When your mom reaches a certain age, she may find that it makes more sense to live in an assisted living facility where she can get help with certain tasks, while still retaining some independence. But choosing the right facility can be a challenge. By stepping in to help, you can provide some well-timed support in this time of new beginnings.
4 Factors Worth Considering
At first, you might assume that all assisted living facilities are basically the same. But as you dig into the details, you’ll discover that each one has its own unique flavor. Thus, it’s important that you explore all pertinent factors, including:
Location is one of the first factors to think through. If possible, you want the facility to be in close proximity so that you can visit frequently. But location also matters in terms of laws and regulations.
“For example, some states limit how much medical assistance the residences can offer, so if you need a significant amount in those states, you may not be the right candidate for an assisted living facility after all – or you may consider looking at another state,” Anna Medaris Miller writes for U.S. News & World Report. “If you’re pretty independent, though, states with those limitations can work well for you, since the assisted living facilities in those places tend to focus more on socialization than medical care.”
Amenities and Services
Some assisted living facilities are very basic in that they offer very few extracurricular activities or amenities. Others offer a long list of benefits for members – including exercise facilities, movie theaters, game rooms, walking paths, swimming pools, etc. Work with your mom to make a list of amenities that she needs and wants – making a clear differentiation between the two.
It’s also wise to think about the services that are provided by the staff and how this plays into the overall safety and well-being of the residents.
“Even though assisted living residents have a much greater level of independence than nursing patients, they still require enough supervision to ensure their safety,” Nursing Home Law Center LLC explains. “Failing to provide supervision is the most common catalyst for injuries in assisted living centers.”
While your mom may be fairly healthy and active now, the hope is that she can age in place. By choosing the right facility, you won’t have to worry about transitioning to another place for a very long time.
Though it shouldn’t be the number one determining factor, cost obviously matters. Most nursing home facilities will set up a meeting to sit down and discuss all of the dollars and cents. Make sure you consider the total cost of staying at the facility – not just room and board.
One of the great things about the internet is that it exposes everything. When it comes to searching for an assisted living facility, you can find out almost anything you want about different facilities. Use this to your advantage and research the ratings, reviews, and testimonials prior to making a final decision. The reputation will tell you everything you need to know.
Making the Right Decision
In many major cities and heavily populated suburban areas, there are more than a dozen assisted living facilities to choose from. Contrary to popular belief, this actually makes it more difficult to select the right one. The options become overwhelming and you eventually have to make the best decision you can.
It may take weeks or months before you can properly evaluate the decision you and your mom made. If she’s happy and everything is going well, then it’s safe to say you made the correct call. But what if it doesn’t feel like a good fit?
Choosing an assisted living facility is a big deal. Take your time to make sure you get the decision right – and don’t be afraid to backtrack if something changes.
“It’s better to make a change rather than stick with a situation that isn’t going to work out in the long run,” A Place for Mom points out.
Like anything else, smart decisions require proper due diligence. Weigh the aforementioned factors accordingly and make the best choice you can.