How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility
Choosing an Assisted Living Facility for your aging loved one
It can be challenging to decide which assisted living home suits a senior. Of course, the proper care is necessary, but finding an establishment that ensures an active and well-balanced life for your loved one is just as important. Even though going through this process seems overwhelming, there are many resources to help you out. Below are topics and questions you should consider when choosing the right community. Take your time when looking at the benefits, qualities, and management of these facilities to determine if registration is in the cards.
When you enter the residence, what is the general feel of the place? Do you like the location? How about the way the building looks? Also important is receiving a greeting from the staff. This tells you that the place will be warm and friendly — not closed off to the visitors. If residents are socializing with each other, that will tell you a lot about their lives in this community. Talking to current residents about their perspective of the staff and other considerations can assist with deciding if they’re appropriate housemates for your loved one.
Another important thing to consider is the staff; how they’re dressed, how they act around residents, if they’re outgoing, and act professional. Determine if the staff calls the residents by name—the relationship that the staff has with the residents can tell you a lot about the feel of this place. Additionally, if the staff is friendly and welcoming to you while on your tour, that’s key in determining if they are personable. Visitors should be made to feel welcome at any time, and your loved one shouldn’t feel scared about inviting anyone over or having any repeat visitors.
Decide whether this community will meet all of your physical needs. Is it clean? Comfortable in terms of temperature, lighting, furniture, etc? The floor plan should be easy to follow, and the doorways should be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. A difficult thing with aging residents is the memory to take the necessary pills at their required times. To make that easier, there should be qualified staff nearby at all times. Also important is non-slip floor material—if present, this can positively affirm if there are safe surfaces to walk on. Is there good lighting? How about handrails? Are there elevators in order to avoid the stairs? If these exist, your loved one can get around safely and comfortably.
Needs, Costs, and Finances
By looking at the services and fees associated with putting your loved one into an assisted living home, you can determine if their needs for care will be met. The staff should assess a resident’s needs periodically in order to determine if they need to add or remove some assistance. You’ll also need to decide if would like a written plan for your seniors’ care. Find out is if there are any government or general public plans to help cover the cost of these services provided.
The staff should be ready to meet any needs, whether scheduled or not. They should be “on-call” 24 hours to meet the needs of their residents. Also, every ADL, or activities of daily living, should be provided. This includes bathing, dressing, hygiene and grooming, toileting, shopping, and laundry. Some communities even have a barber or hairdresser, a pharmacy, and physical therapy offered onsite.
Examining carefully if all these needs are met is one of the most important steps when deciding on the proper assisted living community. If the community does check some of the boxes, it might be worth scheduling visit to check the remaining boxes. You want to ensure a positive experience for your loved one, and selecting a beneficial assisted living community is the first step.
This article was written by Ryan Knaak.