Published: Jan. 3, 2012 -OC Register Website and Jan.4, 2012 on the OC Register Newspaper
By JANE GLENN HAAS
For more than a year, Alice Mazmanian has been happy at Silverado Senior Living in Costa Mesa. At least, Mazmanian, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, seems happy – and that’s what counts to her family.
“She just couldn’t stay at home anymore,” her son, Victor, says about his mother, 83. He also acknowledges his mother’s battle with dementia – which changed her life – has profoundly altered his future.
Despite best efforts, however, assisted living often is the safest option for a parent.
Whether you are choosing a large assisted-living community or a small residential-care home, the initial move from independent to community lifestyle is a big adjustment, says Erwin T. Allado, CEO of SeniorCareHomes.com.
And finding a home for a parent who lives outside your area definitely requires homework. Allado offers seven tips to help make the right choice:
Take your time: Research available facilities in your area. Note that vacancies change rapidly. Try to give the facility two to three weeks’ advance notice.
Know your options: Get at least two or three living arrangements to compare and consider what you like the most or the least about each. Are they a match for your needs in terms of care, location and budget? Talk to the senior-care advisor at each home.
Talk to residents: Are they sociable? Will your parent interact with them?
Talk to the owner and staff: Do they seem like they care about their clients? How do they interact with residents and family members?
References: Get testimonials from residents and family members.
Facts: How long have they been in business? Do they have any major citations from state licensing agencies.
Look around: Is the home clean? Does it smell good or bad? Do they celebrate client events like birthdays? Do they post a menu and schedule of activities? Does the staff care about residents?
“Care-giving is a growing concern in this country,” Allado says. An estimated 66 percent of the population will need to give, receive, or arrange for care, according to a survey by the National Family Caregivers Assn.
SeniorCareHomes.com, located in Ladera Ranch, provides advice about choosing assisted living and nursing homes. It also plans to provide an online listing of 65,000 such facilities in 50 states by the end of the month.
A Senior Care Resource Center on the website showcases experts who write on topics such as “Alzheimer’s Prevention” and “Best Fit for Assisted Living.”
“Our goal is to help smooth out caregiver decisions and stress,” Allado says.
Erwin Allado – CEO and CoFounder
Erwin [at] seniorcarehomes.com
Jane Glenn Haas- writer: firstname.lastname@example.org