Preparing and Planning for Assisted Living

Preparing to take a loved one to an assisted living facility can be a challenge in the best possible situations and a disaster when everything goes wrong. A little preparation and planning ahead can save a lot of the headache and heartache, however, leaving more time for what’s really important.
Defining “Assisted Living”
The first logical step in determining the right assisted living facility is to define exactly what assisted living is. It may seem obvious, but many people start the search for a facility and don’t even know what the facility does or what its purpose is.
An assisted living facility offers housing alternatives for individuals (typically senior citizens) who need help with bathing, eating, dressing, and other tasks. A person in an assisted living facility generally does not need the persistent and intensive medical care found in nursing homes.
An assisted living facility provides its residents with a number of daily services, including assistance with tasks like dressing and bathing, housekeeping and laundry services, medication assistance, meals and snacks, transportation, and recreational activities.
Planning for Costs
While it’s never nice to think about putting a price tag on the comfort of a loved one, choosing the right place requires budgeting and some planning.
Determining the overall costs of various facilities depends on what the needs of the resident are. The more services used, the higher the price for assisted living. It’s also important to realize that the move is normally permanent, which means that the resident’s health requirements will increase as time goes by.
The cost of long-term care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes has unfortunately been increasing over the years. In fact, costs have been increasing by about 4.5% each year. Inflation must always be kept in mind.
Location, Location, Location
While the cost issue is often most difficult hurdle, the location of the facility is also important. Finding a facility that is in the right region can provide relief by easing the transition.
Help with the decision-making process, but don’t be forceful when it comes to location scouting. Your mission is to ease him or her into the change and this can mean accepting a loved one’s setting preference when it isn’t one you agree with.
Determining Needs
Finally, any facility for assisted living must meet the needs of your loved one. With the aforementioned definition of assisted living fresh in your mind, consider what your loved one needs in a facility and cross-reference those with what various locations provide.
While meeting the needs of your loved one is important, a good assisted living facility will also go to great lengths to ensure that independence is a top priority.
Take care to note that the needs of your loved one will not always stay the same. The right facility should have the capability to meet developing care needs as the resident grows older.
Preparation is Key
While there is no substitute for an on-site check-up of an assisted living facility, a little preparation can go a long way to pointing you in the right direction. With issues like cost, location and needs examined, you can go about the process of making the right decision to ensure that your loved one receives the care he or she needs.
Depending on the type of assisted living facility you choose, you may find your loved one needs additional help. Many will welcome additional home health aides or nursing help, like those from, especially if they are able to offer dedicated attention to their clients that assisted living staff often can’t give. You may even find that home health care is a better option to assisted living – at least until you can find the right place!

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