Choosing an Assisted Living Community - Where do I start??
So if your 86 year old Aunt phoned and out of the blue said she wanted to move across two provinces to an assisted living community in your city, would you know where to start with finding her a place to live?? Yeah, me neither!
My parents are lucky enough to still be living happily in their own home and while we’re working on the downsizing process in terms of their belongings, we haven’t even talked about looking for assisted living. I knew we needed some guidance to help us get the home hunting started. A Google search led me to @aplaceformom ,a free online service that helps match Seniors with the right community. Our Senior Living Advisor, Amber, has been a huge help lining up some tours and helping connect us with communities that match my aunts needs. The search isn’t over and we still have to work out all the details but we are definitely on the road to finding my Aunt a nice, safe place to live.
Here are my top take aways from our tours so far:
#1 Finding a suite in an assisted living community is really just like renting an apartment with REALLY good amenities. Most places are month to month leases and have the same requirements like damage deposits and renters insurance, as a regular apartment.
#2 The first people you will meet in a community are the receptionist and the Community Sales Director. Your first impression of these two people will pretty much determine how you feel about the entire community. We’ve seen some beautiful places but the thing that comes up most often in conversations after the tours, has been how the receptionist and Director made us feel.
And #3 Before you go on any tour, take the time to make a list of the things that your loved one is and isn’t willing to compromise on. For example if it was me looking for a suite, I would have to have a balcony (this country girl needs her fresh air!) but I could live without an on-site movie theatre. Having a list before you go, helps keep you from being overwhelmed by all the options and forgetting what’s really important to you.