Assisted Living Resources
4 Mistakes to Avoid when Researching Retirement Communities
If you’re beginning to look for retirement communities for your dad, will you know where to begin? While the search may seem daunting, it’s important to be thorough: Choosing the right community—especially if he needs the support of an assisted living residence—will impact his quality of life as well as his happiness.
Save yourself a little time—and wasted energy—by avoiding these 4mistakes that people commonly make when searching for assisted living communities:
1. NOT BEING REALISTIC
The number one thing to keep in mind when looking at a potential retirement community is that this will be Dad’s home. There are many options to consider, but your job is to remain realistic about Dad’s wants and needs. Look for a retirement or assisted living community that can support him now as well as in the future. Moving Dad from place to place as he ages is an expensive proposition—not to mention one that will take an emotional toll on both of you.
2. NOT INCLUDING FAMILY MEMBERS
While this move matters the most for Dad, it’s also a big move for your family. Even if you’re the “point person” on the search, discuss your options with him and your family members. Together, discuss the retirement community and if it has the right mix of activities, amenities and services for Dad—as well as if it feels comfortable to him.Including everyone in the discussion can be helpful as he makes his final decision.
3. WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
If possible, don’t wait to take action until the need for assisted living is urgent. Start searching for options early on so you can thoroughly research the retirement communities and narrow down your top options. Waiting until the last minute can cause you to act under pressure, incur unnecessary stress and potentially select a place that’s not a good fit for Dad. If and when the time comes, it will be much easier to make the move to assisted living if you already have desirable options in mind.
4. NOT DOING YOUR RESEARCH
Don’t just scratch the surface when researching: Thoroughly dive into all that the retirement communities have to offer. From the outside,several communities may seem comparable and a good fit Dad, but what do they each offer? Think of Dad’s needs—now and in the future—when researching places. Will he need transportation?Individualized services? Community activities? These are all questions to consider when choosing the right retirement community. Take the time to visit potential communities to meet with the staff and see how residents interact.