Wondering how to move your parents into an assisted living community?
Families and caregivers of their elderly parents often turn to assisted living as a good option for their parents as they age and need more assistance with daily care. Assisted living is great for those capable of some independent living but could use some help to get around, prepare meals and other day-to-day tasks.
When that time comes, you want to make sure you take the right steps to find the best place for them to live and to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved. Here are some great tips for when you decide to move your parents into an assisted living community.
1. Have the Tough Conversations
The entire process of moving your folks into an assisted living community starts with the initial conversation about moving them. One of the hardest parts is actually talking with your parents and convincing them to make the move. Oftentimes, people may be quite reluctant to give up their home and belongings, but for their well-being, assisted living is going to be the best thing for them. Each family is unique and has different ways of communicating, however here are a few tips that could get the best results:
- Approach any conversation from a place of compassion, love, and genuine concern.
- Include your parents in the process – not many people like the idea of having their kids take over their lives. Make sure your aging parents have a say in the decision-making process.
- Have the conversation early and often. It is easier to talk about future life plans before there is a crisis. Having multiple conversations ahead of time can help to make talking about it less overwhelming and confrontational.
Unfortunately, it’s often up to adult children to handle these tough conversations. Still, there are plenty of resources online, and you can always consult with an assisted living organization like Sunflower Communities to learn how to approach this situation. But that’s where it starts—talking about it. To help facilitate the process, it’s vital to sit down and get to know all of their preferences, needs, desires, and deal-breakers so you know exactly what kind of place would work best for them. Plus, these are the opportunities to be able to vent and discuss feelings and trepidations about moving to an assisted living facility. When this is done as a family, it can help make the entire process so much better.
2. Solidify Their Budget
One of those tough conversations might be about money. But figuring out your parents’ budget is critical to ensuring they can move into a place worry-free. Working with a financial advisor can be super helpful because you’ll need to include a lot of complicated factors with social security, insurance, medical care costs, etc. The last thing you want to do is to move your parents into a place that is too expensive and having to downsize and move them again down the road.
3. Prepare for the Transition
Long before you find the best assisted living community to move to, it’s a good idea to get started on consolidating, packing, and getting the appropriate furniture they’ll need for the new place. If your parents are moving from a house or larger apartment into assisted living, chances are you’ll have to do a lot of downsizing. So the earlier you start, the better.
You can determine if the furniture they have currently is practical to bring with them, or if they should sell it and buy new stuff. Also, make sure to find a storage unit to keep items that would be too difficult to bring to a senior living community. To make the new living space feel more like home, make sure to keep nostalgic items, family heirlooms, and other mementos to facilitate the transition. Bringing those with may be a little impractical, but will make the move to assisted living much easier.
It’s also imperative to find and collect all important documentation like wills, tax documents, bank statements, etc. Keep those safe and secure, so they don’t get lost in the move. You’ll likely need them when you apply for assisted living as well, so keeping them handy will be super helpful.
4. Start the Research Process
Finding the right assisted living community can take time, and the sooner you start to research, the better. You can also eliminate all the places you don’t want to see early on and leave yourselves with a good list of options when the time comes to start touring facilities. We always recommend you to include your parents in this process, or take what they’ve told you and run with that.
Heading to the internet and searching nearby assisted living facilities is the first step. READ THE REVIEWS. Reviews can help immediately determine which places are worth visiting. Keep notes of everything you find, and make a list of places you want to contact, and then have your assisted living checklist ready for when they contact you back. If your loved one is in need of memory care, or other forms of more intense care, make sure to properly research reviews, qualifications of the staff, and how well equipped the facility is to handle the situation.
5. Connect with an Advisor or Placement Agency
You may also find it valuable to connect with an Assisted Living Advisor or Placement Agency. They can help ease some of the burdens of finding senior living options yourself. They can take all of the information you have regarding your parents’ wants and needs and do the searches for you. Advisors can also be a beacon of support as you navigate the struggles that come with moving your parents into assisted living—both with the logistics and the emotional toll it can take.
6. Take Tours of the Best Assisted Living Spots
Once you’ve narrowed down your top spots, it’s time to take a tour! This will be your opportunity to set realistic expectations of the daily living at their potentially new home. During your tour, make sure to take notice of other residents and maybe talk to one if you get the chance (in a non-intrusive way).
If finding a time is a struggle, many assisted living places will offer virtual tours instead of in-person. This may not be ideal for some, but you can get the gist of what they have to offer and what the inside looks like. The tour can not only give you a visual idea of what they have to offer, but it’s your opportunity to ask all of the questions you need to ask directly with the facility. If you go decide to go the virtual route, we would highly recommend visiting the facility at some point before anything is signed.
Finding the Best Home for Your Loved One
Finding the right home for your parents can be a difficult task which could take some time. The important thing to focus on is finding a long term home for your loved one. Rushing into the first few solutions will only lead to more stress for both you and your parents down the road. This is why it is best to have open communication with your loved one throughout the entire process, and take the time to find a solution they are happy with.
We covered a lot of information in this post, if you’re worried about asking all the right questions, we put together this handy list of questions to ask as you walk through. While you will always be welcome to ask questions after the tour, it’s always nice to have all of your bases covered before moving your loved ones into their new home.
If you happen to be looking for quality assisted living communities in Minnesota, we would encourage you to consider Sunflower Communities! If you’re interested in taking a tour of Sunflower Communities, read more here and contact us today.