Planning ahead is an important guideline for locating the best senior living option for your parent, but in the case of an unexpected medical crisis—such as your father has a stroke or your mother suffers a serious fall—you may be suddenly be in a position where you need to find senior living in a hurry.
Even in an elder-life crisis, you’ll need to make sure the senior living option you choose—whether it’s assisted living, skilled nursing, or memory care—meets the medical and physical needs of your parent. To find senior living fast, you need an action plan that will resolve your parent’s living situation in a timely manner.
When time is of the essence, here are some steps you can take to expedite the senior living decision without compromising the quality of your choice.
Heed professional advice.
Many times, your parent’s physician or medical team will have the best recommendations for the appropriate senior living option. If your dad is recovering from a stroke, will he be fine in assisted living after a period of rehab? Or will ongoing skilled nursing be required? If your mom has suffered a series of falls, is there an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed? Getting guidance from the appropriate medical professional will set you on the right path as you look for the most appropriate long-term care solution.
Use online resources.
Fortunately, we live in an age that allows us to find information quickly and efficiently through our computer screens. Search key words, such as “assisted living communities near me,” to find a wealth of potential communities in close proximity to you or your parent. Use the resources available at OurParents.com, A Place for Mom, and SeniorAdvisor. com. Merely entering your zip code at OurParents.com will yield several potential senior living options. At A Place for Mom’s website, entering your zip code and phone number will give you an immediate callback from an advisor who can help you with your search. And SeniorAdvisor.com features more than 100,000 reviews of assisted living communities, Alzheimer’s care, nursing homes, independent living, and other senior living options.
Make it a team effort.
If you have siblings or other relatives, divide up the tasks associated with finding an appropriate senior living community for your parent. In-town siblings may have their hands full with the fallout from their parent’s emergency—i.e., visiting the hospital, conferring with doctors and medical personnel, etc. If so, give out-of-town siblings the tasks of doing online research and reaching out to potential senior living communities by phone.
Take the time to tour.
Even if you are in a rush, you should tour several options for senior living before making a final decision. Touring one community is not enough. A Place for Mom recommends that families visit at least three communities before making a final decision. Sometimes you can tell in just a few minutes if a community is going to be right for your parent. But even if a community seems right, you might want to visit your top choice more than once to confirm your first impression.
Don’t rush the details.
Even though you need to make a decision on a expedited schedule, don’t overlook important steps when making your final selection of a senior living community. Make sure you read all contracts carefully and have a good understanding of what’s included in the monthly fee and what additional charges you may incur for various additional services.
Think about tomorrow.
In your rush to find a solution for your parent’s needs today, don’t forget to consider what your parent may need a few months or years from now. If your mom has the early stages of dementia, does the community you’re considering have a memory care unit that will fulfill her needs tomorrow? If your dad has Parkinson’s disease, will the community be able to tend to his needs as the disease progresses? Asking these questions is an important step in ensuring you have the right fit for your parent in the long-term aftermath of current medical concerns.
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