Ryan Patrick, Senior Sales Director for Silvercare Management, a Texas owner/operator of assisted living, memory care, and independent living communities, talks about how to find the right home for you and your loved ones.
Have you noticed a change in your loved ones’ condition? Are day to day tasks becoming increasingly difficult to perform? If so, this might be a good time to start researching Assisted Living options.
My name is Ryan Patrick, and I am the Senior Sales Director for Silvercare Management. A Texas based owner/operator of Assisted Living, Memory Care and Independent living communities.
There are plenty of options to choose from when you are looking for an Assisted Living Community.
The task of trying to find the best one can seem daunting. If you are like most people, this is probably the first time you will be researching and touring Assisted Living Communities.
First and foremost, you want to determine what type of Assisted Living would be the best fit. Assisted Living communities are either a type A or a type B community.
Type A communities are reserved for individuals who are capable of self evacuating during an emergency. One thing to keep in mind if you select a type A community is that at some point in the future, you might be faced with having to move your loved one, if they ever reach the point that they are unable to self evacuate.
A type B community is able to provide care for individuals who can either self evacuate, or require assistance during an emergency evacuation. Type B communities are also what they call, age-in-place communities. This means that they are able to provide the care your loved one needs until the end of life.
Now that you have decided which type of community is the best fit, it is time to begin your search for the perfect community.
I recommend making a list of 3-5 communities that are in the area you are looking for. You will want to contact each community and set up a tour. Google reviews provide a glimpse into how others feel about the community. There are also other websites where you can find reviews from individuals who have experienced the community. These reviews are easily found with a quick google search.
Here are the top questions to ask the community sales representative.
1. What kind of training do your caregivers undergo?
Every community is different, but to hear how they train their staff will give you an idea as to how equipped they are to handle the care of your loved one.
2. How Many residents currently live in the community?
This will provide some insight into how well liked the community is. And if the size is a good fit for your loved one.
3. Do you have staff on-site 24/7?
You want to make sure that someone is available 24/7 in the event your loved one needs assistance. Be sure to clarify that they are “on-site” and not “on-call”
4. What kind of meals do you offer?
This question is important, you want to make sure that your loved one is going to be receiving 3 well balanced meals each day. Be sure to ask for a copy of the most recent menu.
5. What type of activities are available?
Social enrichment is a very important aspect of Assisted Living. Most communities will offer some sort of activity calendar. Be sure to ask for a copy of their current activity calendar.
6. What is your caregiver to resident ratio?
-This information will shed some light on how much one on one time they will be able to provide your loved one. It is important that there is a good balance to this ratio.
7. What role do the families play?
-It is important that you find a community that encourages family involvement. You also want to make sure that the families have direct contact with dept heads in the event you need to ask questions regarding your loved ones.
8. What kind of access do families/friends have to their loved ones?
You want to be sure that there is a visitation policy in place and that it aligns with your availability to come visit. This is also a great time to ask about their policy on taking your loved one out for the day or a quick lunch date.
9. What 3rd party services are available?
Each community will more than likely have some sort of partnership or relationship with a 3rd party company who can provide support for extra care needs. This ranges from visiting physicians, podiatry. Dentistry, Physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.
10. Does the community provide transportation to and from doctors appointments?
The community will most likely provide this service, check for a price, or if it is included.
Now that you have toured your selected communities, select your top three. Revisit these communities in person and make sure you are confident in your final selection.
A couple of tips for your return tour, ask if you can come back for a second tour where you can taste the food, or see first hand one of the activities. Any community should be more than happy to accommodate these types of requests. I hope this podcast is a great tool to help you formulate your questions and helps you find the perfect community for your loved one.
Jami Sanchez, Executive Director of Lampasas Assisted Living in Lampasas, Texas (one of the Silvercare Living Communities), talks about how to discuss assisted living with your loved one.
Love your parents. We are so busy growing up that we often forget that they too are growing old. This popular quote rings true for most of us. As we get so busy in our own lives, we often forget our parents are growing older, and that often means they may need assistance with activities of daily living. And this leaves a lot of questions.
When should you consider assisted living? When is the right time to discuss assisted living with your mom or dad? This discussion can be very difficult, but with the right information, talking with your parents about assisted living care can be a very easy and stress-free experience for both of you.
One very important thing to remember is to keep your aging parents involved in the decision making process. Adults are adults, and this includes your elderly parents, especially if they still have a high level of independence and you are talking about long-term care in the upcoming years. Allow them to be involved in where they would like to live their life. If your mom and dad are still able to live their lives and have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, then you should respect their wishes.
Older children who become primary caregivers for their parents can become obsessed with the idea of control. Maybe they find it too challenging with the communication and would rather just take charge instead of listening and talking to their mom, dad, or loved one. This is not helpful to either side, and it will only cause more stress in the long run and could possibly even fracture relationships in the process.
Try to keep emotions out of everything and truly think rationally about assisted living and what’s best for your parents. If this means you talk to a doctor, then please do so, but continue to keep your parents in the know and involved. Remember, if you were growing up, your parents were growing old. If you think it might be time for your parents to consider moving to an assisted living community, you should have the talk with them sooner rather than later. Keep them involved in every step of the decision making process. Although this can be a very tough time for both of you, considering the things that are most important to your parents will make this process less stressful for all of you.