With my two girls, and all their friends, the college search boiled down to “the right fit”. The admissions counselors say, “There’s a school for everyone” and “You’ll know it when you feel it.” This advice is the mantra heard across the US every year as a new crop of high school kids hit the road to visit campuses. What I have realized over the last four years as I have shepherded two kids through this process is how much the search for Assisted Living parallels the college search. In the end, how you choose an assisted living community is really all about the “right fit”.
Just like with college, finding that right fit takes 5 steps.
Visit “the campus” in person.
Looking at websites and photos online doesn’t give the full picture. You are looking for the right fit and you need to experience the community to see whether you feel like you’ll fit in and be able to make friends. Remember these 7 things to look for on your Assisted Living tour.
Delve into the financial piece.
When your kids were going to college you added up ALL the costs so you had an accurate picture of the total amount you had to spend annually, you compared colleges’ tuitions to make sure you felt you were getting value for the dollars spent, and you reviewed your financial options to help pay for it. It’s the same process with Assisted Living. Bone up on “finances 101” for Assisted Living
Narrow down your search and “apply”.
Hopefully at this stage you are not in crisis mode, because waiting a few months for an apartment to become available at your top choice to get the right fit is worth it.
When you get there – get all in.
Do what you told your kids to do when they went off to college – get involved, make friends, don’t be a loner, take advantage of all the university (I mean Assisted Living) has to offer!
BUT if it doesn’t work out, you can always transfer.
And that’s okay because it’s all about the right fit. And there we’ve come full circle.
Good luck with the search. Take a deep breath. You’ve been here before!