Assisted living has become an increasingly popular option for seniors. Unfortunately, this could mean that there is not enough room available in certain areas of the country. Some assisted living facilities have resorted to using a waiting list due to the increased demand. If you are considering a move to an assisted living facility in the future, here is what you need to know about the wait list:
Is a Deposit Required?
The wait list policies vary by facility, but some assisted living facilities do require a deposit before being placed on the list. The deposit can be applied towards the apartment after you are moved up the list and placed in a unit. The amount that will be required can vary, but do not be surprised if you are asked to pay in the thousands to be on the list.
Before paying your deposit, ensure that it is refundable. You also need to know if there are any fees that are taken out of the deposit if you do decide to be removed from the list. For instance, a facility might charge a processing fee for the removal and the return of the deposit.
Can You Reserve a Certain Apartment?
Many assisted living facilities do allow wait-listers to reserve a certain apartment. When you pay your deposit, your preference will be noted and you will likely be placed on a separate wait list for that apartment. Waiting for a specific apartment can sometimes result in a longer wait if you are reluctant to accept another one.
Being on both the wait list for a specific apartment and the others can work to your advantage. If another unit becomes available, you can move into it while waiting for the one you want. Some assisted living facilities prioritize their lists into internal and external lists. If that practice is used at the facility you are moving to, accepting another unit until the one you want opens could help you move up on the list for the unit.
What Happens If You Turn Down an Apartment?
Timing is everything with the wait list. Due to the high demand for apartments, you need to get on the list early enough that you can ensure that there are units available when you are ready to commit. However, if you are not ready to commit when the unit becomes available, you could potentially lose out.
Some facilities have policies that limit the number of times you can turn down an open unit once you are notified. Find out if the facility you are considering has that policy before paying your deposit.
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