attention. The assistance they receive is additional help in their otherwise mostly-independent lifestyle.
On the other hand, nursing homes have medically-trained nurses and cater to older adults who have conditions that need daily medical care. They also offer rehabilitation services for residents who are there for the short or long term. Hence, whilst assisted living offers a home-like setting and recreational amenities, nursing homes tend to be a bit more clinical to offer higher levels of care.
The Cost of Assisted Living
Assisted living can be quite costly – between $1,000 and $5,000 per month on average – and this high cost should be one of the top considerations when choosing an assisted living community. After all, no one wants to fall in love with a place before realizing they are unable to afford it.
You may want to engage a financial planner to help budget your parent’s retirement savings or sell off some assets and see if it will cover the housing costs. Alternatively, you may look towards your finances or discuss it with your spouse about it if you plan to foot the bills.
Do some research on the popular assisted living communities in your area to get a grasp of how much it may cost. You may also want to take into account the specific needs of your loved ones and match it to the costs to determine if that particular community is the best fit. It is best if you can have a transparent discussion with your loved ones about their needs and your finances before making a choice.
Community Team Members Interactions with Residents
As our community team members spend a lot of time with residents, it is important to evaluate their interactions with them whilst on your tour of the place. Does the team seem happy working here? How is their rapport with the current residents? The 2019 Quality of Life in Assisted Living Survey finds that almost half the residents of assisted living (45%) attribute their decision to the quality of the team and service. This is unsurprising since team members of the community greatly contribute to the overall experience your loved ones will have.
The team at an assisted living community would play a crucial role in your loved one’s daily life. Therefore, it is understandable to want to know if they would treat your loved ones with the love and care that they deserve. For example, key traits to look out for are compassion towards the elderly and attentiveness to their needs.