Searching for an assisted living facility for your loved one can be a very stressful process but there are things you can look for that will help make your decision easier. We hope these tips will prove useful.
How Clean Is The Facility Does the facility feel fresh and clean? Make sure to look past the furnishings and into corners, baseboards and windows. Ask how often housekeeping is provided. Make sure to get full details on the types of maintenance provided and estimated response times. Don’t forget to ask about laundry services. Ask for specifics on what’s available and at what cost.
Is The Staff Friendly? The attitude and friendliness of the staff are very important. Make sure that you observe several staff members interacting with current residents. Do they listen and make eye contact? How many people are actually involved in residents’ care? Make sure to be introduced to the management team. This will help you understand the goals of the facility and gain confidence in their staff.
Visit During An Activity It’s a good idea to try and schedule your tour when the facility is having an event. Ask if you can watch the activities or even participate. Are the activities and events well-attended? Does the staff seem to be enjoying the activity as well? Take a look at the calendar of events. Do they match your or your loved one’s interests? Do the events and activities vary in size and type? Do they include trips and outings away from the facility? If it’s important to you and your family, don’t forget to inquire about religious services.
What Are The Outdoor Areas Like? While visiting make sure to look at the outdoor areas available to residents. Does it feel safe and secure? Does the property house outdoor activities in these areas? Does the staff use the same area for their personal breaks?
Eat a Meal at the Facility When visiting it is important to discuss meal choices and learn about dining hours, options and procedures. Make sure you and your loved one have a meal at the facility. Not only is it a great way to sample the cuisine, but it also opens up a great opportunity to meet some of the residents. Discuss what happens if a resident is unable to make it to the dining room for a meal.
Ask Security & Safety Questions Safety and security features are very important. Make sure that bathrooms are accessible and have grab bars in convenient locations. Find out how residents contact staff if they have an emergency in their living area. Find out about other safety features available in living quarters and throughout the facility. Make sure you find out who is on-site at all times to assist residents. Are there registered nurses on site? How does staffing differ at night? How does the facility assist or manage residents’ medication?
Ask About Personal Care Discuss bathing options and bathing preferences. It’s a good idea to observe the current residents. Are they clean shaven with well-groomed hair and nails? Are they dressed appropriately? Make sure to take into consideration what activities they are involved in and the current weather. Does the staff treat residents with dignity, respect and a smile?
Get Feedback from Residents & Families Ask residents and families, past and present, for their honest opinions about the facility. Many facilities have a resident council that will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Trust Your Gut Make sure to think about yourself or your loved one actually living at the facility. Do you think they’d be comfortable? Do YOU feel comfortable? Always remember to trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right you’re probably correct.