Many of us reach a point in our lives when we must consider what to do to ensure our parents can enjoy the golden years of their lives. Ideally, it would be wonderful if we could have mom or dad move in with us or, even better, remain in the family home. Realistically, this is not often the answer. Mobility issues, health concerns, ability to maintain the property, and manage the finances involved coupled with memory loss are just a few of the factors which may make you consider moving Mom or Dad into Assisted Living. You may have found yourself facing a difficult decision on the next steps. The following list of considerations may help you find the right home setting for your folks.
Expectations – what do you want for your parent? What do they want for themselves?
There are many great assisted living communities offering a wide array of options and levels of support. You will have to consider the ability of the community to meet the health requirements of the residents. Having your parent within easy driving range may also be important. If your parent plans on being active and is looking forward to interacting with others, then this too will weigh in on the final decision.
Is there a feeling of community?
The residents and staff make up the community of your parent’s new home. Your first impression during the initial meeting with the Director and other staff members will provide useful insight into how your parent may be treated when you are not there. Observing the residents interacting will help you determine if your parent will “fit in.”
What are some of the hidden costs that you will encounter?
There should be a contractual agreement that discloses health care and supportive services, all fees, as well as admission and discharge provisions. This will include the policies for refunds and transfers, as well as the billing and payment policies. Pay attention to the services included in the monthly fee and how much extras may cost. Research for government, private, or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services.
What is the Staff to Resident ratio and what level of training have they received?
Make sure the property is licensed to provide assisted living. The most frequent complaints reported to ombudsmen included understaffing and delays in response to residents’ calls for assistance. Most of the staff at assisted living centers are low paid, often making just minimum wage, and maybe only minimally trained. Ask how various situations would be handled, such as a fall, a complaint of pain, or an illness. You will also have to know whether the staff can administer medications, whether they are available 24/7, and what types of training they have received.
Can the facility demand your parent leave?
Unfortunately, yes, they can. While lack of payment is the most common reason cited for eviction; the resident may also be threatened with eviction if their needs are considered beyond the capacity of the community or if their behavior can be considered a danger to themselves or others. Remember, there is a difference between an Assisted Living Community and a Nursing Home.
In 2019, Wisconsin was ranked by US News and World Report as the second-best state in the nation to grow old in! Wisconsin has been recognized as being one of the most effective in serving its senior citizens by keeping them healthy, building a sense of community in senior residences, and ensuring they are able to maintain financial security. There are many different long-term care options in Wisconsin as compared to other States. Do your homework, do not be afraid to ask questions, and be honest with yourself and the staff about physical, mental, or emotional challenges your parent may be facing.
Our very own, award-winning Forest Ridge Senior Community provides a lifestyle enriched with social activities, new friendships, fitness and wellness programs, wonderful dining and a Care Managed Assisted Living Program offering personal and professional health cares. Contact us and schedule an in-person or virtual tour to learn more.
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