After you cross a certain age, your dependence on assisted help increases. Moving with your child or expecting them to provide us with the required attention might seem like a lucrative option, but it’s not always a great choice. Expecting your children to provide 24/7 care is like expecting a lot. It might even spoil your relations to some extent.
There are multiple options for senior living facilities, and it is very easy to get overwhelmed by so many options. From a full-time nursing home to an assisted care facility, you need to decide what is the right choice for you.
What is an assisted care facility?
Assisted living is a way to provide housing and care for seniors to empower the elderly and maintain their independence. Today, more than 1 million Americans are residing happily in assisted living facilities. As against a nursing home, which is generally for sick senior citizens to cater to their medical needs, an assisted care facility is not over-medicalized.
It usually provides housing facilities in rooms, apartments, or shared quarters and cares for meals and helpers. Starting from monitoring medication to emergency medical care and assisted facility takes away the medical tension hovering over your head. Apart from that, it even helps meet people with the same amount of time, such as you, and probably, similar interests.
Here are some factors to weigh in while finalizing an assisted care facility-
It is always beneficial to plan early for your senior years. It will help to scooch your expenses of senior care in your savings. According to your savings and incoming flow of money, you should opt for suitable assisted care. Roughly, an assisted care facility costs $4000 per month, approximately $133 per day. This, again, varies from the type of care and housing you require. If you require minimal assistance, the prices are low compared to hands-on assistance in all the activities. In that case, the price shoots up. Even the number of caregivers required will affect the cost.
2. Services Required
The process of finding a perfect facility for you will be much easier if you already know what you want and what is essential for you. Start by answering these questions to help you understand your requirements and, therefore, an apt living facility.
The staff at any senior-assisted care facility needs to be aware of any specific needs that their patients might have. For example, they should know how can elder people swallow pills easier, especially if they suffer from problems like Dysphagia. Small attention to details can make the senior patients feel better and allow them to overcome some of the problems that are part of their day-to-day lives.
a. Why are you changing your living arrangement?
b. Do you need help in performing daily chores such as bathing, eating, toileting, etc.?
c. How much and how often do you need help?
d. How important to you is socializing and interacting with your mates?
e. Do you need an insurance policy for your personal belongings?
It will be even more beneficial if you create a list of services that you cannot compromise on and ask everything about those services when you visit the facilities.
Any senior living facility staff needs to be warm and affectionate, considering they will be around senior citizens. The resident-to-staff ratio should more or less be one. If you require a full-time personal helper, find out if he or she is licensed to provide scheduled medical care. A facility with more helpers licensed to administer medicine is preferable.
Also, learn about how many staff members are available during the day and how many are available overnight.
Most assisted facilities provide either a shared dining space or small on-site eateries too. These eateries make an excellent place for visitors to often meet their parents. Some common concerns among individuals are the availability of custom food or diet as required by the resident’s health.
This facility varies from one facility to another. In the case of apartments, you must inquire if the resident can cook some light meals or snacks for themselves if they’re able to.
Lastly, ensure there are three nutritional meals provided in a day.
5. Living Arrangement
Since you or your loved one might be moving out of a long-resided home, it’ll be not easy to adjust anywhere which isn’t as comfortable as your home. In case you want to cut down costs, you can always opt for shared quarters. If you have a room or apartment to yourself, you can always ask if you can bring some of your furniture or accessories over to make you feel more at home.
Aside from care and attention from the staff, socializing is also an important criterion. Being around like-minded people often helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
The fun part about the assisted living facilities is the ever-engaging activities that keep you busy and entertained. Check the list of activities that are scheduled daily. Look out for your favorite activities, and if they are not present, you can check how flexible the directors are to add your activity. Another essential thing to find out is the age and condition of other residents. You don’t want to be around individuals with a considerable age gap as it may be difficult to mingle.
Comfortable visitor timings are also a plus point.
7. Read reviews
Last but not the least, you need to check the experience of ex-residents. On average, a senior citizen usually stays for 22-month in an assisted care facility. Ask them or their loved ones about their experience with the facility. Naturally, you should also provide your feedback and comments on your experience to help the others to make an informed decision.
Assisted care facilities strive to provide you emotional and moral support while fulfilling your need to stay independent. It makes an effort to create a home-like environment for the residents’ safety, comfort, and wellness. The costs may seem on the higher side initially, but it is only when you dig deeper that you’ll discover that a nursing home or home-care facility is much more expensive. A nursing facility, if used before it is even required, may even morally handicap the elderly. Just like a baby shouldn’t skip primary school before starting high school, we strongly feel that the elderly should always opt for a living facility first unless a nursing home is medically required.