In this final part in our series on how to find an assisted living community, we share how we found the best senior residence facility for 82-year-old Sally to live in. Part 1 is the back story, and Part 2 and Part 3 tell about our visits to the Assisted Living communities under consideration. Below is the outcome of our search . . . .
When we left Assisted Living Facility “B,” I decided to be quiet and see what Sally had to say about the tours we took that day as I drove her back to her friend’s home.
My Thoughts and Assessments
While we were driving, I wondered if she’d seen enough places? Did she have long enough visits at both facilities to gather enough data to make her decision?
If Sally asked my opinion, I would have recommended Facility “A” for these reasons:
** Physically, the layout was smaller and easier to learn.
** There was a furnished room available immediately in a prime location with a lovely woman who would welcome her as a roommate.
** The Marketing Director took a lot of time getting to know Sally before we even began our tour. He made me believe the staff truly took an interest in and cared about their residents — it was more than just “filling a vacancy” there.
** The number of residents was slightly less in Facility “A,” and, therefore, the staff could get to know each resident better.
** I liked the suburban feel of the area “A” was located in.
As it turned out, I’m really glad I kept my mouth shut!
Sally’s Decision Was . . . .
Sally knew the next step was for her family in New York to speak with the Administrative Staff of the facility she chose to discuss the finances of her new living quarters, and what the move-in steps were they would need to take.
Before I could even ask, “Sally, which place did you like better?” she said: “When you speak with Mark, you tell him I definitely want to move to Facility “B!” It took her no time to make up her mind!
That really surprised me! But as I thought it over, it made total sense. Sally could see herself living among the people at Facility “B” because the majority of residents there had her cultural background! That’s what it really came down to. The demographics and the type of food they serve clearly outweighed the other factors I was weighing in my mind.
I had learned these lessons through my caregiving experiences with my own parents, but their importance was re-emphasized during my time spent with Sally:
- To keep an open mind because not everyone has the same perceptions, perspectives and values as me.
- As long as a senior citizen can make decisions, allow them to do so (unless it’s a matter of their personal safety).
- We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s often better to remain silent and listen, than to speak too soon.
Sally moved into Assisted Living Facility “B” within two weeks. Her family flew out from NY to purchase furnishings, decorate her half of the Friendship Suite, and get her settled in. The other half of her new apartment would remain vacant until a suitable roommate could be found, but she made new friends there immediately.
Sally is thriving in her new home, and I wish her many more happy and healthy years there!