5 Tips to Start the Search for Senior Living
Navigating the maze of senior care options can be confusing. The wide variety of choices gives families more options for a senior loved one’s care than ever before, but understanding the differences between them and which one might be the best fit can be overwhelming.
We have a few suggestions on how to conduct your search so you feel confident that you are making an informed choice.
5 Tips to Help in the Search for a Senior Living Community
- Level of care: Begin by taking an honest look at what your loved one needs assistance with and creating a list. This can be emotionally challenging. Adult children and other family members often deny how much care a loved one requires because they don’t want to admit that a loved one is slowing down or experiencing health problems. Our four-minute care questionnaire can help you take an objective look at your loved one’s needs and match you with suggestions for the best types of care.
- Word of mouth: Once you have a better idea about what kind of care you need, ask for advice and input from people you know and trust. Do you have family, friends, or colleagues who have recently been through this process? Ask them for their honest insight on how happy they are with the care provider they chose.
- Online search: Visit each of the senior care providers you are considering online. You can gain a better understanding of their philosophy of care, experience, and expertise by spending time on their website. Many have checklists, guides, and other tools designed to help you with important details such as financing, downsizing, and talking about care with a senior.
- Personal visits: Making several in-person visits to the communities you are considering is a must. Nothing can replace this important step in the search process. Make a list of questions to ask before you go, and be certain to document the answers to them and take good notes during your tour. Also be sure to visit the community at different times and on different days, including on the weekend.
- Schedule a short-term respite stay: Respite care is often utilized to support the family caregiver. However, it can also let your senior loved one give a community a trial run. Respite guests receive the same services, amenities, and personal care as long-term residents. One piece of advice is to make sure the stay is long enough—at least two weeks, and maybe even longer—to objectively evaluate the community.
The Senior Caregiver Podcast
Ready to learn more about how to search for senior living?
In this episode of The Senior Caregiver podcast, Kelly Myers, senior vice president of Sales, answers frequently asked questions and shares tips on making the most of your search.