Finding the right assisted care facility can be intimidating. You likely have a long checklist of what you’re looking for, so you want to find the perfect fit. If you’re acting on behalf of a loved one, you need to fully dedicate yourself to this task. Currently, over 5 million seniors in the United States are receiving long-term care. Moving an older adult to an assisted care center is a challenge. You need to find the perfect fit for their lifestyle and health needs, and you also have other factors like budget. To simplify this complicated process, here are 5 tips for choosing the right senior care center.
1. Decide on Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home
To those who are just exploring senior care centers for the first time, you might not understand the difference between an assisted living center and a nursing home. An assisted living facility offers special housing specifically designed for elders as well as support services. They might get assistance with day-to-day activities, and there will be minor health care offerings.
A nursing home, on the other hand, is staffed with a much higher skilled medical staff. Seniors will get more support with their health and medical options. Which type of you choose will depend on the independence level of your senior as well as their health.
2. Talk to Your Loved One
An important step that often gets overlooked is talking to your loved one. According to Lead to Conversion, one of the most important parts of this process is bridging the gap between the senior and the loved one. It’s easy to focus on what you think is best, not what your loved one actually wants.
Talk about things like medical issues, long-term care options, and independence. This doesn’t need to be an overnight decision. Feel free to take your time to find the best solution.
3. Offer Choices
Another important step aside from including the senior in the decision is to offer several options. Visiting living centers and nursing homes is the best way to get a feel for the facility. Offering a number of choices can help seniors feel they’re still in control of the situation and that they can make a choice that fits their wants and needs.
4. Visit During an Activity
A great way to really get a feel for a location is to visit during a scheduled activity. Most nursing homes and care facilities offer activities and events for residents, and this is the best way to learn whether this is a good fit for them. Find an activity of interest and visit at this time.
When you visit, pay close attention to the staff and residents. Is there a lot of involvement from the residents? Is the staff helpful and engaged? Another great time to visit is during lunch or dinner.
5. Talk to Others
Finally, look for advice from people currently in care centers or who have experiences with the places you’re considering. You’ll often know the best community when you find it, so talking to residents about their opinion will help.
When in doubt, talk to your loved one’s doctor. They likely have recommendations they have personal experience with, so their opinion is highly valuable.
As the average lifespan for seniors continues to be pushed back, more seniors than ever are considering nursing homes or care centers. The population is actually expected to double by 2060, so now might be the time to consider this option for your loved one.
This can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking things slow with the tips above is the best way to find the best care center for your loved one.