As an adult would you agree to move into a place that would impact your destiny, without a "look see?"
Now that I have your attention, consider these suggestions to improve access to home tours, for Elders who require supportive care...
1. Concern: The amount of walking in the tour may be too tiring
Solution: Call in advance of the tour and ask if a “loaner” wheelchair may be made available at the entrance for your parent(s)/loved one. Homes should have at least one extra wheelchair. If not, what do they do in emergencies? (Might be worth asking the question.)
2. Concern: The timing of the tour is not conducive to my Elder’s medical needs
Solution: Call the home, and ask what flexibility can be made to the tour time. Is a private tour manageable? (Consider if there is no flexibility, how does this translate re future residency, and collaboration?)
Hint: If given the option, try to book the tour when the Elder is at their optimum level of wellness: (example: Would afternoon fatigue impact the experience?)
3. Concern: Tours are immediately following mealtimes, which impacts the Elder’s current health, or creates a rush situation in order to make the tour deadline
Solution: Ask if the home being toured would provide lunch for the Elder and tour companion. Part of an effective evaluation is understanding the meal experience: taste, freshness, variety and nutrition. One days notice should suffice. (Costs for the meal may apply)
4. Concern: Transportation to the home is an issue as the Elder needs assistive devices
Solution: Check local taxi companies to determine if there is a special transit service available. Sometimes agencies providing care to the elderly have transportation programs as well. Make sure there is adequate time to pre book services. Is there a specialized service in your community for seniors who require mobility aids? (Costs will apply)
5. Concern: There is a great deal of information to manage when touring multiple homes.
Solution: Download Elderpilot’s mobile apps for iPhones and Androids for review prior to the tour. Familiarize yourself with the app, and flow of the information. If using an iPad, visit www.elderpilot.com. The final report can be saved and printed through several social media modalities including “old school” paper.
6. Concern: In some areas there are large wait lists for homes and Elders are given the feeling they "need to settle" because of this phenomenon. Is this happening in your community? What is being done to address this concern?
Thinking about a great question to ask at that next political debate, or a reason to call your local politician?
Now you have one...