Published on June 14, 2023

How to Choose Assisted Living Apartments

Many families eventually end up in the difficult situation of having to move a family member – or themselves – into an assisted living site. Memory care apartments are fortunately one of the most common, providing support to seniors who are struggling with memory loss and other related conditions.

We all want the best for the people we care about, but how do you choose assisted living when you might have multiple options to explore? It is easy to forget that a lot of the smaller details are mostly common sense: you just need to know where to look.

Cost

The cost of this kind of care is important, even if it can be a difficult subject to think about. While good care is important, it can be easy to slip into the trap of spending all of your savings on the most expensive care open, even if it is not strictly necessary.

It is always a good idea to approach various care homes and apartments to get a quote for what they charge. Understanding even the general ballpark figures can go a long way toward planning for the future, especially in situations where your family needs to spread money around between multiple important causes.

Whether you decide to be pragmatic and go for something affordable or shell out for the most expensive care you can afford, there is never a wrong answer. The important thing is to choose a price point that your family can actually support for as long as necessary.

Restrictions

Many memory care apartments have minimum age requirements or other limitations that are meant to build a safe environment for seniors, ensuring that they remain comfortable and get to socialize with people roughly their own age. Of course, different groups will have their own restrictions and rules.

This is important to look into before you approach a particular set of apartments. After all, there is no point wasting time researching a business that will not accept the person you are trying to support – if you filter these companies out of your search, you can focus on the ones that you are able to rely on.

These restrictions are not just arbitrary things like age, either. Some might have particular requirements, like mainly offering services to local families or only having specific kinds of apartments available. These might be limitations of how the business operates, but they are still basically restrictions that you would have to fall under.

Level of Care

Not all assisted living spaces are equal. While staff will always be on-hand, there can be different levels of care that may be provided since each organization will do things in a different way.

For example, in terms of food, some may have a range of pre-prepared food options, while others will tailor their food options to the seniors currently living with them. The latter is obviously more personal, but it can lead to higher costs and will not matter to every person equally.

One common restriction for some businesses is putting seniors who own a property at a lower priority. This means that people who still legally own a house may be bumped to the back of the waiting list in favor of those with nowhere else to go.

While there are obviously set care standards that most of these apartments will meet, a lot of them will put their own spin on things or take extra steps in the name of proper care. This means that you will often want to think about what they are doing and whether or not it would actually be right for the family members you are trying to support.

Suitability

While it can sound vague, assisted living sites need to be suitable for the seniors in your family that you are supporting. This can be quite a general concept, but it comes as a mixture of common sense and long-term planning.

For example, a senior living apartment complex that focuses on strict schedules and social interaction would not necessarily “work” for an introverted senior. Depending on the kind of memory loss they have undergone, it might also be necessary to find sites that are more accommodating to particular kinds of behavior.

Always consider the needs of the senior first and foremost, as well as their personality and current condition. Ideally, you want to try and account for the near future as well – how might the senior change over time, and will their memory issues get worse as they age?

It is extremely important to focus on the senior’s needs alongside your family’s, not just one or the other. While the family might have an idea of what works best, you want to put your senior relatives somewhere comfortable, whatever that might mean for their personality and memory issues.

Proximity

If you intend to visit the assisted living apartments often, then you will want memory care apartments that are relatively close to where you live. This can be an important thing to consider since many families will overlook this and not realize how far the journey might be.

Remember to think about multiple groups that might want to visit, too. While choosing something that is convenient for the senior’s son or daughter might be best, you could end up making it hard for other family members to reach the senior comfortably, leading to unnecessarily long journeys and fewer visits overall.

What Else?

The real problem with choosing memory care apartments is that there isn’t a single best option. Between security, cost, proximity, care types, comfort, and countless other factors, it can be surprisingly difficult to pick out just one set of apartments that you might want to focus on.

You can make this a lot easier by slowing down and going through the most important points first, weeding out any options that do not really fit your needs. Breaking down your requirements can help you pick out the sites that are most likely to suit the senior’s requirements, which should make the comparison a lot easier.

Remember that this is an important choice and one that can have a huge impact on the life of an elderly relative with memory problems. Don’t rush yourself into a decision – take some time to explore the options you have available.


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