8 Steps to Finding the Best Retirement Community for Your Aging Loved One

retirement communities North Port FL

Roughly one million Americans live in retirement communities, and that number is predicted to double in ten years. Meanwhile, only 37% of people over 50 think they’ll need long-term care, while almost twice that many — 70% — actually will.

When you’re looking for retirement communities North Port FL, it’s important to take the process slowly. Follow the steps in this guide to choose the right assisted living facility.

1. Allow your loved one to make their own choices when possible.

When you’ve lived independently all your life, it can be difficult to suddenly need help with everyday activities. When you’re seeking a facility on behalf of aging parents or loved ones, you can make the transition easier by giving them a voice in the discussion.

2. Define your needs.

Before you start your search for retirement communities North Port FL, you should make a list of all the things your loved one will need out of a retirement community.

You might make one list of these requirements, such as medical needs, and another list of less critical preferences, like environment. It’s also important to define your budget since you’ll need to know what you can afford.

3. Find retirement communities North Port FL.

If you have friends with family members in assisted living, the best place to start your search would be with them. Find out why they chose the facilities they selected, how they feel about the care their loved ones receive, and what they wish they’d known sooner.

Next, Google is the obvious way to find retirement communities North Port FL. Look for online reviews of local homes.

Other places to consult during your search are the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the Leading Age (formerly American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging), and the Eldercare Locator.

4. Contact facilities for more information.

Once you have a list of possible facilities to use, contact them directly to learn more about them. Call and ask to have their promotional resources mailed to you, such as:

5. Study the materials.

Sit down with your loved one to study the materials. This step is only to help you get a feel for the facility — be careful not to let clever marketing determine your decision. The quality of their materials doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality of the care provided.

6. Schedule visits to the facilities.

Call the facilities again and request a tour for you and your loved one. Lookout for obvious red flags: Are residents happy and cared for? Are nurses and aides respectful? Are administrators at their desks when they’re supposed to be?

Outside of general cleanliness, are the facility and grounds kept in good shape? Does the neighborhood seem respectable? Is the overall feel of the home calm and comfortable?

Be careful not to assume too much based on what the facility representatives tell you — their job is to sell the home. Yours is to care for your loved one.

Never sign a contract on the day that you visit. Even if you fall in love with it, remember that your loved one is looking for a place to live for their foreseeable future. Gut feeling is important, but don’t make your decision too quickly.

7. Make a second visit unannounced.

Later, make another visit to the facilities that you liked. Find out if they’re just as pleasant and promising on a day when they’re not prepared to show it off.

8. Sign the contract, but not too soon.

When you think you’ve found a facility that you like, be sure you understand everything in the contract you’re signing. Facilities are legally required to honor what’s in the contract, but they aren’t bound to keep any promises made in the marketing materials.

Consider taking the contract home to discuss it with family and friends before signing. It might also be wise to consult your financial advisor or lawyer.

Our seniors are important to us, and where they spend their last days is important to them. By following these steps, you’ll make sure they get the care they deserve for as long as they need it.