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6 Essential Steps to Take When Your Parents Need Assisted Living

Many families look to assisted living facilities to provide essential care and peace of mind when it comes to their aging parents. Finding the best senior living community means matching your parents’ needs, lifestyle, and budget with communities in their desired area. The process is easiest and most successful when you ask the right questions, prepare, and have open conversations with your family.

If you’ve noticed signs your parents need help, it may be time to look for assisted living options. Follow these six steps to find the right senior living facility for your parents.

1. Determine cost and payment options for senior living

Cost is an important factor when looking for senior living options. Determine what your family can afford on a monthly basis, and look for assisted living communities that fit your budget.

Some people have savings or long-term care insurance to help fund senior living. Others need to be creative. Check out our 10 Best Ways to Save Money on Assisted Living and consider the following options to pay for care:

  • Social security

  • VA benefits

  • Cashing out a life insurance policy

  • Selling a home

  • Reverse mortgage

2. Have a conversation with your aging parents

You can do much of the legwork for your parents, but have regular discussions with them about their desires and preferences. When you have a list of options ready, talk to them about communities you think are a good fit and why you like them. The more your parents know and are involved, the smoother their transition to senior living will be.

If your parent is in denial about their need for care, pick a quiet moment and share your observations, concerns, and feelings. Listen to your parents, and write down their apprehensions and preferences. This will help guide you in finding the best solution.

3. Visit or virtually tour a senior living community

No amount of time spent viewing brochures, floor plans, photos, or reviews can substitute for an in-person visit to or virtual tour of an assisted living community. Visit at least three communities on your short-list for comparison. Schedule visits for you and your parent, and try to tour during mealtimes. This allows you to interact with staff, residents, and sample the food. Overall, you’ll get a good feel for the environment and culture of the community. We suggest visiting or virtually touring more than once if possible.

4. Consult a variety of sources to find the best assisted living community

When making a decision, talk to those in the know to learn as much as you can.

  • Read reviews of senior communities to help you make an informed and confident decision

  • Check the background of an assisted living community you’re considering with the licensing agency in your state tasked with monitoring facilities

  • Talk to the local long-term care ombudsman, a government official or volunteer who works to resolve issues related to health, safety, and rights of residents in nursing homes or senior living facilities

5. Prepare for the transition to senior living

Do not delay the move — it’s risky to procrastinate especially when a parent needs care. Delays can lead to avoidable accidents and medical problems. When preparing for a move, it’s important to:

  • Consolidate possessions Is your loved one downsizing? Can you help them sell or donate any items?

  • Plan and coordinate the move Are you hiring a company or helping on your own? Set up a schedule and plan to ensure the move goes smoothly to alleviate stress.

  • Gather and manage legal documents Locate medical documents, tax returns, or any important information that your parents may need. Make sure they’re in a safe place so they don’t get lost or misplaced during the move.

6. Connect with someone local

Call or chat online with senior living advisors, or local agencies (MAC Center in Salisbury) for help developing a list of assisted living communities that fit your loved one’s needs and preferences. These experts will be able to help simply an overwhelming process, provide information about cost, amenities and also help with financial resources if necessary.

Whether your parents are choosing the community themselves, or you’re helping decide for a parent, the above steps should help ensure everyone in your family feels good about the assisted living facility selection. When possible, have conversations with your parents, discuss the pros and cons of each option, and try to come to a consensus together.

Thank you to for putting out this helpful article. Check out their website for similar articles.

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