Avoid Making These Assisted Living Search Mistakes
If you’re looking for assisted living, avoid these common mistakes to make the best senior care decision for you and your family.
Finding senior living that is right for your aging loved one can be a challenge. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when looking for an assisted living community:
Mistake #1: Choosing an Assisted Living Community Without Considering Future Needs, Along with Current Needs
When you begin your search for assisted living, it is important to consider your senior’s current and future care needs. Examine your loved one’s present health concerns and consult a doctor to understand the level of support they will require in the future. Ensure that there is a continuum of care in place to meet your loved one’s needs if and when their health changes.
It is much easier to find a community that can handle both than it is to move your loved one to another facility in the future. Moving is not only costly and burdensome to the family, but also physically and emotionally detrimental to the senior.
Mistake #2: Thinking Lavish Features Equates to Quality Service
You may be impressed with the lavish features and amenities of an assisted living option, but look deeper to make sure the facility provides high quality care and other needed services. Touring assisted living communities in your area is the best way to evaluate your loved one’s options and get a feel for their “culture.” Sample the dining services by visiting for lunch, or attend a community event or social. Take time to speak with residents and staff about their level of satisfaction. You will know you are at the right place if you find cheerful residents, happy staff, and relaxed living atmosphere. It is also important to make certain the assisted living facility follows state and local licensing requirements. In the U.S., each state has different standards.
Mistake #3: Overemphasizing Close Proximity
Overemphasizing the importance of finding the closest community possible is another mistake some families make. Even though this is a significant factor, it shouldn’t be the determining one. You may find a much better fit for your loved one if you visit a community a few miles further away. Your focus needs to be on what community will make your senior the happiest and most engaged.
Mistake #4: Making a Decision Too Quickly
Sometimes families rush to resolve a crisis situation, choosing the first open room in the first assisted living community they visit. Take your time! Visit at least 3-4 communities before making a decision, so that you understand the options available. Make a note of how assisted living communities differ and what makes them unique. In order to make a good decision, you need to know what’s out there.
Mistake #5: Searching for Assisted Living on Your Own
Navigating through the maze of senior housing options on your own can be overwhelming and stressful. Consider reaching out to a senior care advisor that can provide an insider’s view on local senior communities—both short- and long-term care options. They can narrow down your list of communities to visit and ensure it is the right fit for your loved one. They visit communities regularly and have been working with families in your similar situation. Comprehensively trained, they are trustworthy resources for community, care, and transition information.
Assisted Living Locators is your partner in finding the right senior living option.