Preparing to Transition Parents into Assisted Living

There comes a time in the lives of some older adults when independent living is no longer an option. However, it can be difficult for a family to make the decision to move a loved one into a community, especially when the individual feels that he or she is getting along just fine.

Hiring an at home caregiver might be an option, however, when an individual has a condition that requires 24-hour monitoring or skilled nursing care, moving to a long-term care community might be the best option. While it can be tough, transitioning can be made easier with some planning. Consider these tips and suggestions for how to transition parents who require more than at home care.

Be sure you make visits before the care is necessary. If you anticipate your parent or loved one will need to move to an assisted living or long-term care community, consider visiting various locations. If your parent can visit with you, they can get a first-hand look and ask questions. Involving your parent allows them to have input into the process.  Not all communities are the same, so visiting can help you eliminate those that don’t appeal to you or your parent.

Unfortunately, residential care is not cheap. You can count on most, if not all, your loved one’s resources being used to cover the bill.  For these reasons, families cannot afford to wait until the last minute to learn about payment options. If an older adult owns a house or has money in bank accounts, they may be required by law to tap into those resources to pay for residential care. Contact your local senior services or county social services agency to learn about resources to help cover the costs. Older adults with limited resources may qualify for special Medicaid programs for long-term care.

Preparation can go a long way when transitioning your parents to a community. But, the benefits are endless. It will limit worry and stress, and ensure that everyone is on the same page during the transition.