Although you can't plan everything in life, you do want to be able to choose the home you live in, especially when moving into an assisted living facility. Sometimes, however, a wait list could foil even the most meticulously-laid plans. Don't be caught unprepared, understand the prospects of a wait list and how your future might be affected, instead.
Starting Your Search Early Can't Be Emphasized Enough
While you certainly don't want to move out of a home you love any sooner than you must, you don't want to be left with a potentially long wait when you do need an assisted living facility, either. Research the typical wait lists, or find out what they are at your most coveted places well in advance, then plan on putting your name (on the list) in at an appropriate time, accordingly. Even if there's no wait when you make an inquiry, that may change by the time you want to move in, so it's important to stay in touch with facility admin and know where they're at in terms of occupancy and vacancies.
Make Sure The List You're On Is For The Place You Want
You might feel like panicking if the assisted living facilities you contact all tell you they have a waiting list, but that still doesn't mean you should settle for a place that you won't be comfortable in. Use not just your practical judgement to consider things like cost, location and services, but use your senses, too, so you can make sure the facility feels like home, welcomes you and provides you with happiness, as well as the necessities in life.
To be sure you're on the right list, ask yourself some important questions:
- Does the facility offer everything you need and most of what you want?
- Can the facility accommodate your changing needs in the future?
- How many staff are on duty, when do they work and how can they help you?
- What are their policies on pets, overnight guests and other things pertinent to you?
- What perks, services and utilities are included in the monthly rent?
Thorough research and questioning are in order, of both yourself and any place you're considering putting your name in for. Waiting on a list for any length of time, then not being fully satisfied after you move in just wouldn't be right; thus, you really need to be sure of the facility's suitability, first.
Fully Understand The Waiting List Itself And What May Be Involved
Find out what, exactly, it means to be kept on a wait list and how things will unfold, once a unit becomes available. You may, for example, have but a day to accept an availability, or the facility may allow a little more time for a decision. If you've requested a special unit, such as one with a certain view, number of bedrooms or on a particular floor, your wait will likely be much longer. The facility may also have an internal wait list, meaning existing residents have priority over people still waiting to get in.
Be Prepared To Respond Quickly When You're Contacted About An Opening
Especially if you won't have long to decide to accept or decline a particular apartment, you should be ready to go, after a certain length of time on the list. If you keep in contact (with the assisted living facility), you should know where you are on the list and approximately how much longer of a wait you have, which will keep you prepared. Ask about your deposit, rent and other financial obligations ahead of time and have help lined up with packing and hauling your belongings, so that's not a chaotic and stressful experience for you when a unit is ready.
You want just the right place, at just the right time; however, wait lists can be unpredictable. Constantly communicate with the assisted facility you're interested in and always be prepared. This isn't a move you want to leave to chance, nor do you have to.