There are lots of important factors to consider when choosing an assisted living community for yourself or your loved one. You’re looking for a place that’s an ideal fit, and that means researching everything about the community, from cleanliness and ambiance to management activities and costs.
But it doesn’t have to be as daunting of a task as it might seem. Knowing what to look for – and which questions to ask – will help you make the best choice. Read on for some key questions to ask during your search.
It’s convenient if the facility is a short drive from your home, of course, but experts advise against choosing a community based on convenience alone. Nonetheless, a community’s location is important for a variety of reasons, and some things you should consider include:
The importance of visiting the prospective assisted living community cannot be overstated. Likewise, it’s a good idea to visit at different times of the day, particularly during mealtimes. While there, take the time to talk to residents and staff to get a firsthand sense of the community’s features and atmosphere. Here are other key questions to consider:
The cost of assisted living can seem prohibitive since Medicare does not cover it for many seniors. That said, do your research to find the true costs, since fees can vary depending on your loved one’s needs. Also ask:
Be sure to ask what services the assisted living community provides, and whether those services are included in the overall price or will mean additional costs.
5. Is there a written care plan?
Knowing the specifics about your loved one’s care and having those details listed in a customized written care plan is important.
The staff’s attitude and approach toward residents is of utmost importance; after all, they’ll be taking care of your loved one on a daily basis. Observe several staff members and how they interact with residents.
Take your time to read the admissions agreement carefully. In particular, make sure you understand the move-out criteria – in many cases there’s language that requires a 30-day notice to stop billing for services even if the resident has died.
Experts suggest that liability waivers may indicate that the facility may not have the resources or ability to meet your loved one’s needs.