Finding the Right ALF

June 8, 2018

When we were growing up, our parents took care of us. As they age, the responsibility is passed to us to help take care of them. For a while you may have taken care of your parents in your own home. Sometimes, though, this becomes impossible because the child doesn’t have the time any longer, or the parent isn’t comfortable with the situation.

Particularly if you have a parent suffering from a debilitating disease or even Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important to know that you have options. Seeking out assisted living facilities is a process, but in the end, it’s about finding the best place for your aging loved one to live.

Get your aging loved on involved. 

Remember that when you decide to seek out an ALF, it’s important to get your loved one involved. After all, they’re going to be moving and it’s going to be a big impact on their life. Ideally, your parent will be able to tell you what they want and what their expectations are for their new home. With this information, you can hopefully come back to them with options. 

Decide what you can afford. 

Moving your aging loved one to an ALF is going to cost your family extra money every month. Your parent may have some retirement money set aside, but you’ll want them to be able to use it for personal items if possible. Look into veterans’ benefits, insurance, and other programs that can assist with their monthly rent payments. Consider recreating a family budget if you think you’ll need to cover part of the cost. 

Talk to a senior living advisor. 

Senior living advisors are professionals who can help guide you in the right direction when you’re searching for an ALF. They’ll listen to what your family’s needs are and come up with a list of ALFs you can tour. They can also help your family emotionally through the process of moving your loved one out. 

Tour senior living facilities. 

Make a list of facilities your loved one wants to visit, and then go visit. You’ll want to come up with a list of your loved one’s desires beforehand so that you have plenty of questions to ask about programs, transportation, and even offered healthcare and food. Your loved one may not require around-the-clock care, so they’ll just want to move to a place with caregivers in case there is ever a need. Narrow it down to a few facilities, and then move forward from there. 

Make your decision and then make the move. 

Sit with your loved one and make a decision. Once you’ve found the right place, you’ll probably have paperwork and healthcare information to fill out, along with payment dates and move-in information. Help your loved one decide what they want to take, and you can even store some of their items for them.

Moving your loved one to an ALF can be a long process, but it can be one of the best decisions you and your family make.

Source: Next Steps: When Your Parents Need Assisted Living, by Jeff Anderson,, November 22, 2016.