Should I Take My Mom with Me When I Tour Assisted Living Communities?
It’s a question many caregivers grapple with: Should my parent come with me when I tour assisted living communities for them?
In an ideal world, your aging parent would have a senior community picked out long before it’s needed. Moving to an independent senior community with options for assisted living services puts your parent in control.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The task of touring senior living communities often falls on adult children, especially if an aging parent has Alzheimer’s or dementia and is unable to make sound choices for themselves.
Working with a Parent to Find a Senior Living Community
If your older parent is capable of making every day choices, you should involve them in this process. As long as the quality of care meets your expectations, the best senior living community will be the one a parent chooses for themselves.
Narrow down the choices based on proximity, budget, online reviews, and a few “must-have” features you both agree on. Then schedule a few days to visit the communities.
Try not to travel too far or visit too many communities in one day. House-hunting can be tiresome even if you’re young and healthy. It can be exhausting for seniors.
Take photos or video so it’s easy to review the options when you return home.
Choosing Senior Living for a Parent
If your parent has Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia and is unable to make their own decisions, your feedback weighs more heavily in the senior living process.
However, it’s still important to include them in some way if at all possible.
You may follow a slightly different path to choose a community for your parent if they aren’t able to make the choice on their own.
Seek Feedback from Others
- Rather than visiting every community on your list, narrow down choices to the most likely prospects.
- Keep visits short and fun. You might want to make one trip without your parent, and a second visit with them. Focus on rooms, community areas, and amenities they will enjoy.
- Plan visits during times of day when your parent has less anxiety and agitation. Mid-morning, after breakfast, helps ensure they won’t be tired or hungry, which could make a visit more difficult.
Choosing a senior community may be one of the most difficult decisions you have to make as a caregiver. But you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to others who can help you make the choice.
Don’t Force the Visit
- Chat with the residents in the communities you’re considering.
- Speak to your siblings and others involved in your parent’s care.
- Talk to a senior care manager.
- Read online reviews including on a company’s Facebook page.
If touring senior communities makes your parent anxious or agitated, you might be in the unenviable position of choosing a community without the benefit of having them with you.
In this situation, focus on the services provided, the location, and the quality of care. Also try to consider what environment they might find more comfortable: luxurious surroundings or a cozy atmosphere?
And, if you discover the community you selected isn’t what your parent needs, it’s okay to regroup and begin the search again.
With more than 260 communities nationwide, each with its own ambiance, the specialists at Five Star Senior Living can connect you and your mom with the perfect assisted living community
for your older loved one.
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