When it comes to living arrangements, senior citizens have far more options available to them today than they ever have in the past: independent retirement communities, assisted independent communities, at-home assisted living, at-home nursing care, live-in nursing homes… the list can go on and on. Having all these options available is almost certain to make it easier to eventually find the right living arrangement, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the search itself will be easier. In fact, having so many options and facilities to consider can often make the search that much more confusing.
The search for the right living arrangement—either for yourself or for an aging family member—can be much easier if you know ahead of time the right questions to ask and the important things to look for. This article in U.S. News and World Report shares 9 things to look for in your search for an assisted living facility, including:
- Making sure the facility is licensed
- Ensuring the facility’s financial stability
- Getting referrals
- Making visits to assess the facility’s staff
- Asking what current residents have to say
- Considering whether it can meet not only your current but also your future needs
- Asking about payment options (including Medicaid, called “Medi-Cal” in California)
- And more
Having so many different options these days means we can hope that finding the right senior living arrangement is a much more personal—and pleasurable—task than it has been in the past. Some of the best retirement communities or nursing homes have long waiting lists, so starting your search early will improve your chances of finding the place that’s right for you. But be careful, nursing home and assisted living contracts can contain surprises and should be carefully considered; or better yet, have an attorney look at the contract for you. And, if you are finding a place for your parent or other infirm family member, try to avoid signing the contract yourself unless you plan on being financially responsible for payment. It is often better to ask you parent or loved one to sign the contract and, if they are unable to do so, then sign only as their “agent” if you have valid agency authority.
With the many choices now available there’s no reason not to have exactly the senior living situation you want and need.