Assisted living is senior care that is geared toward people who are still independent but need some help with activities of daily living. These tasks vary from resident to resident and include, but are not limited to, housekeeping, meals, mobility, medication management, and transportation. Residents in an assisted living community usually live in apartment buildings or condominiums specially designed for senior living.
Finding the Right Price
Once you have decided on assisted living rather than home care, you still have quite a task ahead of you. Now you have to find the right fit for Mom, and one of the most important factors in your decision will undoubtedly be price and how and where the money to pay comes from. There are several ways you can pay for part of the cost of Mom’s assisted living. Consider applying for financial assistance through government programs or even starting your own crowdfunding campaign.
Exploring the Benefits
While assisted living offers many benefits and amenities for independent seniors, two of the biggest benefits for Mom are increased social interaction and continued independence. One study found that increased social interaction as a person grows older can actually prevent or delayed cognitive decline. In an assisted living community, residents share several common spaces where they can come together and socialize. There are community-planned events on the monthly calendar, such as field trips, birthday parties, and game nights. Social clubs, recreational and wellness areas, and outdoor spaces for walking are all usually available as well.
Mom’s ability to maintain her independence while still being able to get help in areas where she may need it is a very important part of her mental health and well-being, and at an assisted living community, she can do just that. Some on-site medical care is available, but residents at an assisted living community do not require 24-hour medical monitoring. Regular comforts like cable television, private bathrooms, and stoves in residents’ units are usually offered. The extra care available at an assisted living community helps to give Mom some peace of mind and helps her to continue doing the activities she loves while not worrying about the ones with which she may struggle.
Asking Good Questions
When you first start to search for the right assisted living community for Mom, you’re bound to have a lot of questions, and so does Mom. If you’re not familiar with senior care, researching it can feel confusing, overwhelming, and stressful. So before you make a decision, consider all of the questions you may have and write them down. For help with your questions, download the Cottages’ printable assisted living checklist.
Once you have your list of questions, take it slow. First, make phone calls to the assisted living communities in your area. Ask them your list of questions, and if you like their answers, make an appointment for a visit and a tour. Go with Mom to look at all of the potential communities, and ask more questions while you’re there. You can even ask the same questions that you asked on the phone. If you take your time, weigh your options, and go into the process with patience, you will come out on the other side with an assisted living community that is the perfect fit for Mom.