When to Start Looking for Senior Housing
By: Kathy Kappler
“When should I start looking for Senior Housing?”
It’s a question we must ask ourselves, or our children will answer it for us.
It’s important to think about the future – no matter how old we get – and determine what kind of life we want to be living based. For instance, if you have bad knees or chronic illness, then be thinking about what you might need help with because you need to be honest with yourself about what you need versus what you want. And it’s especially important to communicate this to your children should you struggle to explain it in the future.
It’s Never Too Early to Look
Currently, I’m working with a woman who does more in a week than most teenagers. Here’s a snapshot of her current weekly routine:
- Attends Curves three times a week
- When she’s not in Curves, she takes a mile walk every day
- Plays Bridge every Friday
- Consistently attends the Red Hat Ladies functions
She is not disabled; she does not suffer from any mental condition. She’s an 87-year-old woman who is simply planning ahead and that’s great! Assisted Living Facilities offer a wide range of senior care, so even if you don’t need help with the activities of daily living or someone to help you get from place to place, it’s important to look at your options so you can find a good fit before you absolutely need it.
Plus, as you might’ve read in Mary’s previous blog, The Quiet Crisis, experts in the field are discovering that fewer and fewer people are pursuing careers in caregiving. In addition, many senior housing communities have a yearlong waiting list (in Washington alone). That’s not meant to scare you, just provide some perspective that it’s never too early to look for senior housing.
Talk about it Before you Need it
The Concierge Care Advisors have helped hundreds of families get the quality elder care they deserve, but it is always heartbreaking when we learn of a family’s situation where they’re panicked and stressed because they only have a few days to find the proper placement for their senior. They put their lives on hold to make sure their loved one is taken care of, but many don’t even know where to start since it’s not simply finding a home – as you might do with realty.
Finding the right senior care community goes far beyond location, since you need to find out what kind of care they need, the staff to resident ratio, what the security is like, and so on.
For this reason, it’s important to have a discussion about senior care and not just with advisors who know the industry. It’s vital to talk with your family members about senior housing too. Believe me, it’s a far different conversation when you have three days to decide what senior community to move to and when you have three years. The latter conversation is inherently light-hearted because it’s not an impending or dire situation.
You don’t need to know the ins and outs of the industry – that’s what we’re here for – just be sure to plan ahead. It’s never too early to start looking either and as you can clearly see (above), my current client is in excellent shape. She puts most of us to shame and it just goes to show, you don’t need to be in need of senior care to start looking.
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