Deciding whether it’s time to move your Mom or Dad out of their current home is one of the hardest decisions adult children must make. One of the first steps is going through a list of issues as you begin your search to find assisted living for family and ensure it’s the right move to make.

For those just starting out, the choices may seem overwhelming. The steps below can help start your search and put you on the path to finding the best options for your parents.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home

One of the first items to check off your list is learning the difference between assisted living and nursing homes. Both offer valid long-term care options. The difference comes in the type of care provided and the needs of residents.

A nursing home provides a higher level of around the clock medical care for seniors. Those who live there need more help with day-to-day activities and often have health issues that require more intensive care. Seniors may have individual or shared rooms.

An assisted living home is more like an upscale apartment building for seniors where most residents have individual rooms. They have access to medical care and get help with daily activities, if needed. Meals, laundry and housekeeping is provided. There are common areas where seniors can join others for meals and activities.

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How To Find Assisted Living For Family

Most seniors who need to move from their home start by moving into an assisted living facility. Answering the following questions can help you zero in on the assisted living homes you need to visit.

What Is the Cost?

Determine what your family can afford each month. Also, check insurance to see if they will cover any of the costs. Most families pay for assisted living with personal savings, pension payments and retirement accounts. Government agencies can provide support for those with little or no money.

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What Do Parents Want?

Parents and their children should have a talk at the start of the process to find out what the parents want out of assisted living. That makes it much easier to match their desires with the right home. This can become a tough conversation if parents remain in denial about the need for care, so choose a quiet time and start by expressing your concerns and feelings about their wellbeing.

Do They Need to Relocate?

In some cases, parents may decide on a retirement relocation so they can live closer to their kids and grandkids. This is often the long-term best choice, but involves planning on packing, moving and looking into safe, medical transport for your parents.

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Finding the Right Homes

Now that you know your budget, what your parents want and where they will live, it’s time to identify homes that ticks all the right boxes. Read online reviews and make sure all homes you consider have the proper licensing. If available, check with local government or nonprofit agencies in your area that offer advice on choosing a care facility.

Taking a Tour

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) suggests keeping a host of issues in mind when you tour a home. One of the most important is to speak with administrators, staff and residents to get a feel for what it is like to live there. 

They also suggest taking notice of the following.

  • The cleanliness of the home
  • Whether there is an emergency generator or alternative power source
  • The size and number of common areas
  • The size of the room and whether it will meet your parents needs
  • The presence of handrails and call buttons in rooms and bathrooms
  • The presence of security systems, fire systems, and safety locks on doors and windows
  • Amenities at the home such as exercise, a beauty salon, a café or banking

Moving parents or other family members into a care home is a hard decision to make, but one that can improve their lives once completed. Taking a step-by-step approach can make it easier to find assisted living for family. It also can help your parents feel more at ease about making a big change in their lives.

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Consider Consulting With a Care Manager

Care Managers have considerable expertise in all things aging. Unlike Senior placement specialists who may have conflicts of interest Care Managers work exclusively for their client and are focused on the their best interests. They can provide guidance on in-home care, and if placement is needed the level of care appropriate. The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) website has resources on their website and is an easy way to find a certified Life Care Manager.

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