Q: What is the right time to start looking into senior living options?
The right time to look into senior living options is before you need the services. If you feel for any reason that you or a loved one may benefit from the services or environment of a senior living community, then now is definitely the time to begin researching your options.
Most people take a reactive approach and avoid looking into senior living until there is a crisis. Trying to make this significant of a decision under the stress of a crisis can often lead to poor and unsafe out comes.
By taking a proactive approach, you allow yourself the time to educate yourself on what is available, what services each community offers, and what type of community will best fit your wants, needs, and lifestyle.
Q. What are some of the misconceptions about senior living communities?
The biggest misconception is the thought that if we stay in our homes, we stay independent. In reality, most seniors may require a lot of support to stay in their home once they can no longer maintain it or it becomes unsafe. This can make them DEPENDANT on others. I have seen many people experience increased independence once they move to a senior living community because they are in an environment that is designed to meet their needs and help them to safely continue the things that they enjoy.
Q. What are some of the mistakes people make when researching senior living options?
Two of the most common mistakes people make are:
1. Making a decision based on cost alone. Cheaper is not always better; in this case, you get what you pay for. Most senior living communities provide the same basic services, but how they provide them and at what level will determine your day-to-day satisfaction.
2. Thinking that a loved one can make this decision on his or her own. What many don’t realize is that the process typically evokes many emotions for both seniors and their families. The most common of these emotions are fear, guilt, denial, failure, loss of control or independence and an overall sense of being overwhelmed.
Seniors often need their adult children to play an active role in the decision because the emotions involved may keep them from making necessary decisions.