How to choose a senior living option that is right for you

Happy senior friends spending time together

“Who  will care for you?” The October 2017 Consumer Reports cover story about senior living  asks.

Preparing for needed care in old age is a subject  that  gets joked about or shoved into a back corner.  Watching it unfold in real life is not so funny!

Dear friends of mine in their 80s  ended up moving into a senior apartment during a time when their nearby family was in the midst of a life-threatening medical crisis.

The elderly  husband was weak from a recent hospital stay.  His wife is experiencing more “senior moments” these days.  Their downsizing and moving experience was extremely traumatic despite hired movers!

Downsizing and moving while in your 80’s is not for sissies!

Safe senior living is a  topic we need to discuss with our parents and our children. Single? Even more reason to prepare.

Asking some basic questions is a place to start.  If you write down your answers, the decision-making process may become clearer.

  • Does your current medical history imply you may need a great deal of care in your old age?
  • Do you have family who has clearly stated they want you to move in with them?
  • Do you want to live with loved ones who have offered?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How soon will you have to move?
  • What can you afford with your retirement budget?
  • What type of living facility would you like and enjoy?

According to Penelope Wang, author of the  Consumer Reports article “Who will care for you?”,  the average  assisted living “move-in age”  in 2016 was 84. That may be pushing the envelope, though. What a hard age to make a major move!

It’s a difficult decision of timing for many. If you have a home nest where you’ve spent many years and made many memories, tearing up those roots is so painful. It’s your comfort zone. It’s home, sweet, home.

On the flip side, there is the cost and stress of home maintenance. Your home many not be aging as gracefully as you are.

What if aging or ill health has already taken a toll?

Unfortunately,  some assisted living residents actually belong in a nursing home where 24/7 care is available.  The intense level of medical care they actually need at this age is not fully available in a stand-alone assisted living home. What kind of care do you or your loved one need?

Maybe what is needed is an assisted living with specialized care. Many assisted living facilities are offering dementia care.  Some include care for Parkinson’s disease and very commonly, for diabetes.

When you are looking at your options,  have an honest discussion with each facility about your medical conditions.  Care matters!

Continuing-Care Communities are an option with flexiblity.  Maybe you are breezing easily through your 70s with few health issues.  You just want to shed the homeowner’s responsibilities and kick up your heels a bit. Downsizing sounds good to you. You are a canidate for an independent living unit.

With independent living units, you can enjoy your health and privacy.  If and when you require additional care, you can transfer into assisted living facilities on the same campus.

Small group homes are another option.

My grandmother with Parkinson’s was actually transferred near the end of her life from an assisted living into a small private home with a few rooms available for seniors. Happily this was a very specialized private care home able to give her more personalized care.

However, many small group homes are simply a healthy group of seniors each renting  a single bedroom and sharing common living spaces and common dining.  For the socially-minded down-sizer, this could be the perfect choice.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care was started as a voice for nursing home reform  in 1975.

They provide detailed information about the positives and negatives of each option here:

Are you happy with the care your loved one receives now in a nursing or assisted living home?  Concerned that your loved one may be experiencing nursing home neglect or abuse?

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC  will take your concerns seriously and provide aggressive, knowledgeable  legal defense. You need an experienced nursing home abuse attorney today!

Check here for the signs of nursing home neglect or assisted living abuse:

Call for your free consultation  today at 636-244-3737. 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.