Realizing that a retirement center is the best place for your parents might be startling and overwhelming. Your mom and dad have likely been a source of strength for you throughout your life. They were there for you when you were nervous to go to your first day of school. They were there for you when you skinned your knee during tee-ball in grade school. They were there for you when you got your first traffic ticket and when you struggled during your freshman year of college. No matter how uncertain your life was, there’s one thing that you always had: the security of your mother and father.
Now, your parents need a little help with day to day tasks. Maybe they still appreciate having a certain level of independence, but require enough support that they might be best in an assisted living community. What do you do now? Stand-by, we’ve put together a list of tips:
Three Tips for Finding the Right Retirement Center for Your Parents
- Cleanliness really is next to godliness in a retirement center.
Even if you aren’t a clean freak, you should make it your highest priority to find a retirement center for your parent that keeps their facilities spic and span. Not only will a dirty living environment be less enjoyable to live in, assisted living facilities that aren’t on top of the germs can lead to health risks for the residents. The immune systems of the residents in retirement centers are already compromised, giving them a higher risk of getting ill on a good day. When you add in unclean facilities, it elevates the risk.
When you tour retirement communities, pay attention to the cleanliness of it. We aren’t just talking in the obvious places that your tour specifically includes. Of course those areas are clean. We’re talking, duck your head into a patient’s room and give it a sniff. Does it smell musty or unkept? If the residents’ living areas aren’t cleaned and disinfected often, it’s a sign of what your parents would be exposed to if they lived there. Run your fingers across the top of a shelf. Has it been dusted recently, or are your fingers covered with a thin layer of dust? If these less-obvious areas aren’t getting the cleaning attention they need, they are likely teeming with illness-causing germs.
- Look for a place that support’s your parents’ happiness.
Your parents’ health and wellness will fare far better in a place that makes them happy. If they aren’t comfortable in their assisted living facility, and if they aren’t able to enjoy the activities that give them energy, you’ll find their condition declines quickly.
Finding a senior living community that fits your parents’ needs isn’t necessarily a black and white topic. If your parents like to be out and about, look for a facility that takes regular outings (some do and some don’t). If your parents’ like to stay active, look for a retirement facility that has fitness classes or a great outdoor area that will allow them to take walks and stay in shape. There is likely a senior care facility that offers whatever it is that keeps your parents’ engaged in life and happy. It’s just a matter of finding it.
- Look for a retirement community that gives your parents room to grow.
The level of care that your mom and dad need today might be fairly low. Maybe they just need to be in a community that checks in with them every day. Maybe they need help with tasks like staying on top of medication. Maybe other than that, they do pretty good on their own. Look for a place that supports their independence now, but also has a plan in place for offering more care when it is needed.
Some senior care facilities have regular check-ins with the loved ones of their residents, to discuss the condition of their patients and reevaluate the level of care being received. Even if this is not included in the facility that your parent goes to, all senior care facilities are accustomed to their residents’ requiring more support as time goes on. Make sure you choose one that doesn’t just leave you to figure it all out by yourself when the time comes.
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