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Moving a Parent Into an Independent or Assisted Living Community: What to look for

It may have taken some convincing, but your parent may start recognizing that he/she needs to live in an assisted living community. Talking with your loved one may have been a major hurdle for you and your family, but you are one step closer to getting your parent to a better living situation.

Now is the time to narrow down which assisted living community is right for your parent and his/her needs. The difficult conversations may not be completely finished, but keeping your parent involved in the decision making process will make the move easier. Below are four key notes to consider when moving a parent into an assisted living community.

Services

Of course you will need to look into which assisted living communities can provide what services. Some places offer specialty care, such as memory or stroke care. When comparing assisted living communities, consider the following:

  • Monitoring- Say goodbye to your fear of your parent needing help and is alone for hours
  • Assistance with medical care- Some places offer transportation to and from doctor appointments, while most places can distribute your parent’s medication daily, making certain they take their medication. What a relief!
  • Housekeeping- Finally, no need to worry about mom falling when getting on that stool to clean the top of refrigerator!
  • Help with daily needs, such as bathing and dressing

At Kingston, we provide both independent living and assisted living, all based on the needs of your loved one. For more information on independent living and assisted living we provide, find more information about Independent Assisted Living.

Community Life

The community aspect is important for the morale and health of your parent. Be sure to get a feel for the attitude of the other residents and see they gather to play cards or have meals. Your parent is never too old to make a new friend!

With that, there are different types of community styles for assisted living communities; whether your parent will be paired with a roommate or be by himself/herself. Amenities can also entice your parent and will help make his/her experience at an assisted living community much better. Some examples of amenities include an exercise room with classes or a hair salon. Also, ask your contact person at each assisted living community if programs and classes that your parent might enjoy are provided.

At Kingston, we provide wonderful amenities that vary per community. To learn more, please go to our website and click on a specific location under the tab “Find A Community”.

Financial Planning

Ah, the question on everyone’s mind: How much is this going to cost? After deciding which services are absolutely needed (and which ones are already included) as well as which community would be a good fit for your parent, now is time to plan his/her financial future.

Most assisted living communities will list on their website which insurance plans they accept. Be sure to confirm what all is covered with your parent’s insurance plan and any extra government assistance, such as Medicare and veterans’ benefits. The right assisted living community will have their rep gladly walk you through their financials and provide assistance.

Additionally, set a reasonable budget with your loved one for their time at the assisted living community. While most elderly live on a strict income, be sure to include a few of their simple pleasures, such as buying gifts for grandchildren, etc.

Communication

For a considerable amount of time, you were the main person to contact for your parent. Your parent will have to adjust to expressing his/her needs to new faces, even sensitive ones like assistance with showering and other bathroom needs. It is vital that you trust the staff as well as reassure your parent that you approve of them.

Some questions you should ask a potential assisted living community include:

  1. How often does the community contact you?
  2. How many “in case of emergencies” does the facility allow?
  3. In what form (email, text, call) will the communication happen? Do you have a choice?
  4. Is communication just as-needed or can you dictate how much?

Additionally, you should have the ability to communicate not only with the staff but also straight with your parent. Scheduled visits are a great way to give your parent something to look forward to, as well as time for your parent to address any issues. Be sure to welcome the rest of the family to follow suit.

This is an important moment for your parent and your family. Moving a loved one to an assisted living community is a big change, but you don’t have to do it alone. Take advantage of available resources and if you want to talk to someone in person about this process, feel free to contact Kingston Healthcare at 419-247-2880.