4 Things to Consider when Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

assisted living caregiver with patient in wheelchair image

If you or a loved one is considering moving into an assisted living facility, you’ll most likely have to deal with a lot of uncertainty when finding a facility. You will probably visit a number of places, find yourself discouraged with the process, and not know where to turn.

The good news is there are a number of sources online that can provide you with a checklist of things to look for at assisted living facilities. Here are some general categories to consider as well as some questions you should ask when choosing an assisted living facility.

First Impressions

First impressions are important in assessing an assisted living facility. You’ll want to make sure the location is good for you and your family. You will, no doubt, be greeted by an employee whose job is to make a good impression, but observe the other employees as well. They should seem to treat other with respect and be relaxed in their exchanges with each other. The place should, of course, be clean and have a healthy smell. Check to see whether or not the residents socialize with each other, and try to get to visit with some of them. Inquire as to whether or not they like the staff. Does it look like a place you would want to live?

Assisted Living Facility Grounds

Consider the condition of the grounds and the building itself. Does it seem to be in good repair, or are the structures neglected? There should be handrails and working elevators for residents and guests, as well as non-skid flooring. Make sure the doorways and halls are wide enough for a wheelchair or for medical equipment to be wheeled in and out. Make sure there is plenty of good lighting on the grounds and in the facilities. Also, find out what kind of security they have if a resident wanders off.

Windows and doors should have safety locks, and there should be a fire suppression system as well as smoke detectors. You will also want to know whether or not there is an emergency power system, especially if you or your loved one are dependent on medical equipment.

The Care Itself

Each assisted living facility has a different policy regarding the participation of each resident in their own care. Check to see if there are several levels of care provided according to the resident’s increasing needs. You also want to know if there are units that provide specialized care such as rehab or Alzheimer’s. Medicare and Medicaid usually do not pay for this type of living arrangement, but they will pay for certain medical procedures or medications that are required during the stay.

Ask about different sizes and facilities in the units, and if it is possible for the patient to move as the need arises. One of the characteristics of an assisted living facility is the private to semi-private living facilities that have their own kitchenettes and bathrooms.

Amenities

Some assisted living facilities offer a number of amenities, such as banking and a salon. Is there a gift shop on site, or a convenience store of some kind? It can mean a lot to a resident to simply be able to walk in and buy a candy bar or fountain drink. See if there is a café on site, and make sure the dining facility is approved by the health department and serves quality food.

As for food, the residents should receive 3 meals a day 7 days a week, regardless of holidays and bad weather. Where are these meals served, and does it cost extra to have them delivered to the resident’s room if they are under the weather?

Transportation can also be extremely important to those healthy enough to move to an assisted living facility. Find out if the resident is allowed to keep his or her car, or if there is alternative transportation available.

For more information on finding an assisted living facility, contact a Senior Care Expert at 844-472-2323.

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