When the time comes to consider assisted living for a beloved family member, the decision can be both emotionally and practically challenging. As someone who recently went through this process for my own family, I understand the importance of making the right choice.
There are numerous factors to consider and it can become overwhelming quickly, this guide will help you navigate the process of selecting the best assisted living community for your loved one in the greater Portland area (where I live).
Firstly, Assess Your Family Member’s Needs
The first step is to make a comprehensive list of your family member’s needs. It’s essential to evaluate their current health condition and anticipate how their requirements may change over time.
Hint: As I’ve discovered, people often make decisions based on what the immediate care needs are without considering the likely progression of care needs and this can cause a lot of unnecessary turmoil as you switch from place to place.
To do this, it’s a good idea to have your family member evaluated by their doctor. This evaluation will provide a better understanding of the level of care required, helping you determine whether a community can meet their needs in the long term. Some things to watch out for are:
- What level of care does my family member need?
- Are there any alternative care options or treatments?
- Can you recommend reputable long-term care facilities or providers?
Your doctor most likely will have a good idea of what others are saying about their long term care facilities that you might not find searching online.
A Certified Placement and Referral Specialist can offer valuable insights into your family member’s care needs due to their specialized knowledge of various long-term care options and their experience in matching individuals with the most suitable facilities or services.
Consider Your Budget
Affordability is a significant factor when choosing any care setting but particularly when looking for assisted living communities.
Assess your budget and determine how you intend to pay for the care. Your budget may influence room size, whether you can afford a private or shared room, but it should NOT determine if you get quality care or not.
According to the State’s Ombudsman, every Oregon resident deserves quality care.
Our team at Right Fit Senior Living Solutions has made it our mission to ensure our client’s families are well cared for like they deserve.
Research Assisted Living Facilities and Read Reviews
In the digital age, online reviews can be a valuable resource in your search for the best assisted living facilities. These reviews provide firsthand accounts of what life is really like in a particular community, and they can offer insights that might not be shared during a guided tour.
Reviewers share their experiences, from interactions with staff to the quality of food served at mealtimes. Reading these reviews can give you a more comprehensive view of what to expect from a community.
Additionally, you can search Oregon’s official complaint’s database for anything related to a particular community. Word of warning, make sure to ask the facility about these instances because not all “violations” are fair for the community and might be misrepresented. Again, Right Fit’s team can help you navigate this.
Book a Tour
While online research is useful, nothing can replace an in-person visit to the facilities you’re considering. Booking a tour allows you to get a firsthand feel for the community. During your visit, pay attention to various aspects:
- Is the community clean, bright, and odor-controlled?
- Are there evident safety features such as call buttons and handrails?
- Observe the residents – do they appear happy and engaged?
- Pay attention to how staff and residents interact.
- Assess the maintenance of the grounds and buildings.
- Inquire about the types of apartments that are available and compare prices and comfort.
- Trust your instincts – how does the place make you feel? Do you feel that the people in leadership positions can be trusted?
Consider the Location
The location of the community is crucial if you want to visit someone as frequently as most people start out hoping for.
Moving a family member into an assisted living community close to you can be beneficial because it allows for more frequent visits and active involvement in their daily life, fostering a stronger emotional connection and providing a sense of comfort and security for both you and your loved one.
Think about it like this, an assisted living community can always bus their residents to local attractions, shopping and more but it’s you who will need to do the driving to visit them on days where it’s not always the most convenient, so proximity matters.
Selecting the best assisted living community for your family in the Portland Metro area is a decision that involves careful consideration of your loved one’s needs, budget, and location preferences.
Research, personal visits, and reading reviews will guide you in making an informed choice but the truth is that unless you work in senior care, it’s incredibly difficult to know what questions to ask and what answers are the right ones.
Remember, this decision is a significant step in ensuring your family member’s well-being and quality of life in their golden years. We highly recommend that you find yourself a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist like Right Fit Senior Solutions to help you navigate one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for yourself or your loved-one.