Your parents have reached an age where a senior living facility could be their next step. But there are a lot of questions to ask before they make that move. Are your parents in good health and looking for a place to call home? Can they still live independently? If your answer is yes, that's good news.
Trends indicate that choices have shifted. This is especially true for Baby Boomers — a population that's grown up with greater affluence and household conveniences. The rising cost of assisted living means that some families are looking at aging in place, home care and multigenerational housing instead of other care options.
The overwhelming majority of boomers will continue to live in their own (or someone else's) home or apartment, reports Building Design and Construction. But about 5 to 8 percent will ultimately opt for seniors-only multifamily housing.
Many seniors are living longer, healthier lives, which can delay them from entering independent living facilities. Instead, some are choosing to move to newer apartments and some complexes offer what's known as an "intergenerational mix."
Other seniors simply want to downsize. If that's something your parents might be interested in doing, you just need to chat honestly about their preferences. A traditional notion of a care facility may not be the right fit. That said, other trends in senior living include:
Let's face it, where you live matters. So you can bet that it matters to seniors, too. To ensure they end up in the kind of environment that has what they need and more, you're going to have to do some research.
We've organized a list of questions to ask yourself and different factors that could come into play. It's all about making the right decision. One that is the very best for your parents and family.
Is the best option a continuing care retirement community — also known as a life plan community? The senior housing industry also refers to this option as “aging in place," although it does require leaving one's original residence.
How will you help your parents make up their minds about where to live next? Focus on which community is the right choice for their needs.
If your senior parent is still active, ask them the following questions. These could help to decide if independent living is still a practical choice.
Because continuing care retirement communities, or CCRC's, offer a range of care, they have broad appeal. This means not only living independently but also in assisted living.
And for those who need even more care, there's a nursing-home level. Community residents are able to select the level of care that suits them best. CCRC's are designed to meet life stages without having to relocate to other facilities.
Do you have increasing concerns about your parents living alone? Do you live far away from them? Then a full-service assisted living community might be the route to go. It's a compromise for someone who's used to living independently. However, your parents will still maintain a sense of privacy and independence in a private apartment or suite.
Like traditional nursing homes, assisted living facilities today provide residents with activities for daily living, called ADLs. These include bathing, dressing and meal prep. Unlike nursing homes, there's often more privacy, comfort and home-like aesthetics.
Ask yourself if your parents' needs are being met:
If you're nodding "yes" to these questions, then consider looking into an assisted living community near you. If your parent does not live near to you, it could be time to move them closer to your home. Be their advocate.
Senior co-housing offers a sense of community. It could be the living solution that's right for your active lifestyle parent. Questions to consider:
For many, co-living answers basic needs: The privacy of single-family dwelling, along with an increased sense of community.
Another possibility to consider is multigenerational housing. This is when a family pools their resources to modify an existing home for multiple generations or move to a new development that's designed to accommodate young families and older adults.
Has your parent been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another age-related dementia? Memory care programs within specific facilities could be worth considering if you answer yes to the following:
If your senior parent is still in the game with an active, healthy lifestyle, then listen to their needs and preferences. Finding the right place for them to live is important for all.
But if your senior parent has issues with everyday tasks, options are plenty to help resolve that. Do your homework, listen to their needs and be open to non-traditional living options.