If you need a senior living home, shopping around for one is a lot like searching for a single family home: you need to determine your budget, location, and create a wish list of things you’d like to have in your new residence.
However, it is also a lot more complicated than a regular move. You need to consider the level of medical care provided, social activities that are readily available, and the other residents that will be sharing the facilities with you.
Here are five tips to help you find the best senior living home for you:
1) List Your Must Haves – There are thousands of senior living homes out there, so the easiest thing to do is weed out the ones that are not even an option. Consider the level of care needed and special medical issues that require particular attention such as an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s or diabetes. If a home is unable to care for your condition, you’ll obviously want to cross it off your list.
Secondly, your budget is probably another non-negotiable item. Homes are expensive, so stick with those within your reach. Falling in love with a place you can’t afford can only bring heartbreak and disappointment.
2) Make Your Wish List – These are the items that you would love to have but are negotiable. Maybe you want to live within 15 miles of your kids and grandkids. You might prefer a two-bedroom apartment to a studio. You may be partial to certain hobbies and you want specific clubs to join like bocce or oil painting.
What would make your life most enjoyable on a day-to-day basis? What do you see your life looking like in your new arrangement? See what activities and social groups are available at each residence.
3) Research, research, research – Check out sites like OpenPlacement.com, Yelp, Gilbert Guide, or ask friends and family members if they have loved ones in a senior living home. Insider knowledge is priceless.
Knowing where to look is another huge advantage. OpenPlacement is a great resource to determine your level of need, providers in your area, and ratings of those facilities.
4) Take the Tours – Nothing can take the place of actual footwork. Tour the homes that you have narrowed down and put on your best observation goggles. Use all of your senses to view the level of cleanliness, attitude of staff, contentment of residents, quality of the food, and social activities. After you have met with the representative, trust your gut. Sometimes it’s that sixth sense that lets you know what is right for you.
5) Make it Home – So much in life is getting out of it what you put in. In order for a home to be a home, it’s what you bring to the table and not necessarily what it comes with. Bring family photos, a familiar blanket, and trinkets linked to fond memories. Go in ready to make friends and reach out to others. Not only with you surround yourself with great people, but the staff will be more willing to help you if you are interested in their lives.
Home is where your heart is; find the best home possible for you! What works for others will not always work for you so customize your list of needs and wants, research the possibilities, then get ready for a new chapter in your life.