Researching Options for Your Parents

The ministry of Providence Life Services begins even before people move into our buildings. We consider it a ministry to help families sift through difficult decisions in order to find the best solutions to meet their needs. If you have started noticing that your parents need more help than they used to (and more help than they will admit to), it may be time to help them begin researching some options.

You will probably want to take the lead in the research process, though you should reassure your parents that final decisions will be theirs. Participating in the process together can be meaningful for all of you.

Starting online

If this is your first foray into the world of healthcare and senior services, you might be overwhelmed by the jargon, which consists largely of acronyms. But as you become more and more familiar with the terminology, you’ll be able to narrow your searches using phrases like “Assisted Living in Downers Grove IL” or “Christian Retirement Community in West Michigan.”

Of course, thousands of results will come up, and as you click on a few of the top sites, you might find it difficult to organize the information in a way that helps you compare one set of options to another. There’s a lot of detail!

Organizing your research

Providence Life Services understands what a monumental and emotional task it is to begin researching options for your parents. This is a bigger decision than simply picking out a new home, or finding a new doctor, or making a financial investment, or choosing a college — it is all of these combined! Plus you have the added pressure of an unknown deadline — “before something happens.”

Based on our experiences with thousands of residents and thousands of families, we’ve created a few research tools to help you gather and organize information:

1. Financial Comparison Worksheet

Our Financial Comparison Worksheet helps you determine how the cost of moving to a retirement community compares with the cost of staying at home. It gives you a place to total all the expenses you might be taking for granted at home, so you can compare them to the monthly cost of a community, which may be more inclusive than you realize.

2. Research Checklist

The Research Checklist can be used while you’re researching online or when you begin visiting retirement communities in person. Taking this checklist with you to each community you visit will help ensure that you ask the same questions each time, so you can make “apples to apples” comparisons.

3. Research Checklist for In-Home Care

If you’ve decided to try in-home care for your parents, the options and the terminology are different, so we’ve created a separate checklist for that.

4. Decision Sifter

The Decision Sifter gives you a way to compare options side-by-side, listing the pros and cons of each. This is a tried-and-true method of weighing a lot of different factors, and as you and your parents collaborate over the tool together, you might gain insights into their values and fears.

Here to help

If you need help beyond what the tools on this page can provide, consider speaking with one of our Community Relations Directors. They are knowledgable about the range of options available, and they genuinely want what’s best for each family. You can use the Contact Us form to tell us about the kind of help you’re looking for, and we’ll have a Providence person in your neighborhood contact you directly.

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