Do you have a parent who needs to move into an assisted living facility? Moving into assisted living is often a bittersweet affair. On one hand, your parent is likely sad to be leaving their home. On the other hand, moving into a facility where they will get the care and treatment that they need could be a relief for both you and them. Depending on your parent's condition, it may be up to you tour facilities and do much of the decision-making. It's a big decision, and you certainly don't want to find out that you picked the wrong facility after the fact. Here are a few mistakes to avoid as you tour facilities:
Prioritizing perks over care. Many assisted living facilities offer appealing perks like game nights, live entertainment, fine dining establishments, lavish design and even group outings. While those may be appealing to you and your parent, don't place them ahead of care and treatment. Sometimes, adult children will choose a facility based on what they think is most enjoyable. Then they find out after the fact that the facility doesn't have the staff or experience necessary to properly care for their parent's condition.
That's an even more difficult situation because it then requires a move into a new facility, meaning your parent will have to make a second transition. Perks are nice, but make sure the facility can meet your parent's medical needs first.
Making decisions based solely on proximity. You may be tempted to look for a facility that's very close to your home. You may intend to visit your parent everyday or several times a week. However, before you make your decision based on proximity, consider how feasible your plan is. You may find that it's not possible for you to visit everyday. Or your parent may make a lot of friends and may not want you to visit that frequently.
If the facility closest to your home is the best one for your parent, then you should consider it. However, don't choose the one closest to your house when there may be better facilities slightly farther away.
Not reading the fine print. An assisted living facility can be a big investment. You and your parent will have to pay for his or her room, meals, medical treatment, transportation and much more. Facilities also price their services differently. Some bundle fees into all-inclusive packages. Others add on fees for specific services. Be sure you check whether there are additional fees for things like laundry services, medical delivery, and even group outing and entertainment charges. One facility may have a lower base price than another, but when you add in the extra fees, that facility could be more costly.
For more information, visit some assisted living facilities in your area. They can help you decide which facility is right for you.