7 Steps to Finding the Perfect Senior Living Community
- Speak to a Senior Living Counselor
Take advantage of the valuable guidance available from experienced Senior Living Counselors, like those at Silvergate. Our team members are trained experts in senior care and have the resources to help guide you on your search for the ideal senior living community. If you have not yet spoken to a Senior Living Counselor at Silvergate and want to know more about what to look for, call (760) 728-8880 for a personal consultation.
- Decide on a Care Level
These days, there are many different “levels of care” available in senior living, ranging from Independent Living for active seniors, to Assisted Living with varying degrees of care, to specialized in Memory Care, and more. Within each of these levels of care, there are varying types of amenities and services available. One of the first steps the Senior Living Counselors at Silvergate will take is to ask you key questions about your situation that will help determine the right level of care for your loved one, or yourself.
- Decide on a Price Point
As you can imagine, senior living comes at all different levels of cost — from very affordable to very high-end. It is important that you land on a community that best fits your budget and available resources. Again, here’s where a Senior Living Counselor can help tremendously. They can help you explore all of the potential sources of money that can be used to pay for senior living, including:
- Veterans Benefits
- Long-term care insurance
- Social security
- Pensions, annuities, and other retirement income
- Real estate assets that can be sold or leveraged
- Other assets that can be sold or leveraged
- Life insurance
- Family Contributions
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Local government programs
- And more.
- Create a List of Potential Matches in Your Target Area
Next, establish a short list of communities that have the right care levels, amenities and services, at the right price point, and are in the right locations. Our Senior Living Counselors can quickly help you determine what to look for in a great community — like Silvergate – and what to avoid. With a good collection of pictures, features and amenities, consumer reviews, prices, and information, you can make a more educated decision about what retirement lifestyle will suit you or your loved one best.
- Tour Your Top Senior Living Community Picks
The next step is to contact and visit the communities that appeal to you. There’s no substitute for touring. To see the environment first-hand, come visit Silvergate; experience the atmosphere; enjoy the amenities; taste the food; smell the air; relax in the rooms and in the common areas; meet the staff and the residents; and visualize what it will be like to live on Silvergate’s beautiful campus. It’s no different than buying a regular home…except now you’re buying an entire retirement lifestyle.
Would you buy a home without going to see it? Besides, touring homes can be fun, and touring senior living communities is no different. Our Senior Living Counselors can also assist here, because they have the ability to book tour times convenient for you. For assistance with starting a tour at Silvergate, call (760) 728-8880.
- Ask the Right Questions While on Tour
While visiting communities, it’s obviously important to get the information you need most to make a good decision.
- Select the Best Option
Finally, after touring several communities, it’s time to make an informed decision. Feel free to enlist the help of a Silvergate Senior Living Counselor, do your homework, visit communities, ask the right questions, and then go with what feels right. If you’ve gotten help and done the research, your instincts will guide you to the right community. But don’t wait so long that you miss the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits and advantages of senior living while you’re still healthy and active.
How long should it take?
That is completely up to you! At Silvergate, we routinely help seniors move within a week or two…perhaps a bit longer if there is a home to sell. Other times, families can take weeks to find the right senior living environment. Rest assured, if done thoughtfully, there is no wrong time frame for selecting and moving into the right retirement community.
But beware of prolonging the decision! We know it’s a life changing transition, but when people procrastinate, it often leaves them in a bad way. Eventually, families will be forced by an emergency to make the move quickly. When this happens, seniors can wind up in an environment they aren’t happy with because all of the most desirable options were full or they had not placed themselves on the waiting list; or because they do not have their finances in order; or because there was no time to tour and choose the best community. Don’t wait…
Take action now to complete these seven steps as soon as possible. When you plan ahead, options open up to move into the right place at the right time.
Additional steps for some:
Depending on your circumstances, you may also want to consider the following:
- Meet with an Elder Law Attorney to prepare the appropriate documents. These are attorneys that specialize in helping families to handle the legal requirements of aging and/or the preparation of documents useful for end-of-life care.
- Sell or leverage the home. If there is currently home or property ownership, there are many ways to use the equity to help with senior living and senior care expenses.
- Get help with the move. Downsizing, decluttering, selling or disposing of unwanted items, packing, moving, and storing are all tedious activities better handled by a team of experts. Silvergate partners with companies that specialize in helping seniors downsize efficiently and more easily.
- Apply for and receive veteran’s benefits. If you or your loved one served in the military, or if you, or they, were married to someone who did, you should speak to a veteran’s benefit consultant. There are some little-known programs that can pay as much as $1800 or more per month for senior care. If eligible, the application and approval process can take time, but is well worth pursuing.
Plan for Medicaid Application. If there’s a chance of outliving the available assets, you may need to qualify for Medicaid at some point in the future. The time to plan for that is now. Start talking to a Medicaid consultant, long before the money is gone.
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