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Ask the Expert: How to Find and Choose an Assisted Living Community for a Parent

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If your parent or older loved one needs a little extra help with daily tasks, it might be time to consider assisted living. In an assisted living community, residents live independently but receive assistance with daily activities like medication management, grooming, bathing, and getting dressed.

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Vickie Moulton, Outreach Coordinator at Crescent Crossing Assisted Living

When it comes to finding and choosing an assisted living community, it can be an overwhelming and confusing process for older adults and their families alike. To help cut through the confusion, we recently spoke with Vickie Moulton, Outreach Coordinator at Crescent Crossing, Bethany Village’s newest assisted living community. Read on for Vickie’s tips and advice for families considering an assisted living community for a parent or loved one.

What is the first step to take when looking for an assisted living community for a parent?

I would say that the first step is to research assisted living communities and contact them for more information. When I receive a call or email from someone interested in Crescent Crossing Assisted Living, 90 percent of the time it is the adult child of the older adult. Often, they want to review information quickly because their parent needs to move to assisted living as soon as possible. Most of the time, this is because the older adult can no longer live safely or comfortably alone in their home. This could be due to a decline in their health or mobility, or even an emergency such as a fall or accident.

Knowing that the decision to move a parent to assisted living can be overwhelming and emotional for the adult child, my goal is to make the process as easy as possible for them. I will send them additional information via email, including a price sheet and specific details about Crescent Crossing. Being upfront and transparent about this information helps families determine if they would like to take the next step, which is to schedule a tour of Crescent Crossing. I highly recommend that adult children visit assisted living communities once or even twice without their parent. This allows them to process all the information, ask questions, and then go back home and speak to their parent about it. From there, they can schedule a follow-up visit, this time with their parent.

When touring Crescent Crossing, what should families expect?

All assisted living communities are different, so when I give tours of Crescent Crossing, I highlight what sets our community apart. During the tour, families will get to see a model apartment suite, common areas, and amenities such as our movie theater, coffee and snack bar, fitness center, and our beautiful “Wholeness of Life” center where we hold worship services and special events.

One major area I like to emphasize on tours of Crescent Crossing is the food and dining experience. Many times, older adults don’t have a desire to cook, and this can lead to poor nutrition and health concerns. At Crescent Crossing, residents enjoy three chef-prepared meals a day that are healthy, fresh and nutritious. Best of all, dining is a vibrant social experience that our residents look forward to every day.

I also focus on the specialized care residents receive at Crescent Crossing. Our compassionate team of caregivers provides residents with daily assistance that’s customized according to their needs. Plus, a dedicated Bethany Village nurse is on-site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is reassuring for families because they know that their loved one is getting the best possible care, however and whenever they need it.

What should families ask when touring and comparing different assisted living communities?

When comparing different communities, I encourage families to pay attention to the way a senior living community is structured and operated. Is the community part of a non-profit organization, or a for-profit, corporate chain? What is its history and reputation? What is the mission statement? Is the community faith-based? Families don’t always know to ask these types of questions, but it’s important to find a community that closely aligns with your values and needs.

What are the benefits of choosing to move to assisted living within a continuing-care retirement community (CCRC)?

I think the biggest benefit of choosing a continuing-care retirement community is the peace of mind it gives to residents and their families. Sometimes, adult children find themselves as primary caregivers for an older parent, which can be very difficult. In a CCRC like Bethany Village, residents are able to age in place, moving seamlessly to the next level of care on the same campus as their health needs change over time. We have a full spectrum of care – including independent living, assisted living, nursing care, and memory support, and a rehabilitation center – all on the same campus. This means that once the decision to move to Crescent Crossing is made, the adult children don’t need to worry about moving their parent again when their care needs change. They are able to enjoy just being a son or daughter again, without the stress and worry that comes with being the sole caregiver for their aging parent.

Once a family has made the decision to move a loved one to Crescent Crossing, what are their next steps?

The first thing to do is to reserve the apartment suite by placing a deposit. This allows families to secure the suite, make a final decision, and set a moving date that is convenient for them and their loved one. Some financial and health care paperwork will also need to be completed.

From there, our team works closely with families to ensure the process is as smooth and comfortable as possible. We start arranging the logistics of move-in day early on, helping families plan what to bring and how to make the day special for their loved one. We also connect families to local resources and professional services that can assist with anything from packing boxes to interior design to organizing estate sales and auctions and even selling their previous home. After their loved one is all moved in, we encourage families to schedule a time to spend together each week. This helps to ease the transition for everyone!

To learn more about Crescent Crossing Assisted Living at Bethany Village, please contact us today at 937-433-2110 or simply send us a quick note here. We would be delighted to speak with you!

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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