By J. J. Beans
Many adult children are asking themselves this question as 2020 comes to a close and the start of a new year is upon us. Would Mom have more friends and be more social if she moves into Assisted Living? She wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store or visit the doctor’s office and potentially be exposed to additional germs. Mom would no longer have to worry about the bills piling up for electric, water, sewer, etc. You could cancel the in-home healthcare visits as those start to add up on a daily/weekly basis and eliminate your cable and internet bills. No more cooking or cleaning, laundry, meal prepping, or ordering and pick up of medications–not anymore; just sit back and enjoy a new atmosphere and quality of life, enjoy the social fun and games, catered meals, and emotional and physical company of other seniors on a daily basis.
It’s best to get ahead of the game and work on starting the process, especially before the care needs get to be too much; caretaker fatigue is a really thing! So, what’s the next step? Before Mom’s needs start to become a little too much to handle, you want to be ready to take the next steps and find her a new forever home.
How to Find Options for Her New Home
So many choices, so where do you start? For starters, you can work with a 3rd party referral agency like Brandywine Concierge Senior Services or Oasis Senior Advisors to help point you in the right direction on what communities/facilities have to offer, what is included, which facilities are private pay vs Medicaid, etc. You could search the internet or inquire on a few communities with online virtual tours or website inquiries. Reaching out to family and friends, look to those that have moved Mom into a community recently for their best practices. Partner with resources such as us, the Delaware Senior Resource Network, and local groups for seniors for their recommendations is also a great start.
Some Homework to Make the Process go Smoother
Behind the scenes, a suggestion would be to work on obtaining Mom’s clinical file from her primary physician, including a current history and physical along with clinical diagnosis to have a clear understanding of care needs and medication needs. Most Assisted Living communities will have separate fees for levels of care and medication administration along with room rates. Each community will be different and will vary depending on what they offer, what is included, what the apartments look like, and what amenities are available. It is good to set up several phone calls or Zoom sessions to see what the options might be and what Mom might like best.
Also gather mom’s financial information and be able to produce this information, especially if moving into a private pay community as a financial application will be required for admission. Does Mom have a durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will? Do you have documentation of her insurance, access to financial information, and a general idea of her income? All things to think about as you start the process.
What to Expect When Visiting Communities
Be prepared to spend some time with each community representative talking about Mom and her activities of daily living (ADLs), what she will need help with and what she can do on her own. Give the social worker at the community all of the details regarding Mom’s likes and dislikes including activities, food preferences, social settings, and apartment needs. There is no such thing as too much information!
Most Sales Directors will want to take you on a tour to showcase the care team, their facility they take pride in, and the available options for senior living.
Typically, the process can take several weeks to a few months, depending on urgency and needs. Remember to reach out, ask questions, do your research, and compare communities for pros and cons. It is a big decision, it is the right decision, and eventually once Mom settles in her new environment, she will be safe, happy and healthy and enjoying her new forever home and wondering why she didn’t take the leap sooner!
J.J. Beans is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Foulk Manor South, a private-pay Assisted Living community nestled in a thriving neighborhood in North Wilmington, Delaware. Foulk Manor South is a smaller community with a maximum of 108 residents consisting of Assisted Living as well as Intermediate Care, and includes two Memory Care neighborhoods all under one roof! If you have additional questions contact J.J. at JBeans@5ssl.com or (302) 655-6249 ext. 216