Being faced with the decision to move an aging family member to an assisted living community can seem like a daunting task. Often, loved ones wish to remain in their homes, even when it becomes clear their quality of life is suffering. They may be dealing with mobility issues or chronic medical conditions, or they even may be facing social isolation and depression. As a family caregiver, you want the best for your loved one and are committed to providing the best care and support you can. However, there often comes a time when the care your family member needs reaches a level that is beyond your experience. It’s common for caregivers to experience caregiver stress or burnout, which has negative effects on their own health.
Properly Preparing for a Move to an Assisted Living Community
It’s important to remember that assisted living communities are designed with the unique needs of the residents in mind. You’ll find a caring, supportive staff that can provide the right amount of assistance your loved one needs to thrive, and a warm, friendly environment that feels just like home. Assisted living communities offer services above and beyond help with daily living activities, too, with life-enriching programs, events and plenty of opportunities for social engagement.
As a caregiver, you’ll benefit from the move, too. You’ll not only be relieved of the stress of your caregiving duties, but you’ll also be able to fully enjoy your relationship as child/parent with your loved one again.
If you’re just beginning to research assisted living communities near you, here are six tips to keep in mind while searching for the best new home for your family member:
- Keep your loved one involved in the decision making process. If your loved one is able, allow him or her to participate in the search and take his or her opinions to heart. This will be home to your family member, and you want them to be comfortable and happy. Communication is key during this time period; your loved one may feel overwhelmed by all the changes occurring, so making sure they have a voice in the decision can be vital.
- Visit the state Area Agency on Aging. The Oklahoma Area Agencies on Aging provides some great resources and information for both older adults and caregivers, especially with planning the long-term needs of your loved one.
- Schedule personal tours of a few assisted living communities. Once you have some information regarding the assisted living communities and services available in your area, contact a few communities to schedule personal tours. If your family member is able to attend the tour with you, all the better. Get a feel for the community by talking to the staff and current residents while on your tour. If possible, attend a social event or meal to get extra quality time with the residents.
- Figure out the financials. Make sure to get all the monthly rates and costs for any additional services available at the assisted living community. Once you add up all your loved one’s current monthly costs, like the mortgage, utilities and current healthcare costs, you might find that the community is a better value.
- Assist in the downsizing process. Remember, your loved one has probably lived in his or her current home for many years and will be moving to a smaller, more manageable living space. While personal items are welcome at assisted living communities, space will be limited. Take the time to go through items and decide which heirlooms and mementos to bring to their new home.
- Meet the staff. Feeling confident that your loved one is happy, safe and in good hands will help ease your mind that they are living comfortably in their new living situation. Make it a point to get to know key staff members involved in your loved one’s care. This can include the wellness nurse or nurse practitioner, the activities director, social workers, dietary coordinator or clinical nutrition manager, housekeepers, etc.
4 Levels of Assisted Living Care in Tulsa at Saint Simeon’s
Experience the difference of the assisted living community at Saint Simeon’s! With no hidden or additional fees for services like medication management and no buy-in fee, your loved one will have the option to age in place with three levels of care offered under one roof at the Dotson Family Assisted Living community. Additionally, we offer a fourth level, the highest level of assisted living care in Tulsa through our Assisted Living Plus program. Some individuals who might require nursing care at another community could qualify for Assisted Living Plus.