Making the move to an assisted living facility can be an emotional decision. Not unlike purchasing a home, entering college, or even buying a car, moving into an assisted living or care facility is one that requires thorough planning from the get-go. Of course, a lot of us like to procrastonate when life’s unpleasant or complicated decisions come about. However, when it comes to choosing a care home, start planning as early as you can. If you do take a proactive approach and address the complicated issues early in the game, you can prevent them from becoming or starting off as emergencies. Poor planning rarely turns out well. What does this mean? First and foremost, don’t go at it alone. Get advice from friends or colleagues who have been through the process to get advice. They can forewarn you of any pitfalls or red tape that you are likely to go through. If you don’t have anyone to turn to in your personal circle, it is advised that you hire a professional consultant.
Get your finances organized and in order. Do you have a will set up? Do you have enough money to afford assisted living? Do you have a savings account? Are there any legal issues that are unresolved in your life? If this all seems too overwhelming to keep track of, it may be in your best interests to hire a Certified Financial Planner to help you. The most important advice is to do this earlier than later.
We also recommend that you go and look at different facilities well before you think you’ll need one. Have a plan, and a general idea of what type of environment you might be comfortable in. Does the size of the facility matter? How about the physical location? Do you like warmer climates, or somewhere that is a bit cooler? Doing the advance legwork may not help you find the perfect place before you need one, however, it will get you used to the process, and will educate you on what is available, and how you might be treated by the different facilities.