Consumers need education on housing options

As professionals, we are well aware of the vast array of senior care options available today, and so it is easy to forget that even though there are more than 400+ senior housing options in the Twin Cities metro alone, many people are still unaware of their options, never mind figuring out which is best for them.

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The Long-Term Care Awareness study by Northwestern Mutual last year found that 21% of the respondents were ‘not sure at all’ what long-term care options were available, and only half knew that assisted living could be a potential solution for senior care needs.

The key point: more education is needed for consumers. So where do we start?

At Lifesprk, we developed our Housing Solutions service specifically to give professionals and consumers an easy-to-use, single resource to help sort through all the options. We work with hundreds of seniors and their families every year to help them find their ‘best fit’ housing solution. We understand the challenges involved and how overwhelming the task can seem. We often hear from seniors and families that they unfortunately learned some lessons the hard way when they started out searching for senior housing on their own. We’ve also worked with families who have made a wrong move, and now are looking to fix it.

There is a lot to consider when looking for senior housing, and the complexity makes it all the more challenging when you consider the consequences of a wrong move. The key is to tap the knowledge of an expert to get support and information so you can help your clients make a good, informed choice.

Many families tell us: “I was told my parent needs to go to the nursing home,” and so they begin looking for a skilled nursing facility. Today there are a staggering number of options available, including round-the-clock in-home care which may be priced comparably with the private pay costs of a nursing home. The best way to start a search is to first get some help examining all the alternatives. Lifesprk offers a free care consultation for Housing Solutions to help identify options.

According to Karla Dahl, LSW, CMC, a Lifesprk Navigator with expertise in Housing Solutions, “One family we served thought they needed to find a nursing home bed for their mom whose memory and cognition were declining. Her husband desperately wanted to keep her at home, and the daughters were torn because with their jobs and families they knew they couldn’t provide all the care that was needed. With some creative planning and involvement from the two daughters as well as the combination of Lifesprk’s unique Life Care Management approach and private duty home care services, the family was able to keep her successfully at home for a lower cost than private pay nursing home.”

An expert on finding ‘best fit’ housing solutions for seniors, Dahl stresses that every situation is different and deserves an analysis to determine the best options for the individual senior and family involved.

For more information on Lifesprk’s Housing Solution services or to request a free care consultation, call Lifesprk Navigation at 952-345-8770 or email us.