When we think of moving home, we often associate this with choosing a Realtor, looking at properties, putting in our offer and getting to the closing table. For some, moving home is not such a journey- it is often motivated by a care need that means we can no longer live independently and need the assistance or supervision of others to maintain our activities of daily living.
The decision to move into an Assisted Living community is, on occasion not a choice, but a necessity, riddled with fears of uncertainty, anxiety and sadness, as we transition and forgo our home, personal possessions, family and social networks and the familiarity that we have cherished for, in many cases, a significant period of time. For families that have to make this decision for their loved ones, feelings of guilt and anxiety add to the complex task of choosing a new, safer environment that can care for their loved one.
As a Realtor, and a seasoned professional working, teaching and consulting for Assisted Living communities, I wanted to share with you some tips for choosing an Assisted Living Facility.
1. Use the Florida Health Finder website to search for Assisted Living Communities in the area that you or your loved one would like to live. You can navigate from the Home Screen by clicking on the Locate a Facility Button, and then on the next page, select from the drop down bar, Assisted Living, scrolling down to select further the County button to select the area. This will shortlist the facilities in that area. Naturally, you can reach out to me, if you have any problems in navigating this website. Once you have the list of Assisted Living Facilities in your area, you can click on each one to find, the contact details, information on the facility, website and Inspection Reports conducted by the Agency for Health Care Administration, who regulate these facilities.
2. After reviewing the facilities, you can then select the ones you want to view, and I always advise that you do this. Go and visit, and take some questions that you would like to ask. For example: What does the menu look like? What activities do you offer? How many staff are available during the day and night? Can I come and visit, if so, what times? Am I allowed Pet’s? What services do you offer? What happens if I need Physical Therapy? Do you have a visiting doctor? and of course, how much does it cost? Do you accept Medicaid? Medicaid is the program that will help pay for Assisted Living, through their Long Term Care Waiver program, if the person is eligible.
3. Don’t make a decision after just seeing one facility – make sure that you see at least three facilities, and make a list of your positives and negatives, to help you make your decision, and arrange with the facility to go and spend some time there, so you can understand what it feels like to be there for a period of time. Go for lunch or dinner, participate in an activity- some may even let you stay overnight.
4. Be honest and open about your fears and worries – talk about them, as this is a big transition.
5. Once you have made a decision, there are companies that can help with moving and supporting the move, especially if you or your loved one has memory care needs, and the move will generate anxiety. I can provide you with details if you need assistance.
Here are some of the tips to help you prepare for this transition. You do not have to do this alone, and there are Senior Placement Advisors, who, free of charge, can help you with this entire journey, and I can signpost you to some trusted partners that I have worked with throughout Florida to assist you.
Of course, there may be Real Estate needs that you may have, and with both experience in Assisted Living, and as your Realtor I would be happy to assist you with those needs.
For more information of Assisted Living and Real Estate, please reach out to me at (352) 601 8446.
Moving house, often is not a choice, but a necessity- let me make that journey a little easier.