Should I take my Dad with Me on Assisted Living Visits?

Posted at May 15, 2014 | 164 Comments

Dear Sandy:

I’ve been researching independent living and assisted living communities in the West Branch, Michigan area for my father. This weekend I am heading over to visit him and to tour a few of the communities that I found online. My father and I have only had brief conversations about him moving to assisted living and he isn’t overly excited about it. I haven’t told him I will be visiting these communities on his behalf. My question for you is whether or not I should take him with me for the tours?

Tina

Assisted Living for Father

Dear Tina:

We often hear that question from adult children. We understand that it is a tough situation for you to be in with your father. We usually recommend family members follow their instincts on this. Here’s what we mean by that…

If your father is firmly set against moving but you know he is at risk if he doesn’t, you might want to make the first round of visits on your own. That will allow you to rule out those assisted living communities that you know won’t be a good fit for him. Then you can come back with him when you have narrowed down the choices to only those you think will work for him.

On the other hand, if your father comes around and begins to accept this move will be a good next step for him it makes sense to include him in the process if he is able. That will help him continue to feel independent and in charge of his own life and health.

Before you head out to make your assisted living community visits this weekend, make sure you take a few minutes to develop a list of questions to ask and things to look for while you are there. Beyond the community’s ability to provide for his basic needs, here are a few things to consider:

  • How much space will your Dad need? Does he have hobbies or interests like model ship building or painting that require extra space? That can help you determine what size apartment he will need.
  • Are social events important to him? If he has always enjoyed being active in local non-profits or service clubs make sure you investigate the life enrichment opportunities available at the assisted living communities you tour.
  • Does your father have a furry or feathered friend that he won’t move without? You will need to keep that in mind and make sure the communities you tour are pet friendly.
  • Think about your father’s transportation needs and what each community can accommodate. If Sunday religious service is important, does the community offer transportation or have an in-house service he can join? What about physician appointments? Can they help with those arrangements if necessary?

We have another article you may find helpful in preparing for your visits this weekend. Assisted Living Community Visit Checklist gives you more detailed information on what to look for and what to ask when you are searching for elder care for a loved one.

Best of luck, Tina! Please let us know if you have any additional questions or if our staff can assist you in your search.

Sandy

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