As with most major life decisions, it’s best not to rush into things without thinking through what’s important. Senior living can be overwhelming at first when you consider all of the options available, however, breaking it down and avoiding common assisted living search mistakes will ensure you or your senior loved one will find the best possible arrangement!
If you’re looking for assisted living for yourself or for a loved one, then you’ll want to consider some of the missteps made by average people seeking senior care. Even though this type of senior living is very popular for many reasons, it’s helpful to find out for yourself why some communities might make better fits than others.
5 Common Assisted Living Search Mistakes
1. Not Planning for Future Needs
Often times, the senior care business promotes itself with unbridled optimism, sometimes to the extent that those seeking care are wooed beyond their actual needs. I’m not saying that you want to find a gloomy ol’ community somewhere, but it’s very important to plan for someone’s immediate and future needs in terms of the services they’ll need.
A community can have all of the right things going for it aesthetically, recreationally, and socially, but if someone has to move somewhere else because a specific service is needed, then this could end up being very costly. Finding the right balance between a realistic, medical approach, and someone’s lifestyle preferences is what you need to aim for. Consulting a doctor to provide an objective perspective on someone’s needs as a senior can be a good start, in addition to discussing their retirement desires on a personal level.
2. Falling for the Marketing
Playing off the first point — each community is going to advertise itself as the single-most ideal retirement option around, making it your job to see how true that really is! As with many consumer situations, high prices and lavish features often signal premium products. When it comes to retirement, the best product is the one that provides the best senior well-being possible, not simply a solid brand name or flashy amenities someone will never use. Avoiding assisted living search mistakes like this one can mean ignoring the price tag.
It may go against your instincts, but even the most luxurious arrangements can have their shortcomings and can be prone to oversights. If you’re someone seeking a care option for your parent, keep in mind that you are serving their preferences and not your own. Sure, it’s great to be involved in a parent’s retirement care, but one of the most common assisted living search mistakes is leaping at the first opportunity because it’s attractive without having much substance!
3. Too Much Weight Placed on Proximity
Another common assisted living search mistake that families continually make is choosing communities just because they are close by. Finding the right community isn’t about going with what’s easiest or within walking distance. While it’s absolutely a valid factor to consider how often family members are able to visit senior loved ones, a better community a bit farther away could ultimately be the better choice.
At the same time, retirement living can be mainly about comfort and familiarity, so if the closest community seems to be the best then go for it! This is just to say that convenience must sometimes be sacrificed for the quality of someone’s care.
4. Avoiding The Current Situation
Aging is something that affects everyone differently, and sometimes the process isn’t as ideal as we’d like. For seniors suffering dementia or other declines in their health, families can find it hard to face these things rationally. Of course, I’m no expert on human psychology, but it’s not uncommon for people to make decisions based on the intensity of certain emotions or an inability to view a situation for what it is.
Many families also have the tendency to choose communities based on who their parent was, rather than who they’ve come to be now. Although it can seem like the right idea to base someone’s current retirement preferences on their past interests, this isn’t always the best approach. Deciding about senior care takes in-depth, compassionate discussions where all sides can voice their perspectives. Ultimately though, it’s the person receiving the care that should hold the most weight given the circumstance!
5. Deciding About Retirement Alone
As important as senior independence is, asking for help when deciding on a retirement option is highly recommended. Out of anyone, seniors often know what they need in order to maximize their personal well-being, although it’s still worth bouncing these ideas off someone else to be sure. For people who have limited social circles or few family members available to help, you can consult our senior care advisors right here on SeniorCaring.com.
Otherwise, geriatric care managers make a living by helping older adults coordinate the health services and retirement options they’re seeking. Additionally, other organizations like AARP or your state’s Department of Aging can direct you toward professionals who can provide advice, legal counsel, and more. If you need assistance finding the best option for you, never hesitate to reach out and explore whatever resources are available!
Avoid these common assisted living search mistakes and you’ll be on the right path to finding your ideal community in no time!