Community Shopping

My nurse daughter, husband and I, along with, briefly, the placement counselor, toured assisted living communities yesterday. Two of the communities we’d hoped to see had flu in their buildings, and so we were unable to visit. As it turned out we saw three communities owned by the company my daughter works for. The first one was close to us, but much too small, having only one multi purpose common room, and no living room. The next was lovely, spacious, and bright. There was very little to detract from it except the pricing when compared to my daughter’s probably too large, opulently appointed community, which opened in September. It still has very competitive rates for the market.

Looking for the right community is not unlike car shopping. You have a list of priorities: Care, life-long placement, and programming (AWD, Hybrid, and capacity). Then you discover that life-long placement, meaning I want to find a community that will meet mom’s needs for the rest of her life, may not be available with the right programming (activities, lectures, outings, life enrichment, etc) in a community that has excellent care ratings on the DHHS website. (What do you mean I can’t have a hybrid truck with a 2 ton carrying capacity????) This kept turning me around yesterday as my daughter and the placement counselor talked about different communities they both know well.

At the end of the day, I decided to have mom do a month of respite care in my daughter’s community. This will give me time to work with the placement counselor to tour and absorb the other acceptable communities in a 20ish mile radius from our home. Mom will be close enough for me to see regularly, she’ll have her granddaughter at hand 5-6 days a week, and the community has rich programming, including academic lecturers from our university, a walking club (mom is a walker), a library, theater, music program etc.

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