As you work to find an appropriate facility for your aging parent, you must consider the level of care they need. This is often a difficult situation to handle, but it can be simplified by asking four specific questions.
1. What does your parent need help with?
Be honest with yourself about what your parent can do independently and what he or she will require assistance. Perhaps your parent only needs help with fixing meals and cleaning the house or doing laundry. If still relatively independent, he or she won’t require the same level of care as someone who can no longer bathe or dress without help. This includes mental alertness as well as physical abilities.
2. What services does each facility offer?
Compare the aging care facilities in your area and the services they provide. Some retirement communities are ideal for those who can live independently, while assisted living facilities benefit seniors who may need help with meals and other tasks. Anyone who requires assistance with basic routines may be best suited for a 24-hour care center. The ideal place will provide multiple options to transition your loved one as the need for care increases. A facility that offers varying degrees of care will minimize the expense and complication of moving your parent from one location to another.
3. What about the cost?
The money your parents saved for retirement must be spent wisely, so you will have to compare the costs of the different levels of care at each facility. You not only want to think about which option is less expensive now, but also about how the other levels of care compare for future needs. You should ask about prices for more advanced care to help make your decision and compare the amenities provided to the pricing. If your parent has long-term care insurance or Medicare, you’ll want to ensure it is accepted at the facility you choose.
4. How easy is it to transition from one level of care to another?
Even if your parent is moving into an independent living retirement community now, you should find out how easy it is to move to the next level of care when the time comes. For many facilities, preference is given to current residents who need more assistance. This reduces the time spent on a waiting list for your elderly parent; he or she can get the help needed at the appropriate time.
It can be a challenging task to choose a facility for your parent when living at home is no longer an option. You want to ensure your parent has access to the level of the care necessary, but also provide as much independence as possible. Take the time to answer these questions to help you and your loved ones make the right decision.