Shopping around for a senior living community can make you feel like you’re lost in a foreign country.
The language is different, you’re not sure whom to ask for help, and you just want everything to be easy and normal again.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Many have gone before you, successfully finding a proper setting and a new home for their senior loved ones.
The key is avoiding the common mistakes that people make in their search for senior living.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Searching for a Senior Living Community
There are many pitfalls to avoid. These are five of the most common mistakes made by families like yours, who are searching for the right community for a senior loved one.
1. Beginning the search without first knowing the terminology.
For many, the first mistake is beginning their search without first learning the ‘language,’ or lingo of senior living. Once you know the difference between ‘independent living’ and ‘assisted living’, for example, narrowing your search will be easier.
2. Looking at Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are mainly for short-term rehab stays and for people who require higher levels of medical care on a long-term basis. Because people are more familiar with the term, however, they often start their search with nursing homes.
3. Basing Your Search on Internet Research Only
Let’s assume that you, your family, and your senior loved one have had a few discussions about moving out of their home. Your next step will be finding out about your options. The internet is a good place to start, but that’s all it is: a good place to start.
Continue your search by visiting some of the communities that seem to fit your needs. Take your time touring the community and asking questions. If you can, stay for a meal with current residents. They will be the best source for determining what the community truly offers older adults.
4. Failing to Involve Your Senior Loved One in the Decision-Making Process
According to Kelly Myers, SVP of Sales at Sunrise Senior Living, the decision to move to a senior living community should never be presented as a surprise. To your senior loved one, that can feel like a sneak attack.
The more involved your senior loved one is in making the decisions, the better. It allows everyone more time to get used to the idea. The sooner the whole family is involved, the more time there will be to talk about what’s important to your loved one.
5. Not Taking Time to Meet Staff and Residents Before You Choose
Your senior loved one faces the prospect of moving into a totally new environment where they don’t know a soul. A better option is to let them become a part of their new community even before moving day.
At the communities you’re considering, ask if you and your loved one can meet some of the staff at the community. Even better, ask if your senior loved one can attend some of the community activities or events. That way, they will get to know the residents and maybe even make a friend or two before moving day.
Sunrise Senior Living Has Resources & Tools to Aid the Decision-Making Process
Finally, there are tools that can help you in your search. One such tool is “The Care Questionnaire” on the Sunrise Senior Living website. Filling out the questionnaire can give you insight on what type of care your senior loved one needs.
Print it out for your own resource or use it to begin a conversation with one of our care counselors. We also invite you to call us anytime at 888-434-4648 with your questions about senior living. We’ll be happy to help!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living