Research states that approximately 12-million Americans will need long-term care by the year 2020. In addition, 68% percent of individuals over the age of 65 will eventually develop some form of cognitive impairment or need assistance completing at least two activities of daily living such as dressing, showering and eating.
According to AARP, “Nearly two in 10 Americans aged 70 and older say they either can’t live independently and accomplish daily tasks without assistance from caregivers or community resources or find it difficult to do so.”
Of course, the great majority of older adults would like to “age in place,” but, what happens when this is no longer possible?
At some point, many families turn to alternative long-term care options such as senior housing for their aging loved ones. But, starting the search for senior housing can be daunting for families who are new to the process. With so many different types of housing available, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Fortunately, there are resources that can help you navigate the world of aging options, so that you can make the best possible care decision for your loved ones.
The first step in the search for senior housing is to do some initial research online. Browse through different community websites to get a feel for the type of care, rooms and amenities provided.
Don’t forget to look on the Community Care Licensing website to find information about recent citations and community inspection reports.
Online reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Seniorly can also provide an honest perspective of the communities your family is interested in. It can be refreshing to hear about communities from families who have had real-life experience with them.
While visiting senior housing communities, there are additional steps you can take to get the most out of your touring experience.
In particular, families should be aware of the following attributes that give insight into the quality of life provided: overall cleanliness, accessibility of communal spaces, staff-to-resident ratios, activities schedules, etc.
Be sure to ask your tour guide and community residents plenty of questions, so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes time to select a future home.
If you follow these steps and are still having difficulty sifting through the abundance of information, you may want to consult a geriatric care manager or gerontologist to help you understand which communities will best suit your loved one’s care and lifestyle needs. They can provide an unbiased third-party perspective on your family’s situation and make recommendations based on your loved one’s needs and their knowledge of different local communities.
Moving into senior housing is a major life decision. It’s not just about finding any home. It’s about finding the right home, where your loved one will feel happy and supported as they age.
Doing your research ahead of time and asking questions on your tour will simplify the search process and allow your family to be more diligent when choosing a home for your aging loved ones.
Have you gone through the process of looking for senior housing for one of your loved ones? What did you learn from the process? What advice would you give to the other women in our community who may be beginning their search now? Please join the conversation.