SENIOR LIVING – CHERIE HENRY -As placement and referral professionals, we are accustomed to receiving frantic calls from families, social workers, and case or care managers who are working with someone in crisis who needs placement. These situations may occur when insurance no longer covers a hospital or skilled nursing stay, or a loved one can no longer stay safely at home. Most of us want to face the idea of moving into a care setting, however, planning ahead can save considerable stress and anxiety when it comes to finding a home for a loved one.
Do the research early- there’s a lot to see.
Even if you have no intentions of moving a loved one anytime soon, it can’t hurt to start the process early, before there is a crisis to see what’s out there. In the greater Portland metro area, the options range from large retirement communities and assisted living complexes, to micro-communities, residential care, and adult care homes. Each of these options has pros and cons and offers a variety of amenities depending on the level of care. What’s important here is to know what these levels offer should your loved one need them.
Do the research when your loved one can participate in the decision making process.
If your loved one has a chance to participate in this process, your life is much easier when the time comes for a transition. Not only will your loved one have their own opinions and preferences, they can give you insight on what things to look for that you may not have even thought of! In fact, what if they like what they see and decide to kick-start the transition without a crisis event!
Work with a placement professional.
I would recommend working with a reputable agency to guide you through the process of finding care options. The search for the right fit can be overwhelming and time consuming. This is most often is not a one-time phone call. Once you decide to work with a placement and agency, you should realize that you have enlisted an educated advocate for you and your loved one that will work with you from start to finish. They will take the time to understand your situation and present options to fit the perimeters of your loved one’s needs, desires, and budget
Place a deposit if you find something you like.
Most communities require a small refundable deposit that puts your name on a wait list for first right of refusal. Then, when a vacancy matching your preferences becomes available they can give you a call. If you are not ready when they call, they simply call the next potential client. You are now in their system and have a better chance of getting what you want.
Expect the unexpected.
Your loved one may have a crisis that forces you to make placement decisions. Your first choice may not be available, or no longer appropriate. However, you have done your homework and have alternatives and you will have a placement professional by your side every step of the way