3 Tips for Finding a Great Assisted Living
One of the top questions I get asked all of the time is…
“How do I know if this is the right place for my loved one?”
There are a bunch of little things that people can get caught up on when they are looking to find the right place for your loved one.
First let me say no place is going to be 100% perfect. Let me say that again, NO place is going to be 100% perfect. Assisted livings are run by humans and there will be mistakes or little things that aren’t exactly the way you would do it.
But there are places that can be close or as close as possible to perfect. Here are 3 tips that can help make you feel more confident about your choice.
1. Trust your gut
This is a big one! You know that little voice in the back of your head or that uneasy feeling in your stomach…you need to listen to it. Your intuition is very a powerful tool and it shouldn’t be ignored.
2. Tour & retour
I recommend that every client take the “bells and whistle” tour first.
What do I mean by that? It’s simple…schedule a tour with the community and let them tell you everything that they offer. They will give you everything that you can expect from their community. This is important information and I want you to get it from the best person possible. It will help you decide if this place is right for your loved one.
Use checklists and take notes during and after the tour. When you are finished with you tour, sit in your car for just a minute and jot down your gut feeling about what you just experienced on your notes for that community. This can save you time in the long run. All of your tours can start to blur together so this can help.
After you take the “bells and whistle” tour then you can and should do a drop in tour. This is where you don’t call ahead and schedule a tour, you just drop in. I have a lot of clients that want to start with the drop in tour and I strongly recommend against it because you need to have all of the information to fairly judge if this community is right for your loved one and to see if what they promised you is in fact what is happening.
3. Be an advocate
Once you find the “right” community for your loved one, you can’t just move in and expect everything to go perfectly on its own. You need to be an integral part of the care plan for your loved one.
Visit often if you are able. Talk often with leadership staff. Love on the caregivers. Tell them how much you appreciate everything they do for your loved one. They have a very stressful and emotionally draining job and it really goes a long way when you give them praise. If you like to bake, bring them cookies or a little treat every now and then. This is not about spending a ton of money, just little gestures that show you appreciate them.
If you can’t visit very often then you need to make sure that you schedule time to have calls with the leadership. Communicate with them via email, request pictures and updates about good days, as well as when there are issues. Send thank you cards or emails letting them know how much you appreciate how nice it is to have them caring for your loved one.
These small things can help smooth the path if there is an issue that arises.
Have you had experience with any of these tips? Or would you recommend anything else? I would love to hear your stories or suggestions in the comments below.