What to do When your Parents Need Assisted Living
There’s a strong possibility that your parents will reach an age where they need additional care and assistance to live independently. When that happens, many adult children take in their elders to provide the necessary care; for others though, this is not so easily done.
Whether your family is estranged, living in another state, or it’s simply not feasible to take care of your parents given your current situation – whatever that may be. When this happens, people usually turn to the various senior living options. And if that’s the decision, then here’s what to do when your parents need assisted living.
1. Talk to Your Parent
If your elder is not suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, then you should communicate the choices available to them. For many adult children, this is the hardest part, because they don’t want to come across as condescending, and if that’s the case, then blame it on the doctors or senior care advisors as they often prefer an objective – but credible – outsider’s opinion.
Chances are, if your parent needs elder care, then they’re going to realize you’re trying to help and it may be something they’ve thought of. If they’re resistant though – and many are – one of the best things you can do is ask them to humor you and visit an assisted living community. Many elders are swayed during the visit and feel more in control.
2. Talk to a Care Advisor
Once you and your elder are talking about senior living options. The next step is to meet with a care advisor. The care advisors can help you plan, research, and tour the senior living facilities – and this is all provided free of charge.
If, for instance, you don’t think your elder can afford a housing option, the care advisors leave no stone unturned. If your elderly parent was a veteran – or even the spouse of a veteran – they are eligible for VA benefits. Moreover, while Medicare does not cover the costs of long-term care, Medicaid does and they can walk you through how to get signed up.
3. Tour the Senior Living Communities
The next step is touring. While the advisors will arrange for tours to the various homes, it’s always good to tour on your own (or with your parent) on multiple occasions.
Scheduled tours are good for getting all your questions – and even those you wouldn’t think of – answered. However, it is true that some senior communities put on a show for tours. Make sure you visit multiple times, on different days, at different times to get a feel for the campus.
If the residents look happy, if the place appears active, if the staff call out to the various residents by name, then chances are it’s a good community.
Once you’ve done all these things, then it’s time to make a decision, and make the move. You only want to make the move once.
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