When you were growing up, your parents took care of you in just the same way as you take care of your own children. They put a roof over your head, made sure that you had plenty of good food to eat, and gave you all the love and attention that you needed. However, there comes a point when that relationship starts to turn around – first, you become more independent, and then as your parents get older, you are the one that needs to give them a little extra help.
There are lots of things you can do to make your parents’ life easier. For example, you can help them with their grocery shopping, or come around to mow their lawn once a week. If they find it difficult to get up and down stairs, you can have a stair lift put in, or even help them to relocate their bedroom to the ground floor. You might have their bathroom renovated to make it more accessible and safer for them, or install a ramp in front of the home so that they don’t have to walk up and down the front steps. In fact, there are literally dozens of things that you can do to help your parents age in place.
However, there may come a time when this just isn’t enough. At this point, the best thing is often for them to move to a retirement home that gives them the support they need to continue living independently. If you are faced with this prospect, then probably the first question you ask yourself is where do you begin? How do you go about finding a good retirement home that is going to let them enjoy their senior years?
The first thing to consider is whether a retirement home is really what your parents need. Keep in mind that retirement homes are intended for seniors who are in relatively good health, but need extra help to deal with everyday life. They are not nursing homes – they don’t provide round-the-clock medical care, or give support to people who have conditions such as dementia. Of course, a good retirement home will provide easy access to medical services, but it doesn’t deliver the level of care that is needed to look after people with serious medical conditions.
If you do come to the conclusion that a retirement home is the best choice, then you will want to start evaluating the options together with your parents. To do this, it’s important that you establish a set of criteria for choosing a retirement home – exactly what are your parents looking for. For example, do they still want to have their own garden – if so, then a retirement home that offers individual villas might be a good choice. On the other hand, if they want somewhere that is very easy to maintain, then choosing senior apartment homes in Terre Haute, IN might be a better option. Another thing to look at is location – do they want somewhere that’s close to local stores, or are they looking for somewhere quiet in the country? Also think about the amenities that are important to them – for example, do they want a retirement home with a high-class restaurant, or would they prefer to have a well-equipped kitchen? And of course, how much can they afford?
Once you and your parents have identified these criteria, then look around your area and identify two or three retirement homes that seem to fit the bill. Talk to people that you know to see if there is anywhere that they can recommend, and even see if your municipal government has any information.
Once you have lined up some prospects, arrange to tour these with your parents. Before you go, make out a list of questions to ask, and put together a checklist of services and amenities that your parents want, so that you can check these off as you go around the facility. When you are on the tour, keep on asking yourself key questions, and ask your parents as well. Do you feel welcome? Is the person giving you the tour asking about your parents’ wants and needs? Did you see the kitchen at the restaurant, and did it look clean? For that matter, did you get to taste the food, and was it good? Are the staff friendly? The list goes on, and you will want to add your own questions to these.
Once you have completed your initial set of tours, narrow down the list of prospects to a couple, and then come back at a different time of the day or week. This will let you see if the atmosphere changes in the evenings or on the weekends. Once you have done this, compare the homes on your short list using the criteria you set up, and make a final decision, taking care that your parents are fully involved.