Determining where a parent should live when they are no longer safe living alone is a tough decision for families to make. Fortunately, there are several types of senior housing communities to choose from. One that is often an ideal solution is an assisted living community.
The key to making an informed decision is doing your research. This means taking the time explore each option and visit those that seem to best meet your senior loved one’s needs.
But what happens when there is no time? If your loved one has suffered a medical emergency, been the victim of a crime or if they have lost a spouse? And if they can’t or don’t want to live in their home any longer?
These types of situations often force families to find a senior living community in a hurry.
7 Tips for Finding an Assisted Living Community during a Crisis
In emergency situations when a plan for senior care hasn’t been discussed before, the following tips can be helpful.
Tip #1: Confirm that assisted living is the right type of care
Talk to your senior loved one’s physician to make sure assisted living is the right kind of care for them. If your family member is currently in the hospital, the social worker or discharge planner might be another resource for making that determination.
Tip #2: Establish a budget
This can be a tough task if you and your family member haven’t discussed finances before. But it’s important that you know how much they can afford to pay for senior living each month.
A few other financial resources that might help include:
- Long-term care insurance
- Bridge loans to cover expenses while a home is being sold
- The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefit for qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses
Tip #3: Establish Priorities
Think about what is really important to your loved one. Create a list of what those factors are. A few examples might be:
- Do they have a dog or cat they won’t leave behind? Many communities are pet-friendly.
- Is your loved one involved in a local church or synagogue? Finding a community near it might be a priority.
Tip #4: Find a Local Senior Care Advisor
A local senior care advisor can help you narrow down your list of options. An advisor who lives and works in the area is best. For example, the Senior Living Specialists are the most experienced senior care advisor team in north Texas. We know the communities in and around the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex very well.
Tip #5: Visit in Person
Once you work with a care advisor to narrow down your choices to a few assisted living communities, call each one to schedule a tour. If your loved one is hospitalized and will be discharged soon, you may want to enlist the help of family and friends to make personal visits.
Even when time is short, it’s important not to skip the personal visit! It is the best way to decide if the community is a good fit for your loved one.
Tip #6: Make a List of Questions to Ask
Before you embark on your tours, take a few minutes to create a list of questions. It’s easy to become distracted on your visit and forget to ask something important. We have a variety of resources that can help you determine what to ask when you tour an assisted living community.
If you work with one of our senior care advisors, they will also help you create your list of questions.
Tip #7: Review the Contract
Our final tip is to read and carefully review the contract. You might even want to consider having an elder law attorney review it on your behalf.
The bottom line is that choosing a senior care community is never easy. When the decision must be made in the middle of a crisis, it can be even more challenging. Seeking the advice of experts can help you navigate your way through this difficult time.
Senior Living Specialists is a free service for seniors and their families. We are compensated by a referral fee when a senior moves into a community or care home.