Moving a loved one to an assisted living community can seem stressful and daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Breaking down the process of financing assisted living into digestible steps as early as possible will make sure everyone involved feels comfortable and confident throughout the process.
Assisted living communities can provide the immeasurable relief of knowing your loved one is safe and receiving the level of care they need. Taking the time to sit down with family and discuss everyone’s questions and concerns on your loved one’s health needs, finances, and the transition to a community can be a great way to start your planning and research.
As with many things in life, preparation is the key to a successful transition. Read on for our tips on knowing when a loved one is ready for assisted living and how you can plan for and finance the move.
Is my loved one ready for assisted living?
Maybe you’ve started to notice your loved one has had trouble moving around the home, or they’ve forgotten to take their medications. Maybe they had a dangerous fall or their home needs are starting to overwhelm any current caretakers. Or, perhaps you and your family want to stay on top of things and be prepared for the moment your loved one begins to show any type of struggle.
No matter where you’re at in the process, it is helpful to evaluate your loved one’s health needs immediately. This can simply start by making a doctor’s appointment and hearing the doctor’s suggestions on your loved one’s health.
Many people use the activities of daily living (ADLs) to see which daily skills their loved ones might be having trouble with.
The basic ADLs include:
- Independent mobility
- Personal hygiene
- Ability to use the bathroom properly
- Dressing self
- Feeding self
Whether your loved ones live alone or are part of a couple, you can evaluate each person’s needs and also do a thorough check of the home. Notice their general wellness and happiness, if clutter is piling up, and if they are keeping up with yardwork or other outdoor duties.
If you realize your loved one needs more help than their current caregivers are able to provide, it might be time to consider an assisted living community. The right community can allow loved ones to comfortably “age in place” in an environment where they have access to fun, enriching activities in addition to 24-hour expert assistance.
Once this decision is made, it’s time to begin the search for the right community.
Planning the move to assisted living
Finding the right assisted living community can start with a simple Internet search or asking friends and family for suggestions. Today, looking at online reviews can prove just as valuable as a suggestion from a friend.
Once you’ve chosen a handful of communities, you should come up with a list of questions to ask when you call, including:
- What types of care are offered, including memory care, assisted living, and independent living options
- What types of therapy the community offers
- If they have in-house therapy and rehabilitation options
- What rooms are available and what is the layout
- What dining options are available
- What types of life enrichment options residents have, and how they have been adjusted during the COVID-19 pandemic
- What COVID-19 protocols are in place
- If pets are allowed
- How resident care needs can evolve and what happens at each step
At The Kensington, we have started vaccinating residents and staff, and are religiously following all COVID-19 protocols. The safety of our community is our highest priority, and we are dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to keep residents and staff healthy. This includes wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), frequent hand washing and sanitizing, and monitoring all staff and residents continuously for symptoms.
The Kensington has thoughtfully created its community to include memory care options, life enrichment, and 24-hour care and services, all in a comfortable, cozy environment with loving staff members.
If you’re concerned about financing assisted living, you have many options. Read on to learn how you and your loved ones can afford high quality care.
How to go about financing assisted living
It can be stressful for a family to think about financing assisted living. But families first need to be aware of all the options available to them. There are many ways to pay for assisted living. In addition to personal funds and savings, consider the following:
- Trust funds
- Income from stocks
- Reverse mortgages
- Bridge loans
- Long-term care insurance
- Veteran’s benefits
Pensions, trust funds, and stocks
Using retirement funds is a common way to pay for senior care, in addition to tapping into money made from investing in stocks.
Trust funds allow a person, such as a family member, to transfer assets to another person.
Reverse mortgages and bridge loans
Reverse mortgages allow homeowners 62 and older to tap into the equity in their home to pay for care.
Short-term bridge loans can serve as transition funds. Selling your loved one’s home can pay for assisted living, but if there’s not enough time to wait for the home you sell, you can use a bridge loan.
Insurance and Veteran’s Benefits
Life insurance policies can be converted into long-term care benefits with a life insurance settlement, where a third party purchases the policy and becomes the beneficiary.
If your loved one served in the military, they might qualify for Veteran’s benefits and receive monthly payments that can be used for care.
The benefits of assisted living
When our loved ones need advanced care, the progression to assisted living can be a natural event instead of one that causes stress and anxiety. Taking it step by step, consulting with medical professionals and family members, and doing the proper research into your options will prepare you and your loved ones for all that is to come.
Moving into an assisted living community such as The Kensington means your family is simply getting bigger. Our dedicated team promises to love and care for your family as we do our own. This means everything we do centers on bringing the most comfort, safety, and joy to residents.
The Kensington will provide the care and support your loved ones need to continue to thrive. Contact us today to learn more about our team, our services, and our dedication to excellence in senior care.
Additional Recommended Reading:
- What Makes an Assisted Living Community Top Rated?
- Financial Support Options
- Assisted Living: Not Your Grandmother’s Nursing Home