Making the Decision

There are a lot of reasons seniors choose to live in a retirement community: for the freedom of having someone else worry about home maintenance and chores; the enjoyment of having a full social life; for a healthier lifestyle with well-balanced food and convenient service; for a helping hand available when you need it. Whatever your reasons, it’s a decision that requires careful thought and research in a number of areas.

Making the Decision:

Start Early to Research Your Options

If there’s one thing people continually tell us about making the move to senior living, it’s that they wish they’d done it sooner. It’s never too early to start thinking about your options. Some communities have waiting lists or may have health requirements for the kind of living you want. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to look into your choices.

One of the most important factors to consider when making this decision is the degree of care you or your loved one needs today or might require in the future. The basic types of senior living communities are described below:

  • Independent Living is for active seniors looking to maximize their independence and enjoy a convenient lifestyle that makes life easier and more fun.
  • A Life Care Retirement Community offers all the benefits of Independent Living, and provides on-site skilled care if a resident or spouse has a change in health needs.
  • Assisted Living is for seniors who could benefit from assistance with everyday living tasks, but do not need the medical attention of a skilled nursing facility.
  • Dementia Care provides comprehensive assisted living services, with specialized care techniques and living areas adapted for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory limitations.

Individual Brightview communities may offer different combinations of these kinds of options. Check the community near you to see the types of senior living offered.

Talking to Your Parents about Assisted Living

The conversation with your parents about assisted living doesn’t have to be difficult. If possible, bring the subject up gradually over time. Give your parent(s) time to get used to the idea and listen carefully to their concerns and fears. Include your parent(s) as much as possible in the process of choosing a community. Visit the community with them. And make sure you’re up to date on all of their financial assets, accounts and insurance policies. It’s also smart to have a durable power of attorney in hand should you need to assist in the management of your parents’ assets. You can find additional information at the following links:

“Getting Loved Ones to Accept Assisted Living” from ElderCare Online

“Moving Elderly Parents: Convincing Mom and Dad When They Don’t Want To” from APlaceForMom.com

Evaluating a Community

Once you’ve decided which type of retirement community is best for you or your parent(s), and narrowed your list of potential communities, you’ll want to visit each one, ask the right questions, and talk to the residents. Check out potential senior living communities with the Better Business Bureau and your local long-term care ombudsman to see if there have been any complaints about the facility or its staff. If you really like one particular community, visit at different times of the day to get a well-rounded impression of the community. You’ll find a full list of Brightview communities here.

More Resources for Decision Making

“Making the Decision” from SeniorHousingTransitions.com

“Strategies for making a decision you’re comfortable with” from SeniorsForLiving.com

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