Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thinking about assisted living?

I am preparing a special report on the 10 most common mistakes people make when choosing an assisted living. It’s taking me a while because I want it to be completely comprehensive to include complete solutions to these common mistakes.
After all these years, I have been involved in hundreds of admissions. I have see them be completely successful and I have seen them fail miserably, and everything in between. Based on what I have experienced, based on both the mistakes I have made, and the mistakes that families have made, I have compiled the 10 most important things to be aware of. So in other words to address these issues that I am going to address, is to realize a big mistake. And most people do not think about these things until after they have chosen their community and signed an admission agreement.
If you are about to start touring communities, or if you think you may start looking in the distant future, you need this list. Until I have my website up, I am going to give it away. But I can’t print it here. Some of my colleagues might get very upset if they saw what I was putting into this special report. Therefore, rather than post the list in this blog, I am going email it to any subscribers of this blog. If you want to get a copy you need only subscribe to this blog, and email me a note to that fact. You can do this by looking for a link in this blog. By the way, you have nothing to fear, if you subscribe to a blog, any blog on WordPress; it only means that you will get an email with the content of any future posts. We do not give or sell your email address to anyone, and you will not receive any marketing emails of any kind. You will only receive the blog post and nothing else.
In the meantime, here is a sample of one of the points that I feel are safe to post. So to get the rest of make sure you subscribe to my blog. Again, WordPress, or I will not share your information with anyone else, and at any point if you wish to unsubscribe, you need only say so.

Number 4
Find out about cost-of-living rent increases
I am assuming that when you tour assisted living communities you will ask a lot of questions. Most communities will do their best give you all the information that you want. They want you to make a well informed decision. It is in their interest not to hide any costs from you. But it is impossible to cover everything in the short amount of time that you are there touring. They will, and should, tell you about every level of care and the different contingencies that would trigger an added cost to you. Things like incontinence care, or one-on-care. But one thing that often gets neglected is the cost of living adjustments. Every community has them, but they can vary dramatically. For example, if your rent is going to be $3000 (which is the average cost in Southern California) a 3% cost of living raise is almost $100 per month, 5% is $150.
Generally, the cost-of-living raises come annually, on the anniversary month that you moved in. But they can vary dramatically in amount of raise and frequency. Chances are that the admission agreement will be purposely vague on the amount, but very clear on the notification requirements. In California the notification requirement is that the facility is required to give you a 60 notice of any cost-of-living increase. In all likelihood they can’t tell you an exact amount, but it’s usually a percentage of your base rent. You should ask them something like “Traditionally what is your cost-of-living”? Or “urrently, what are you charging?” What is important here is that you factor this into your budget. Remember, the ideal is that your loved one lives another 10 years and 10 years of cost of living raises can be substantial.

Next week: Number 5 Not allowing for an adjustment period when your parent moves in

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