Moving to a Better Place
There are some momentous events in the life of a senior citizen. And few can compare in terms of the tremendous change of lifestyle to the moment when your aging parent moves out of their home and into an assisted living facility. It’s a very emotional decision. If your mom and dad have been living in the same house for decades, there is a bond with that place that runs very deep. So convincing your elderly parent to move to an apartment or assisted care facility can be difficult.
Once you have gotten mom or dad on board to make that big move, the next major step is to find a facility that would be just the right thing. There are a number of factors that go into this choice. So when you set out to find the next home for your parent, you should have a fairly detailed check list for what you are looking for. And when you enter that facility, don’t be ashamed to be darned fussy about that checklist. This will be your parent’s next home and a place you will be spending a lot of time at during your visits. So make sure that when mom or dad move from their home to this facility that they truly are going to a better place.
The design of the facility. This criteria is where your checklist will get quite specific. An assisted care facility for an elderly population is different from a run of the mill apartment complex. And how the facility is designed both in terms of the physical plant and the way the facility is run will tell you if they are a good place for your parent to live. Some items to include on your checklist are…
§ Food service.
§ Emergency preparedness.
§ Ability to respond.
§ Look and feel.
The society. One of the selling points of moving is that your parent will be around other seniors and have more human contact to combat loneliness. The facility can do a lot to speed that process by holding regular social events for its residents. So interview some of the residents and get a feel for if they are friendly and if there are people there your mom or dad would enjoy becoming friends with. You can even arrange for your parent to spend a day or a weekend at the facility to get a feel for what it will be like to live there.
Proximity. Where the facility is physically located is a qualification for which assisted care locations will make the short list. Those close to where you, the caregiver, live should get a priority look. You are going to be running back and forth to this place
many times each week. So if mom or dad live close, that proximity will help your care giving efforts tremendously.
Even before you began talking about this big step with your parent, you no doubt
had been thinking about it and discussing it with family and those close to your parent. You may have even done some preliminary walkthroughs to get a feel for what kind of facilities are available in your area.
When you start the formal search for the next place for your parent to live, it’s vital that you take your parent with you on those visits. After all, no criteria will be more important than whether your mom or dad will like the facility. And if they get out there looking at facilities and interviewing the staff and management of different places around town to be considered, your parent will begin to get enthusiastic and begin to see this move as their next great adventure in life. And once they cross that threshold in their minds, you will be well on your way to being successful in this move and making it a reality to help your parent go to a better place.