There’s no right answer for this question. Most individuals don’t consider that they might need to move to assisted living, believing they will stay in their home until they die. But for many, there comes a point where this option isn’t practical or safe.
Because assisted living helps with those activities of daily living that become difficult at home, such as cooking, cleaning and bathing, observe your loved one to see if these activities are becoming difficult for them when determining if it’s time to make the leap to assisted living. This decision may also be made by your loved one’s medical provider following an illness or fall.
Congratulations! Finding choices that you believe might fit you or your loved one is half the battle. Now it’s time to contact the location via phone or email and ask to schedule a tour.
You will find that when you look through our listings, some of these locations have Beacon’s information rather than their own listed as a contact point. This isn’t a mistake! Some locations and organizations prefer to have Beacon act as an intermediary. We will connect you with location and, in some cases, schedule the tour for you.
The simplest answer is, if you have a question, you should ask! It’s best to gather as much information as possible when choosing the right senior housing option. That said, I’ve included some common questions our families ask below to get you started.
- What is the resident agreement and assessment process?
- What is included in the costs? Apartments? Meals? Transportation? Cleaning/cooking services?
- Is there a nurse on duty at all times? An aide?
- What types of activities are available for residents?
- Who makes their medical, dental and vision appointments?
- Is there an emergency call system? What tools do residents have to contact staff when they need them?
- Do residents stay in the community/care home until end of life?
- Are there rate increases every year? What have they been in the past?
- My loved one has memory issues. Is that okay for your community/care home? What type of support do you provide?
- My loved one is a fall risk. Is that okay for your community/care home? What type of safety measures will you provide to keep them from falling?
Most locations provide a range of costs in their online profiles because, especially for assisted living, the cost is dependent on the level of care needed. Your formal assessment will determine the final costs. That said, most locations offer a month to month cost and a year to year lease agreement.
When reviewing costs, don’t forget to review the community’s policies for what should happen if you decide it isn’t the right fit for your loved one and you want to leave. Some may allow you to simply withdraw, while others with a longer lease policy may have financial penalties.
A move into assisted living or memory care does require an order from your loved one’s physician, as well as an application completed by the family.
Once the move has been initiated, there will be an agreement with the assisted living location, and an interdisciplinary care plan will be drawn up for your loved one to be put into place when they establish residence. (This is a fancy way of saying a committee will meet to determine your loved one’s needs. This is then turned into a formal plan to ensure they receive the level of care they need while in assisted living.)
Your loved one will also need a tuberculosis screen (either the PPD or the T-spot test), and a flu vaccine and/or pneumococcal vaccine may be required or recommended.
We at Beacon understand that the amount of paperwork may feel overwhelming, but most is required by the state licensing board. If you are struggling with the paperwork for placement, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Proper medication management is extremely important. As the number of medications taken each day increases, so does the opportunity for error. A non-medical home health caregiver can visit your loved one to discuss their medications and help fill daily pill boxes to be sure their medications are properly prepared for dosage.
A non medical health provider can be a wonderful choice for this situation. They will assess your parents’ needs and allot time accordingly. (These providers often charge by the hour.)
Medical home health services, such as therapy, wound care and nursing, require a physician’s referral. Non-medical services, such as meal assistance, home health aides (especially private duty), and assistance with transportation to and from appointments typically do not.
Most people want to immediately pick up the phone and start calling providers, but it’s better to look at the financial end of things first. What services does your insurance offer, what does your available recurring income look like, what do you have in savings and liquid assets. These are all things that are going to be considered, so knowing them up front can make your life a lot easier.
If you’re seeking placement for a loved one, are medical power of attorney and power of attorney papers in place?
Finally, you’ll need to determine what level of care your loved one requires. You can see our descriptions to give you some ideas, but the best place to start is by having a serious conversation with their healthcare provider.
Call or email us at Beacon. We will connect you with service providers that will help your parents and coordinate with you remotely.
Subscription fees are used to connect families and seniors with Beacon. No set up fees, no back end referral fees, and everyone who contacts you regarding your services is your client, not Beacon's client. Pretty simple. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-712-5509 to discuss.