Insider tips from a senior housing veteran
Because his family has been in the senior housing business for three generations, Arthur Bretschneider has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today, he’s founder and CEO of Seniorly, a company that helps families find local senior housing options.
We asked Arthur to share his expertise and answer 3 essential questions for families considering assisted living.
3 top questions about assisted living
Question 1: Your #1 tip
What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give to a family who is considering assisted living for their older adult?
The number one piece of advice I would give is this: There are no off-limits questions. Ask anything and everything you want to know about a community you’re considering.
Did you see that they have violations from a Community Care Licensing inspection? Ask the administrator about it.
What are staff to resident ratios? What happens during the night to residents that are incontinent? What do you do if a person with dementia wants to leave the building? What kind of social life do the residents have?
Ask everything and have some non-negotiables in mind when looking through the many options.
Question 2: The most important thing to consider
There are so many factors to consider when looking at various assisted living communities. When making the final decision, which ones should carry the most weight?
There are really three main filters that can immediately help you sort through the options: care, budget, and timing.
The community must support the level of care that you or your family need. On Seniorly.com, budget is the most frequently used filter. It doesn’t make sense spending time on communities that are out of your price range.
Your timing is another important factor. Many communities have waiting lists, so if you are in need of something immediately, it’s important to only look at communities with availability.
After you get through those qualifying filters, it comes down to personal preference (services, amenities, lifestyle, etc), and how the community feels during your tours.
One thing I always recommend to families is to speak with the caregivers at the community. Once you get beyond the bells and whistles of a senior living community, the care and community feeling always comes down to the caregivers (a truth for in-home care as well).
Your interactions with the caregivers in communities should carry a lot of weight in your decision.
Question 3: Assisted living vs in-home care
What should families consider if they’re debating between moving to assisted living versus hiring in-home care? When would you recommend one over the other?
The most common reasons people choose to move into senior living communities are to enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle, move closer to family, or have a more active social life.
Another common reason is that senior living communities can be more affordable than 24-hour home care, especially when people have high acuity care needs or Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses.
It’s all a matter of people’s personal preferences and care needs combined with the realities of their own financial situations.
Seniorly is an online tool to help families find and connect with senior housing providers. Seniorly empowers people to make their own choices by giving them a streamlined search process with tools and a secure space to collaborate with family and friends.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Katella Senior Living Community