Senior living facilities aren’t cheap.
However, the term senior living encapsulates an array of different services. Assisted living and independent living are two examples, which come with varying levels and forms of support.
The costs vary accordingly.
However, you’re looking at an average monthly cost of between $1,500 and $6,000. But there might be upfront moving in costs and monthly service charges in addition. It all adds up.
Cost can become a key factor in choosing the best facility for you. After all, you want to make sure the money you pay gets the support you require.
However, the cost is rarely the only deciding factor.
Indeed, you want to feel comfortable, live in a suitable location, and receive the right level of support. Overall, there’s a lot that goes into deciding on the best senior living facilities.
How do you decide?
Keep reading for some top tips on finding and choosing the right facility.
8 Tips for Choosing the Best Senior Living Facilities
Take the following 8 tips into consideration to find the best facilities for your needs or those of a loved one.
1. Consider What You Want and Need
The first step is to figure out what you want and need from a senior living facility.
What’s your health situation like? What care support needs do you have? Would you prefer to live independently, or in a community?
The process of finding the right service can take time. It shouldn’t be rushed (more on this later). Having answers to these questions will help make your mind up. It will guide your research and speed up your decision making.
2. Be Careful When Choosing for a Loved One
It’s one thing to decide for yourself which service is best.
It’s a wholly different one to make the call for someone else. We’re frequently called to make these decisions for aging loved ones. Of course, we should always aim to make it a joint decision. Sometimes that isn’t possible though.
The impact of certain age-related illnesses (such as Alzheimer’s) dictates that we make a decision on someone’s behalf. When that happens you should keep your loved one in mind at all times.
It’s easy to choose a location and facility based on your own interests and desires. Instead, consider what would be best suited to your family member.
3. Think About the Future
A lot can change in a short amount of time.
Will the senior living facility of interest be able to contend with challenges that time can bring? Physical and mental health may deteriorate, finances may dwindle, family members may move away, and so on.
Look to the future when making this decision and make your choice accordingly. It can sometimes be better to base the call on what will be, rather than what is.
4. Consider the Location
The location of your senior living facility is likely to be a major deciding factor.
You want to be close to loved ones and to the neighborhoods you’ve familiar with. This is helpful in terms of receiving visits from friends and family. It will also make it easier to feel at home in your new environment.
And it will be easier for loved ones to respond in good time if there’s an emergency.
5. Go and Look Around
This one almost goes without saying.
But be sure to look around the facility before committing to it.
This is the only way to get a feel for the environment. You must see it with your own eyes and speak to the staff. Ask for a tour of the grounds, lay on the beds, sit on the benches, sit in on the activities… do as much as you can to get a realistic idea of what it would be like to live there.
Look out for dirt, signs of neglect, bad smells, and so on.
6. Ask About Safety and Service Standards
You want to make sure you or your loved one will be in good hands.
Inquire about the safety and service standards upheld at the facility.
Ask about their staff to resident ratios, emergency call buttons, window locks, smoke detectors, fire escapes, and so on. All of these things are good to look for in a visit to the facility too.
7. Talk to Existing Residents
Remember that the staff you talk to will try and sell you their facility.
Treat what they say with a pinch of salt. The most honest insight into a home or community will be from the horse’s mouth: speak to the residents.
Ask them what they enjoy and what they’d improve upon. Would they recommend it?
8. Take Your Time
Try not to rush this decision.
Take your time looking and asking around for the right facility. Sure, sometimes decisions must be made in a hurry. However, most people have the luxury of time to make their choice.
Being diligent in the research phase may well save you time and effort in the long run. Prior preparation prevents poor performance after all. Having patience with the process will pay off for all involved.
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: 8 tips on how to find and choose the best senior living facilities.
It’s an expensive choice. Senior living support doesn’t come cheap. Money isn’t everything though. The service must meet your needs and provide an environment you’re comfortable in. The implications of making a bad decision can be quite serious.
Finding the best facility begins with knowing exactly what you (or your loved ones) want and need. Keep the future in mind, and the challenges that may lay just out of sight. Prioritize the location, go and look around, and research the care standards of the facility.
Remember, there’s no replacement for speaking to current residents. And, finally, know that the worst thing you can do is rush this decision. Take your time.
We hope that the information here will help you make the best choice possible.
Are you looking for assisted living facilities in the Albuquerque area? Be sure to get in touch today to see how we can meet your needs.