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We have provided some points to consider or questions to ask of yourself or your loved one to help guide you in the right direction in terms of the most appropriate type of service or seniors’ housing provider.

We also aim to help you to identify some of the many other issues you or your loved one will need to consider, such as legal matters and estate planning, financial planning, insurance and real estate decisions, and point you to appropriate resources.

Please keep in mind, the following represents only a broad guide; it is advisable to seek professional, hands-on advice and assistance. 

Key Considerations

Current Living Arrangements

The individual’s present home and support network can have an impact on the appropriateness of remaining at home with some supportive or home care services, or making a move to a residence that provides these services.

Where does the individual presently live? Is the person able to manage daily living in this environment?  
Does the person live with a spouse, other family, friends or alone?  
If living alone, is there a primary caregiver? If so, how close does the primary caregiver live to the individual and how often do they see each other?  
Does the person have family members and friends who visit regularly and are able to provide support?  
Has he/she expressed any desire to explore alternative living arrangements?  
If an alternative living arrangement is deemed most appropriate, where would the individual prefer to live? In the same neighbourhood? In the same town/city? Somewhere else - close to a family member?  

 

General Well-Being, Lifestyle and Health Conditions

The cumulative effect of some of the following conditions will influence not only the most appropriate type of provider along the continuum, but also the choice of a specific of provider.

Financial issues are important.  You need to carefully compare the cost of staying at home versus living in a retirement home - both monetary and health.

 

Living at home - alone can adversely affect your health and well being.

Lack of social and nutritional supports when living alone are not good for your physical, emotional or mental health.

If an individual is at risk of wandering, remaining at home may also not be realistic.

If the person requires only limited assistance with bathing, or home making supports, a home care provider that offers this service can be considered.

 

Try to ascertain whether or not the individual is experiencing any issues or difficulties with the following - never, sometimes, often, always:

 

Mobility

Walking or getting around  
Using an assistive device like a walker or wheelchair  
Standing from a seated position  
Getting in and out of bed  
Maintaining balance or staying on his/her feet  

Grooming

Personal hygiene (e.g.  washing hands and face, brushing teeth)  
Grooming and getting dressed or undressed  
Bathing or showering  
Getting in and out of the bath tub or shower  
Using the commode  

Dietary

Maintaining a nutritious, balance diet and meal preparation  

Medications

Taking prescribed medications regularly and on time  

Housekeeping and Maintenance

Indoor domestic duties (e.g.  laundry, housekeeping)  
Outdoor maintenance (snow shovelling, lawn mowing, home upkeep)  

Memory

Short-term memory  
Wandering from home and/or getting lost  
Does the individual require any specialized therapies (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy)?  
How would you describe the person’s social life? Active, moderately active, passive or reclusive?  

Medical Conditions

Alzheimer disease or dementia  
Arthritis  
Cancer  
Cardiovascular problems (blood pressure, heart disease)  
Cerebrovascular problems (strokes)  
Cholesterol disorders  
Chronic pain  
Depression  
Diabetes  
Falls and Injuries  
Gastrointestinal disorders  
Hearing impairment  
Visual impairment  
Osteoporosis  
Parkinson's Disease  
Respiratory Disease (asthma, trouble breathing)  
Pressure ulcers  
Sleep disorders  
Thyroid Disease  
Urinary Disorders  

Legal Issues

Does the person have a legal Will in place?  
Does the individual have a Living Will or Health Care Declaration?  
Has the person appointed a Power of Attorney?  

Financial Issues

Is there any concern about the person’s ability to pay for an alternative living arrangement or care services in the home that may be needed?  
Has it been determined what amount can be afforded on a monthly basis in this regard?  
Have government financial assistance programs been investigated and pursued?  

Insurance Issues

Does the person have adequate life insurance?  
Is the individual familiar with the different types of life insurance and the advantages and disadvantages of each?  
Does the person have a Living Benefit plan that includes disability or critical illness coverage?  
Does the individual have Long-Term Care Insurance?  

 

These are just some of the considerations that one should address in an effort to ensure the best decision is made with respect to care and supportive services, seniors’ housing and related matters.

This has been intended to provide only broad guidelines and ideas of what to factor into your decision-making process but, like any major life decisions, it is often best to seek professional guidance.

If you need more help in finding an assisted living residence, check out HelpForMom.com. Call them at 1-866-428-0292.


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