3 Mistakes When Searching for Assisted Living or Memory Care
When you’ve decided that Assisted Living/Memory Care is the right option for your family member, it can be difficult to decide between so many options. The marketing person is always nice, the Executive Director is always experienced, and the company has great training programs. So what can we do to ensure we’re making the best decision possible? Here are three common mistakes my clients often make.
Mistake #1: Buying the kitchen
A brand new community is very appealing. It’s shiny, it’s new, and Mom/Dad would love it. However, with a new community there are also new challenges. About 70% of the opening staff will turn over in the first 6 months. This isn’t a fault of the community; it’s just how it goes. An older community will have more established staff, the directors have worked with them longer, and expectations have been established and reinforced. This isn’t to say that a new community is a bad choice, but make sure you like the community for many reasons other than just the fact that it’s new and shiny.
Mistake #2: Bringing a person with dementia to view the community first.
A person with dementia is able to sense that “something is up” so-to-say. Unfortunately, as much as we’d like the person with dementia to be able to choose the place they’ll live, no place we show them will be like home. This can back fire, they may establish the best place for them as a terrible place, and then when it’s time to move the transition will be much worse. So this may be a decision we have to make for them.
Mistake #3: Assuming one size fits all.
You have a friend who moved into a community and it’s great! Their parent/spouse is so happy there and really thriving. That’s great! But that doesn’t mean your family member will flourish there. We consider things such as the environment (will the layout be a trigger for their symptoms?), the other residents that live there (do they have more advanced or less advanced dementia than your loved one?), the food that is offered (does it fit your parents’ needs or preferences?), what other services or activities do they offer? And more! It takes a personalized approach to determine the best community for someone.
Keeping these common mistakes in mind, you’ll be better equipped for identifying a community that would be good for your loved one. Professionals can help as well! Trovato can recommend what type of community to look for or avoid, and Certified Senior Advisors exist to help identify communities that meet those standards. You’re not alone!