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Planning ahead is essential

If your concerned about an aging parent or relative to live by them, you may want to consider assisted living—and sooner rather than later.

“The best time to look is six months to a year before your parent will need to make the move,” says Paula Carder, an assistant professor at the Institute on Aging at Portland State University in Oregon, and co-author of “Inside Assisted Living: The Search for Home” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).

If you wait until until the last minute, you’ll have fewer choices. An investigation was conducted a few years ago clearly showed, finding a good, safe, and affordable facility can be problematic due to states hodgepodge system of licensing, inspection, and staff training standards of varying strictness.
Assisted-living homes sometimes include a kitchen, housekeeping, meals, transportation to doctors and  light activities, a well as multiple levels of personal assistance.  Beware the charges can sometime run up to $5,000 a month or more, depending on the size of the place and the care that’s needed. The average time of stay is roughly 22 months.

Almost 1,00,000 Americans now live in about 40,000 different assisted-living facilities, based on some national estimates, but there isnt really a federal governing of these homes. Each state creates its own definition of “assisted living” and decides what licensing and inspections are required. One result is that there are more than 26 designations used to refer to what is commonly known as assisted living, including “residential care,” “board and care,” “adult home,” and “retirement residence.”

I hope this gives you an idea of what you need to start thinking about when deciding on the level of care you loved one may need.