One Community Real Estate® has partnered with Caring.com – a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones to provide resources as you begin your search for assisted living for your aging loved one in the Concord, North Carolina and around the Greater Charlotte area.
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You’re likely looking for a situation where he or she will be safe, happy, and well cared for the rest of their life. And that’s exactly what you should be looking for, of course. The problem is, this is a big decision — and one requiring a fair amount of research — yet many families wait to begin their search until they’re faced with a health crisis requiring urgent action.
Statistics bear this out – of the people who call Caring.com to start their assisted living search, 60 percent will move their loved one within 2.5 months and about 25 percent will do so within a month of making that initial call. That time pressure means you may not make the best match for your loved one — and the facilities that you like most may have waiting lists that prevent a quick move.
Assisted living is a living situation for people who can’t live on their own, but who do not need full-time medical care. Typically, people entering assisted living need help with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs), which include everyday routines such as eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, and transferring to and from a wheelchair, according to assisted living expert Peggy Flannigan, PhD, professor of nursing at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. People who need less assistance may want to consider an independent living community or a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).
Even when you’re realistic about the need to find an assisted living facility, making the best match can be challenging. Choosing an assisted living facility can be overwhelming. You might feel as if you’re drowning in brochures describing all of the different assisted living services available, as well as grappling with budget and cost considerations.
Since there is no single, nationwide standard for the types of services offered in assisted living facilities, we’ve put together a guide to help you with this difficult decision. That said, there’s no substitute for visiting facilities in person — sometimes several different times — once you’ve narrowed your selection down to a handful of facilities.
Finding the Right Assisted Living Community
- With so much information coming at you, it can be hard to prioritize what to pay attention to. One of the most important decision factors is going to be location. Decide whether you need to look for an assisted living facility in the community your aging parent is currently living in or whether he might need to move close to supportive relatives or friends who can visit and coordinate care with staff, if they are out of the area.
Finding the Right Assisted Living Community
With so much information coming at you, it can be hard to prioritize what to pay attention to. One of the most important decision factors is going to be location. Decide whether you need to look for an assisted living facility in the community your aging parent is currently living in or whether he might need to move close to supportive relatives or friends who can visit and coordinate care with staff, if they are out of the area.
Once you have determined where you want to look, create a list of facilities in the area and begin a strategic assessment, using the ideas we’ve set out below.
- You can find potential facilities through online searches, of course, and it’s always a good idea to ask family and friends, agencies that advocate for the aging, and faith communities if there are any residential care facilities they like.
- Once you have a solid list of facilities, make a plan to visit your top choices. But before you tour facilities, start with the following steps.
- Be realistic about what needs you or your loved one has, and what they might need in the future. Make a list of priority needs and concerns.
- Call the communities you’re interested in and ask for information, such as brochures, assisted living services, and costs. Or head to each community’s website for more information.
- Develop a general outline of your budget to make this move. Remember that four out of five people pay out of pocket for assisted living services, according to AARP.
- Make a list of your priority questions, using our guide below and your own research.
- Schedule a time to tour the facilities you like best. While visiting, talk to staff and residents. Bring someone with you to help keep track of the details.
- Make a second visit, without calling ahead. This allows you to get a feel for the facility outside of standard touring hours.
- Ask for a copy of the contract to review before you sign anything. Make sure you understand the base rate, any expected rate increases, and all of the fine print, which includes understanding which services are included in the cost and which cost extra. Ask for help from family or a lawyer if you’re unsure what the contract says.
Moving out of a home your loved one has lived in for years or perhaps decades can be bittersweet. Your loved one will also likely be downsizing, which contributes to their sense of loss. Many people wait to move to assisted living past the point where they are able to comfortably take care of their home. It’s a good idea to see some of the rooms available, if you can, and ask about what furnishings and decorations your aging parent can bring with them.
Contact One Community Real Estate® to help you navigate downsizing or selling a loved ones home during this transition. Or looking for homes and communities near a facility that your loved one resides that will enable you to be comfortably close. We are your neighbors, we are to help in any way we can.