“Numbers never lie, after all; they simply tell different stories depending on the math of the...
What I’ve learned about Assisted Living … from Experience!!!
Last year my parents decided to move from their home in Plano of 40 years to an Assisted Living Facility near me. We worked hard to find a facility that was a fit for them, and from this, all be it, limited experience, I thought I would write a short article about what I’ve learned so far.
- It’s an adjustment. Don’t under-estimate the changed that your loved ones will experience. While they will still be independent, they are moving in with other people all around. It can be good to remove the isolation that they may have been experiencing in their home, but it can also be overwhelming. To quote my dad, “There’s a lot going on ALL OF THE TIME in this Assisted Living place.”
- The atmosphere in the hallways and common areas matter. This is driven by the leadership, but it is ultimately delivered by the care givers. The care givers are extremely important as they are the ones providing the day-to-day assistance. Talk to them. Interview them. Use them to get a sense of the culture, values, and demeanor of the place. They are a key element in your loved one’s happiness.
- The food is important. A lot of activities center around food. The residents eat together at least 3 meals a day, and these are slow, leisurely meals meant to be spent visiting with your table mates. Food variety and quality are key.
- Long-Term Care Insurance works. My parents have long-term care insurance, and I facilitated the claim. The claim itself did take time to process, get the required documentation, get approved, and understand the required documentation going forward. The experience was frustrating at times. That said, we are getting reimbursed for our long-term care expenses now, and the peace of mind associated with this benefit is undeniable. They are proud of themselves for purchasing this policy, and they should be.
That’s my assessment so far. My father has since passed and my mother is working up to participating in the activities available. We’ll see how that goes. The only other thing that I will emphasize for now is that the move was quite tough on me as well. It was hard to see my parents move out of the home that I grew up in, and it’s hard to see my parents getting older and needing help. On the other hand, I am spending a lot of time with my mother and I was able to see my father more often in his final days. It’s nice, I’m glad to help, I’m enjoying my family, and hopefully my clients can learn some things from our experience along the way too!