At MorningStar, we know better than most the rich rewards of conversing with and sharing life with seniors. And because we’re all about building Home and Family, any time we can be a catalyst for healing solutions and support the life seniors want to continue to lead, it’s a very good day for us.
SENIOR LIVING LANDSCAPE
When is it time?
FINDING THE IDEAL SENIOR COMMUNITY
Ah, Google. There you will find more senior living choices than you can imagine. Too many, really. So first narrow the field geographically, then limit yourself to 3-4 candidates within the needed category: 55+ community, continuing care retirement community, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care or skilled nursing.
Retirement options are brighter and wider than ever before in history. Yet all those choices can sometimes only lead to confusion. So, our first advice is to clearly identify what you’re trying to solve, with an eye not just to next year, but to the next 5-10 years.
Read enough online reviews across a variety of platforms to glean a balanced view. Most brands supply a ready link to their public reviews.
The adult child (or healthier spouse) is typically given the initial legwork. We recommend you tour no more than two communities in a day (or risk becoming overwhelmed).
On an initial tour, expect a lot of details. Take notes (download our Senior Communities Comparison Chart.) But try to focus on the overall ambience also. Begin to weigh value against cost.
If you like what you see and hear, return to your top two with your loved one for a more social tour. Revisit your preferred choices at different times of day on different days of the week.
Consider a trial stay to take Senior Living “for a spin and see how it feels.”
Talk it Up
Speak with friends about Senior Living to glean from their experience and advice. Consult with trusted advisors: physician, attorney, stockbroker, pastor, in-home health providers and others who have already guided you through major life decisions.
When It’s All Said and Done
In the end, don’t let the complexities of this decision mask the fact that your instincts are to be trusted. One place will just feel like home. And the staff will feel like family. You’ll know it straight away.
We hope that one place is MorningStar
MorningStar’s “Senior Life: How to have the best conversation ever with your elder parent” is a practical guide to understanding the psychology of advanced age, offering advice to adult children on how to come alongside aging parents as advocate and legacy coach. Click here.
EASING THE STRESS
When is it Time to Move a Parent to Assisted Living?
Simply said, it’s time to move to Assisted Living when the transition will ease the stress of either the senior’s life or the family caregiver’s life.
Assisted Living is the best choice if your parent or spouse needs more personal care than he/she can get (or afford) in the home or in an Independent Living community, yet doesn’t need 24-hour medical care and supervision. Consider these further determinants:
Any recent falls?
Bruises or cuts he/she doesn’t want you to notice?
Prone to wander?
Leaving the stove-top on?
Struggling with failing eyesight?
Wearing the same clothes day after day?
Struggling with personal bathing and toileting?
Dishes not getting washed?
Home looking less tidy and more cluttered?
Unopened mail accumulating?
Spoiled or no food in the refrigerator?
Unable to get to the grocery store?
Calling/seeing friends infrequently?
Alone more often than not?
No longer attending church or other regular social activities?
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