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Encino Elder Lawyers: Plan Ahead to Remove Stress When Searching for an Assisted Living Facility

Couple sitting with their teenage daughter and mother in-law on a couch

Encino Elder lawyers deeply understand how choosing an assisted living facility for a loved can be a tough and very emotional experience.  There are so many factors to take into consideration, such as the high cost of care, the amenities that your loved one needs or wants, distance from home, waitlists and more, that the process can break down even the strongest family members and caregivers.

On top of having to make such critical decisions, families are forced to confront their own emotional pain at the same time.  Mom or dad may fear losing their independence for good, or just have general anxiety about approaching the end of their life. The adult children are likely to struggle with the same range of emotions and grief—making it hard to focus on the “business side” of the move.

Because so many factors ultimately play into choosing and transitioning into an assisted living facility, the absolute most important thing you can do to protect your entire family and your sanity is plan ahead.

Planning in advance will give your family more leeway when choosing an assisted living facility—and mom or dad will have the chance to be included in the process.  You will find that when an elderly relative is on board and feels included in decision making, the move into an assisted living facility is much smoother for everyone involved.

Keep in mind that many of the best facilities have waitlists, so you’ll want to identify which assisted living facility have the amenities or services you may want or need some day and keep them on your radar should you desire to take the next step and have yourself or a loved one added to the list.

You should also ask your friends and family members for their opinions of assisted living facilities where they’ve lived or visited.  Your doctor may also be a great resource for finding out about the best local care.

Another tip is never to just base your decisions on a few brochures and a price.

Instead, take the time to travel around the area to actually conduct in-person visits to your top choices.  Showing up unannounced may help you to see what things are really like on a typical day. Facilities are constantly changing—so do your homework and show up to the places that are on the top of your list.

Finally, after the tour I advise that you make an appointment with the assisted living facility staff to discuss the actual care you or your loved one will receive.  Ask questions such as “what is the nurse to patient ratio”, “what is the percentage of RN’s to LPN’s”, “how often will my loved one see a doctor if necessary” and more. Make sure to take notes and compare them among your top choices to ensure the facilities that you are screening still line up with your family’s needs.

And as always, if you have questions about what you should expect when looking for a quality assisted living facility here in the Encino area, or you need assistance reviewing a assisted living facility contract, please feel free to contact us to set up a consultation.