Placing a family member or loved one in a senior assisted living facility is a difficult task for most.
Perhaps, even more difficult is the daunting prospect of searching for a facility that will meet you or your loved one’s needs and live up to the standards of quality that you expect for yourself and your family member.
Luckily, there are many resources available for finding “senior homes near me” that will be potentially good fits for your needs.
While your specific situation will be dictated by a myriad of factors, one universal theme or piece of advice is to do your research and get input from as many sources as possible.
The more sources that recommend a senior home in your area, the more likely it is that the home has a good reputation.
FINDING SENIOR HOMES NEAR ME ON THE INTERNET
Most people start their search online. Searching for “senior homes in [your city]”, “assisted living homes in [your city]” or “how to find senior homes near me” is a good way to gather initial information and create a starting list.
In addition to learning about each home’s location, offerings, and services, you can also read reviews from other seniors or their families.
This search also allows you to eliminate senior homes that will not be a good fit based on you or your loved one’s needs.
For example, if you are looking for a home setting for a senior who only needs minimal assistance, a hospital-like facility will not likely be a good fit. If your loved one is suffering from a serious disability, he or she may need an intensive medical facility.
LOCAL OR STATE AREA AGENCY ON AGING
As more and more of the American population enters their golden years, federal and many state agencies have begun to offer assistance with elder care.
A visit to the federal government’s Eldercare Locator website or by calling 800-677-1116 is a good place to start your search for a nearby aging agency in your area.
While the site itself does not specifically list senior homes near your area, it shows you verified government agencies in your area that can provide localized senior home guidance and suggestions.
The eldercare locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that is designed to connect citizens with services for older adults and their families. The website also provides links to other valuable tools to help patients and their families navigate the sometimes complex insurance, benefits, and support process.
HEALTHCARE PROVIDER AGREEMENTS WITH ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES
Healthcare providers who work with senior citizens likely have existing relationships with assisted living facilities near your area and can recommend ones.
A senior’s primary care physicians can be an excellent source of recommendations because he or she is likely familiar with your senior’s particular medical needs and lifestyle limitations.
Additionally, hospital social workers are a valuable resource as they have ties to many community organizations that cater to seniors. Home health practitioners such as Medicare nurses also can assist you in your search.
ESTATE OR FAMILY LAWYER
Lawyers who specialize in retirement, end-of-life planning, and elder law are often familiar with local assisted living facilities and can provide some realistic options based on you or your loved one’s finances, needs, and specific situation.
Additionally, lawyers are usually familiar with whether or not a facility is in compliance with state and local health regulations. They can also often assist in helping seniors and their families understand a senior home’s contract and scope of service.
FRIENDS, RELATIVES, NEIGHBORS, AND COLLEAGUES
A testimony from a trusted acquaintance can go a long way.
Ask people within your social and professional circles for recommendations. These people are also likely to be more frank and candid in their reviews of a facility than a website or healthcare professional.
The fact that you personally know them makes them more reliable than anonymous internet reviewers whose reviews are not always clear or entirely reliable.
CHURCHES AND CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS
Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship often have their own charitable endeavors and/or closely involved with other local private charities, many of whom cater to the elderly.
Church staff will usually be able to point their local congregants in the direction of organizations or facilities that can help meet their needs.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you should inquire to learn more about their facility and offerings. AARP suggests some basic questions such as these:
- What is the ratio of caregivers to residents and how personalized is the care?
- What are the size and types of care homes available?
- Is it possible to talk to the family member(s) of any of the residents in this home to get a personal reference?
- Do any units have kitchens or kitchenettes?
- Are all the rooms private?
- Are bathrooms private?
- Is special care available for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions?
- Does each resident have a written care plan, and is the person involved in creating it?
- Is a contract available that details fees, services and admission and discharge policies?
- Are additional services available if a resident’s needs change?
Additionally, you should always research to make sure that the facility is fully licensed and in good standing with state regulatory agencies.
SUMMARY: HOW TO FIND SENIOR HOMES NEAR ME?
Finding the right senior home near me takes time and effort to do the proper research. It is important to remember to get input from as many sources as possible.
In addition to visiting a facility’s website, reading reviews, and speaking to the management team and staff, you should also check out their ratings with the Better Business Bureau as well as any local regulatory agencies.
If possible, ask your loved one’s healthcare provider or social worker if they have any input about the facility. From there, you should weigh all of the input against other logistical factors such as cost, distance, and accessibility before making your final decision.