What to Consider When Moving to Assisted Living

Author

Kavod Senior Life at Cherry Creek

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Kavod Senior Life

Posted on

Dec 19, 2023

Book/Edition

Colorado - Denver Metro

A lot of us can relate to the unease of moving. Of all life’s experiences, it is one of the most stressful by far!

If you or a loved one is moving to Assisted Living because of increased care needs, it can add even more things to your already large mental checklist.

To ease this type of move, we’ve prepared a list of things to think through. That way, when you do make the transition, you’ll have the best chance at feeling at home again. Kavod has been providing Assisted Living since 1986, so we have a lot of experience and wisdom to share with you.

Before you read on, however, take a deep breath.  Acknowledge the emotions that accompany this decision, whether it is for yourself, parent or friend.

You might be having feelings of loss…loss of “what was”, loss of physical ability, loss of perceived independence, loss of familiarity and loss of community. You also might be experiencing anxiety, stress, confusion, fear, sadness, anger, grief or depression. 

We want to encourage you that these emotions are normal. Talk openly about what you are experiencing with others and seek professional help if needed. Over time, these feelings will ebb and flow, but you will have more time and tools to handle them.

Once you feel you can think clearly through your emotions, take a close look at these four important areas to cover when in choosing a new living community.

1) Location. Think about what type of locations make you happiest, in general.  For example:
— How close do you want to be to friends and family? How far are you willing to travel to see them, or have them come visit you?

–What types of amenities are in the nearby area, such as stores, pharmacies or coffee shops? 

–How close is the facility to medical and emergency services?

–If faith is important, which religious communities are nearby? 

–Do you like a lot of green space around you, or do you like the excitement of an urban setting?

–Do you have easy access to hobbies you enjoy, such as golf, movies or bowling?

Pro tip: Make an actual list of your needs and wants, so when you visit different communities, you will know which things they have and not get distracted by other amenities that you may never use. 

2) Culture. It is important to visit a few facilities to get a feel of the surroundings and environment, what you might call the “personality” of the community.  For example:

–How do you feel when you enter the building, or buildings? Does it feel welcoming? Safe?

–How does the staff interact with you and the residents?

–Is it clean and tidy?

–Do the meals seem appealing and nutritious?  Can you sample the food or check out the daily menus?

–What kinds of on-campus activities and programs are available?

–If you have a pet companion, are pets allowed?

Pro tip: Touring a facility can be overwhelming, so bring a friend or family member who can track questions, reactions, concerns, likes and dislikes for you, kind of like a “note taker”. This will be helpful when you compare and contrast different places, as it may be hard later on to remember which location said what.

3) Size. Think through both your living space and the building as a whole.

–Do you want a shared or private room? Do you need a separate bedroom or is a studio ample?

–Is the community on one or multiple floors? Can you take an elevator or stairs to all the places on campus?

 –How long are the hallways? How far will you have to walk from your room to the dining hall or activity room?

–Take into consideration the number of residents. Do you like meeting a lot of people, or do you prefer a more intimate community?

–If using a walker or wheelchair, can you get to place you want to go, either with assistance or without?

Pro tip: Ask about the staff-to-resident ratio in Assisted Living to ensure there is an adequate number of caregivers to address the needs of all the residents. Assisted Living facilities are regulated by the state, including staffing numbers, so you will just want to ensure they are in compliance.

4) Cost: Assisted Living pricing can vary greatly depending on the type of residences, location and state, level of care and services that are provided.

–Does the facility have the services you require, such as medication monitoring, incontinence support, or oxygen management?

–What services are covered in basic pricing? Which services cost extra, and how much for each one?

–Is there a community fee, and if so, how much is it?

–Do you have any assets you will be keeping or selling, such as your current residence, property or other items?

–Can you bring in private services to help with your care, if the community doesn’t offer them?

Pro tip: The average base cost in 2020 for Assisted Living in Colorado was $3,800 – $4,000 a month, with additional fees for service of 20-30% for higher levels of care. Kavod Senior Life falls right in line with this pricing and is one] of the most affordable in town! When determining affordability, it is important to prioritize your needs and budget to see which ones can accommodate you.

We hope these tips have been helpful as you start to assess Assisted Living options. Once you work through them, you may feel a sense of peace. While moving is hard, knowing your needs and wants are being taken care of may actually remove stress and help you embrace your new home with happiness and joy. If Kavod Assisted Living can be helpful to you in your journey, please call us at 303.399.1146

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