Family is an important part of your life, and you always think about the welfare of your family members, especially your parents. In fact, you think about their welfare more when they go past 60-65 years of age. This is when you begin to explore various options available for senior care. An assisted living facility is one such option you must consider carefully.
An assisted living facility allows your aged parents to lead an independent life they are accustomed to plus receive assisted services such as serving meals, managing personal hygiene, transportation and need based assistance as well as on-call assistance. According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), there are approximately 29,000 assisted living facilities providing one million licensed beds for senior members.
You may find it difficult to choose assisted living facility for your aged parents. Here are some tips you can consider before you finalize the ideal one.
1. Consult your parents
You must consult your parents and seek their views and determine their needs. You can itemize all activities they want to undertake by themselves and activities for which they need assistance. You should also find out the activities of daily living they may require. Once you have these details then you can begin your shortlist of assisted living facilities.
2. Choose a location
It is advisable for you to choose the location (state) where you want your parents to stay. Obviously, you would consider the following factors
- Proximity of the assisted living facility to your own place of residence
- Accessibility of facility to other members of your parents’ families
- Availability of facilities as per your parents’ requirements
- Ability to pay the cost of the facility
- Rating of the facility by independent agencies
- Availability of special assistance required for your parents
- Availability of daily living activities for your parents
You can add any other relevant factors and discuss with your parents and come to a decision.
3. Peruse NCAL website and other websites
The NCAL website is a wonderful resource which can help you with information on assisted living facilities in various states. You can become a member and avail several facilities it offers. You can choose the state where you want your parents to be housed. The website offers a snapshot of facilities for the states in the country. The NCAL website offers a cost calculator for assisted living.
There are various other websites that offer a wealth of information such as assistedlivingfacilities.org. This website offers a service whereby you can enter a ZIP code and see the various facilities available pertaining to the ZIP code.
US News rates a host of assisted living facilities across the United States. You can easily check out the various places that may be suitable for your requirements.
The websites also provide you with information on the various government schemes applicable to your parents. For instance, you can avail long term care insurance or Medicaid programs applicable in the state. You also get information on ways to pay for assisted living including opportunities to work.
4. Make assessment
The above steps you have taken can help you assess the various facilities. You can also perhaps make a virtual tour of some of the facilities. You can then shortlist a few and make visits to assess the facilities in person. It may be useful if you could take your parents also so that they can get a first hand feel of the facilities. Once you’ve shortlisted your options, be sure to research online for any legal cases brought against the assisted living facilities due to poor care or neglect. It’s essential to be aware of any such past events and understand whether the facility has put measures in place to avoid such things from happening again.
The U.S., through its states, offers a variety of assisted living facilities and it should be possible to identify a suitable facility for your parents. You and your parents can live a life of quality without unduly worrying about them facing any difficulties in the twilight zone of their lives.