Choosing an assisted living is a very big decision. There are many things to consider during the selection process that will ensure you are making a well-informed decision. Listed below are some very important tips to help you in your search.
- Sometimes early planning is not possible, however, if you have the luxury of early planning giving yourself several months to do so will benefit you greatly. Early planning will allow you the opportunity to really put some thought into finances and possible legal planning if needed. Not to mention, the extra time will give your loved one the opportunity to plan and adjust to the idea emotionally.
- Tour as many communities as possible. Assisted living communities are not all the same, they can vary greatly in ways of company culture, environment, services, and accommodations. Allowing yourself the opportunity to visit many will give you a good perspective and help you get a better idea of the things that are important to you and your loved one.
Narrow Your Search to Three
So now that you have your top three choices, how can you make sure you are choosing the very best one? Below are some extremely important questions you should ask and things you should observe before making your final choice.
- Observe the interactions between the staff and residents. Does the staff seem engaged and attentive to the residents?
- Speak to current resident’s and get a feel for how they like living in the community. Ask them to tell you things they like about living there.
- Drop in unannounced at different times of the day. Mealtime is a busy time in an assisted living community. Notice how the staff handle the influx of activity. The evenings are a good time to notice how it feels during a less active time. What are the staff doing when things are less active?
- See what kind of activities are available for the residents. It is important that residents have opportunities to engage and socialize with others. Are there outlets for seniors to do the things that they enjoy such as personal hobbies?
- Ask to speak with the director, this person is the one who sets the tone for everyone who lives and works there. What is the culture of the community? How does the director interact with staff, residents, and family members?
- Ask the admissions director to see a copy of the facilities license and certificate of inspection. This report will show you any complaints and marks that the community received during their most recent inspection. Ask them what they have done to correct any of the problems that show up on the report. This is one of the most important things you could ask for, and many people do not think to ask. This shows the facilities compliance. A community may be aesthetically pleasing but if they have a bad inspection this could be a red flag! This report should be readily available and the facility is required to present it to anyone who ask.
- Speak with the care plan manager. Ask them how involved the family and resident can be in creating the individualized care plan. Also, ask them how often they reevaluate the plan to make sure all of the resident’s needs are being met as things may change with health or circumstances in the future.
- What type of extended services does the community offer? There may be a time when your loved one’s needs change, making sure that there are options to better serve them in the future is very important. Some communities offer services such as on-site doctors visits, this can be very convenient for residents and can also eliminate stress involved in traveling to appointments.
- What type of training and experience is required for the staff?
- How does your loved one feel about the environment? Allowing them to be part of the decision making process if possible can make the transition much easier on everyone.
- One final tip, this is great especially if your loved one is hesitant about the change. Ask if their is an option for your loved one to have a short respite stay. This can give them a week or even a few days to get a feel for how life would be in the community.
Hopefully, you will find some of these tips and suggestions to be helpful in your search for the perfect assisted living community. If you have any further questions or would like anymore tips or information, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your question or comment in the comment box below. I am always happy to help anyone who is looking to ensure the safety and well being of seniors.