Imagine for a moment that you are a retired senior citizen spending a quiet leisure Sunday morning in your small apartment. You had moved into the apartment last year after your spouse passed away. You could no longer physically or financially take care of the home that you and your spouse had shared for 45 years. Even though you had both worked hard for many years the money you had put away just didn’t last. The house was in need of major repairs as you had just not been able to do much over the last few years with yours and your spouse’s health failing. So you sold the house and paid off all of the medical bills and other debt. You had just enough left to buy a small dependable car and move into a small apartment.
You hear someone come into the front door and know immediately that it is one of your children “coming over for breakfast”. You love their visits but have noticed that there seems to be more time between visits lately as your children are busy taking care of their families and responsibilities. As you look up from your breakfast and Sunday paper, your two children and their spouses enter the kitchen. You are happy to see them but even though they are trying to smile you can tell immediately that something is wrong. Your children proceed to sit at the table with you and tell you that “they” have decided that you will be going to live in a “nice assisted living facility”. They have noticed that you are becoming more confused and that you are no longer able to manage your medications. You need help and they have found a facility where you can live. They tell you that your doctor is even in on this conspiracy due to your last two hospitalizations.
Your whole world has just come crashing down on you! You had just finally accepted the changes in your life with the loss of your spouse and was becoming somewhat acclimated to your apartment. You don’t want to live in a facility. You don’t want to give up the rest of your independence, freedom, and dignity. You don’t want to have a roommate. However, you know it is inevitable because you know that you can no longer manage alone and you don’t have funds to arrange home services.
Now STOP and ask yourself, “Would I rather go to a facility where money is the focus of the owners and the residents are treated like cattle?” or “Would I rather go to a facility where there is a home-like environment and the residents are treated with respect, dignity and compassion? A place where the staff members are dedicated to “Making Moments Matter”?
It is very important for not only the senior citizens but also for their family members to understand the importance of finding the right facility. The following are a few tips for finding the right facility:
- Be sure to shop around.
- · Don’t schedule an appointment for a tour.
- · Tour on weekends or in the evenings.
- · While touring, look for smiling faces.
- · Ask to see their recent survey results.
- · Go online and do some research on the facility