Right now, you might be searching for “assisted living near me.” You’ve decided that this is the next step in your life journey and are ready to take the plunge.
Wait, not so fast!
You’ve to be prepared to handle a few critical aspects of the searching process.
One is the costs. You will need to create a whole new budget for assisted living.
Second is safety. Not all assisted living facilities are created equal.
The third is visiting the facility yourself.
We’ll discuss each of these things in detail so that you can find the right senior living facility for you.
The first thing you’ve got to look at is costs. Fortunately, people often find out that senior living facilities aren’t as expensive as they appear to be at first glance. In many cases, it costs more to live in your own home.
So, to know if you can afford it, you’ll have to do some number crunching.
Start by figuring out how much it costs to live in your own home. Add up the utilities, taxes, food, entertainment, home renovations and maintenance, and your mortgage if you still have one. Don’t forget to include medical expenses that are exclusive to home health care.
Next, think about your current income. Here are some different financial instruments to consider:
- long-term care insurance
- retirement investments
- surviving spouse benefits
- veteran’s benefits
Finally, once you understand which income streams and expenses will stop occurring, you can come up with a budget for assisted living. Then you can determine which senior living facilities are affordable for you.
If you’re stretching your budget too much, there are some helpful federal aid programs to consider:
- Housing Support for the Elderly
- Low-Income Housing credits
- There are other government aid programs as well.
Safety should be your number one priority. As we approach old age this becomes more apparent.
Safety can mean a lot of different things, though, including being safe both in the facility and outside the facility also.
Step 1: State Records on Assisted Living Near Me
The old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies here. While a senior living facility may look great on the outside with green gardens and well kept common areas, on the inside, it may not be such a rosy picture.
Mistreatment often happens when no one is looking. Therefore, you’ll have to look closer under the hood so to speak.
Check out the state records. Pay a visit to a state records office near you, focusing on senior care.
There you can see records such as crimes, offenses, and even reprimands at the senior living facilities in your state.
These records will give you a pretty thorough overview of the background of the facility.
Step 2: Talk To the Residents and Staff Members
There’s still no substitute for talking to people.
Even if you aren’t a social butterfly, this is an essential step to answering the question “what is the best-assisted living near me?”
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The people there might be more willing to open up than you’d expect.
Besides, it’s important to know if the seniors there feel safe. It’s better to find out that fact immediately rather than finding out for yourself the hard way later.
Step 3: Get the Rundown on Security at the Facility
For this step, you’ll want to have a chat with the head honcho: the facility administrator or director. Ask them about complaints from residents as well as their hiring practices.
If you’ve special medical needs that require a certain kind of care, be sure to bring that up as well. Make sure that those needs will be attended to regularly and skillfully.
Touring And Advisors
Now that you’ve found a safe facility you can afford, the next logical step is to tour it! After all, you wouldn’t buy a house to live in without paying a visit first.
Simply call up the facility you want to visit, and they should help set you up on tour.
During the tour, you should walk through the entire facility, including the residents’ rooms. Also, don’t be afraid to be chatty Cathy and talk to the residents and staff to get their opinions!
Ask A Senior Living Advisor
Now you’ve completed the tour. However, let’s say that after all is said and done, you don’t think that it will be the right place for you. Well, in that case, you can always look for another assisted senior living facility.
This time, however, it might be better to work with a senior living advisor (most people don’t even realize that this is an option).
He or she will help you answer the question “what is the best-assisted living near me” even faster.
Assuming that your advisor is worth his salt, he’ll be acting as an impartial agent on your behalf to find the right assisted living facility for you.
That means he will do all of the research and make visits to the facilities as well.
If it’s important to you, your advisor should also have experience in dealing with non-traditional payment options, government aid programs like we mentioned before, and long-term care insurance.
He can put that experience to good use in securing financial aid for your new life.
Now, you know the three main things you need to find the right assisted senior living facility.
You must know your assisted living budget, how to find a safe assisted living facility, and what questions to ask when you arrive at the facility.
Talking to strangers may force you to step outside your comfort zone a bit, but you’ll be a better person for it.
Besides, assisted living will be a whole new part of your life’s journey. It’s better to embrace it.
If you need somebody to talk to about assisted living, then we at Heritage Woods are here for you.
Also, be sure to follow our blog where we write useful posts such as how to make new friends in a senior living community near me.