For most of us the thought of having to looking into a caring senior service is something that will happen much later; before you know it that time is here and it will most likely take you by surprise. Try to remember that although this will be an adjustment for everyone involved, most of that adjustment will be for your loved one. In my case it was my grandmother, for you it may be a parent, sibling, aunt or uncle or even your spouse.
You will be faced with many questions and you may even find yourself overwhelmed and not knowing what to do. There are many questions you will ask yourself. Where do I look, will insurance cover all of this, how do I know when I’ve located a good community? You will ask yourself many of these and probably more. Below I’m going to try to help point you in the right direction, offer a little advice and share some of my experience.
First and foremost if it is possible please make sure your loved one is involved in the decision making. Some cases that may not be possible but if it is, I would strongly recommend their input. Finding out what insurance will and will not cover is one of the first things you may need to look into. Supplements are always helpful and there are so many hidden discounts available with insurance that we do not know about. Make sure you ask your agent to find you any savings to your premiums possible. It never hurts to ask and the money saved will come in handy.
Next is finding the right community. Be thorough and do not be afraid to ask questions. Chances are your parent or loved one wanted the best for you your entire life and now it’s their turn; we want to return the favor and let them know we care. It will helpful to ensure that nursing care is offered around the clock, are meal menus prepared by a certified dietician, are rehabilitation and activities programs offered, can they provide transportation to and from doctor visits if needed. These are all things you will want to know and in my opinion if you are looking at a good facility/community, they will not mind the questions and will in fact encourage and welcome them.
The three years my grandmother was in a senior care community were the three years that actually brought us much closer. Most of the activities they have welcome family members to join and if you let it, it can be a good experience. Your loved one is entering another phase of their life and being an active part in the care they receive will make everyone happier.