Top 10 Things to Consider
when Choosing Senior Living Facilities
For those who are considering retirement communities instead of aging in place, Elizabeth O’Brien, in her NextAvenue article, recommends you do significant research, and beware the 10 things that these communities won’t tell you:
1. They’re hard to tell apart – there are “want-driven” active communities, and then there are the need-based facilities, with independent, assisted, and nursing care step-up programs.
2. There’s no “doctor in the house”.
3. Look beyond the fresh facade- e.g. what’s staff turnover like, what do the halls look like when it’s not “tour day?”,
4. Prepare for price increases and add-on services,
5. Realize that you may not be the ultimate decision-maker about when it’s time to move on – when you’re too frail to stay, they’ll give YOU notice!
7. They prefer NOT to take Medicaid,
8. It’s hard to find TRUE quality ratings on these facilities- there’s not a great “Consumer Reports” or “Yelp!” for seniors (perhaps a new business venture?!)
9. Since “every night is “Saturday night”, STD rates are climbing at active senior developments- there’s more to do than just golf and bridge- just make sure to get regular health screenings!
10. Some of the fees may be tax-deductible – if they’re legitimate medical expenses, be sure to claim them on your tax returns.
This is not, of course, a comprehensive list. I think it’s a great article, however.
If you have other revelations to help find the perfect home for your aging parent, please leave your comments here.