At a certain point, we all have to explore our senior living options for the long term — either for ourselves or the ones we love. Caring for an elderly loved one yourself is very commendable, but it can also be a source of overwhelming stress. Even if your loved one is highly functioning in both body and mind, he or she may still need assistance with certain tasks. That’s why so many loving family caregivers eventually look into an assisted living community.
Understandably, most people have a lot of questions about assisted living services. If you’re wondering about the options at your disposal, a senior referral service can help you focus on what type of care is best for your situation. To assist you in this process, we’ve made a short list of the four questions you should ask assisted living services to determine whether they’re right for you and your loved one:
- What exactly is assisted living?
With so many different tiers and types of long term care, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or confused. Think of assisted living communities as one step up from independent living. While an independent senior living community lets residents be entirely on their own within a retirement community, assisted living is a residential option that provides assistance for certain daily activities. When researching a specific facility, make sure you are 100% clear on the services they do and do not offer.
- What amenities are provided?
Assisted living services will vary a bit depending on the facility, but there are some core features that they usually provide. Typically, assisted living services will include help with bathing, dressing, eating, toiletries, walking and transportation, laundry, and housework. They’ll usually provide 24-hour supervision when necessary and a secure environment. Most provide three meals per day (plus snacks) in a dining room, access to medical services, fitness programs, medication management, and social activities all in a secure environment. Staff members can also help with other needs or unanticipated problems. In assisted living, medical assistance can be obtained much more quickly than in an independent facility in the event of an emergency. If there’s a particular amenity your loved one would benefit from, make sure to ask your senior referral service if it’s included before choosing an assisted living facility.
- How can I tell if my loved one is ready for assisted living?
Although many seniors would like to live at home for the remainder of their life, this often proves to be difficult or nearly impossible. Even if you live in close proximity to your loved one, caring for a family member yourself can take its toll. If the needs of your loved one have become more than you can handle yourself, even with in-home help, it’s probably time to consider another option. If you have concerns that your loved one might be in an unsafe environment, has trouble getting around, or may feel socially isolated, assisted living can be an immense help. If you notice that your loved one is neglecting personal hygiene, proper nutrition, or household maintenance — or feel they’re acting strangely or have sustained physical injury when on their own — you should definitely consider calling assisted living services.
- Will assisted living cost more than a nursing home?
The cost of senior care varies a lot depending on the facility you choose and the area in which you’re located. However, assisted living may actually cost less than a nursing home or even in-home care, depending on certain factors. Long term care insurance and community-based waivers can help pay for the cost of assisted living facilities. And of course, using a senior living referral service can help you to locate a great facility that’s within financial reach for your family.
Looking to find out more about the senior living options that are available to you in Tucson, AZ? We can help you and your loved one find the best facility for your situation and preferences. Please contact us today to get started.