In an ideal world, an older adult and their loved ones would discuss assisted living communities and how they improve quality of life long before such a move is necessary. The senior would have time to visit communities and find one that feels like the best fit.
Moving while they are still active and independent gives an older adult time to fully enjoy all the benefits of a senior living community. Unfortunately, that isn’t how things work out for many families. Adult children often find themselves searching for an assisted living community for a parent in the midst of a health crisis.
The senior may have experienced a fall because their home wasn’t designed with the safety of an older adult in mind. Or they might be hospitalized because of a mistake with medication or failure to manage a chronic health condition. When a physician says a senior can no longer live alone, an assisted living community is often the ideal solution.
What can you do to find a safe senior housing solution on a tight timeframe?
We have a few suggestions you might find helpful.
4 Tips for Finding Assisted Living during a Health Crisis
- Clarify what type of care your loved one needs. If they are hospitalized, the hospital social worker or discharge planner may be able to help. Most understand the differences between assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. You might also find our “Care Questionnaire” helpful when determining what type of care would be a good fit for your senior loved one’s needs.
- Ask for assistance from trusted friends. You can do some of your initial research online and by phone. Many communities, including Sunrise, have virtual tours on their websites, but in-person visits are a must. Try to recruit friends and family to visit to each community you are considering, and ask them to take good notes. Provide them with a list of questions to ask on their tour. If you don’t have friends or family members who can assist on short notice, you might also consider hiring the services of a local elder care manager. They typically know the senior living communities well and can assist you through the process.
- Visit the communities yourself. You should never select an assisted living community or memory care program without visiting it yourself. Your friends can help you narrow your choices to what seems like the best one or two. Then you can visit the top contenders in person.
- Take advantage of short-term respite. If the timeframe is tight, families are sometimes unable to pack a senior loved one’s belongings quickly enough for a move. Ask if the assisted living community you are considering has a furnished respite apartment or suite. Many do. This short-term care option can give an older adult an opportunity to test drive a community and see if it is a good fit.
If you have questions about care options, financing, or any other issues related to senior living, we’d love to answer them. Please call the Sunrise Senior Living community nearest you to talk with an experienced team member.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living