10 Tips When Searching for the Right Assisted Living Home


When you, your parents, or an older loved one can no longer live on their own, making a decision can be tough. Deciding when to transition takes a lot of thought and contemplation, but once you have tackled that obstacle there is another challenge – finding the right assisted living home. There are so many facilities that it is necessary to do research, make visits, speak with residents and more.

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There are some things you should keep an eye out for when trying to find a facility that meets your needs and requirements. Visiting different homes can give you a more in-depth look at how things function and help you gauge the kind of experience you may have. Consider some of these important items when finding an assisted living facility to move into.

Look at the Cleanliness of the Community

The first thing you should look for when considering a community is the level of cleanliness. During your tour, ask to see one of the rooms you may move into. Look in the corners and behind furniture to make sure everything is clean. You should ask about housekeeping and how often these services are provided in the space you will reside in. Get details on the maintenance that is performed regularly and how long it takes for emergency services to arrive.

Make Sure the Staff Is Friendly

The staff should be friendly and have a good and positive attitude to ensure you or your loved one will be cared for. Watch how the residents and staff interact with one another, looking for eye contact as well as how well the resident is listened to. Are the staff actively involved in caring for residents? When the staff takes care of residents and you can see that they genuinely enjoy their work, you can rest easy knowing they will take care of you or your family member.

You may also want to try to get to know how the staff are scheduled and how often you will expect to see staff members as well as how readily available services are. Making sure the staff is friendly is critically important to make sure you or your family member receives the best care possible.

Do Not Make the Decision Alone

There are so many facilities that it is necessary to recruit a fellow friend or family member that can help you find a place that can offer assisted living services from excellent staff members. Having a second pair of eyes allows both of you to see things that may have been missed by one or the other. This can be important, as missing red flags can cause mistakes to be made when choosing a community.

If you have a lot of options, narrow them down to your favourite two or three communities. Make a second visit to the area with someone that has never seen it before – a fresh pair of eyes. Having someone that isn’t biased will allow you to collect an outside opinion on the community and how well it would suit your needs. They may also be able to spot things you didn’t catch during your first visit, like activities that are available or additional free services.

Visit While an Event Is Taking Place

Try to schedule your visit to the communities you are considering on days when an event is going on. Ask the staff if you can stay for the event or possibly participate. Look for whether or not there are a lot of residents at the event or activity. If you do see residents, do they seem to be enjoying themselves? This is an important factor because events should be based on what residents enjoy – you wouldn’t want to sit around bored the entire day, right? Look for various activity options to find some that catch your interest.

Ask Questions About Security

The safety and security of the community you choose are extremely critical – this is where you will want peace of mind and relaxation. In bathrooms, make sure there are rails and grab bars in places that make it safer to move around. You should also inquire about how residents get in touch with staff members during emergency situations. Ask specific questions about whether or not there are registered nurses on the premises at all times as well as how medications are managed.

Be sure to get the rules when it comes to having visitors as well, since family members may want to stop by for quick visits. If there are time restrictions, be sure to make note of them so that you do not miss out on any quality time with loved ones. It is also a good idea to get information about who has access to your apartment.

Read the Fine Print

Contracts for assisted living facilities are usually straightforward, but they may contain information that is difficult to understand. This can cause you to end up signing on for additional fees that weren’t clearly discussed, resulting in a much higher bill than you expect. A high bill is especially concerning because 4 out of 5 seniors pay for their assisted living out of pocket.

There are different pricing structures that you should be familiar with when signing a contract with an assisted living community. An apartment, as well as meals, may cost one thing, but services like personal care may add onto the bill. Services can also be charged individually or by the level of care a resident needs. Some communities forego fees, instead of using a pricing model that includes everything and services offered are not dependent on the care that individual residents require.

Speak to Residents & Family Members

While a visit to the community can help you get a grip of how things function on a day to day basis, it is also recommended to speak with residents and family members about their experience with the facility. Ask for honest opinions, as these can give you the truth about how living in the home is like and help you see past the greeting display put on by management and staff.

If getting to know residents during your visit isn’t your style, try looking online. There are plenty of resources you can use to find honest reviews about the facility you are considering moving into. This allows you to get a lot of opinions from different sources, so you can get a sense of the bigger picture. A quick Google search can help you answer a lot of questions you may have about the home.

Consider Your Timing

When it comes to moving to a new home, timing is crucial. Consider when you need to move and factor that into your decision. Many facilities have a waiting list that could delay your move by several months or even years. If you have to move immediately, try to look at communities that have immediate availability so that you don’t waste time looking at options that wouldn’t be ready in time.

Don’t wait until the last minute to find a community that suits your needs. If you feel as though it may be time to move, start the search immediately so that your options can be narrowed down and you will be able to make a decision without rushing. Rushing into signing a contract can cause you to miss other opportunities that may have been better for you or your loved one in the long run.

Think of Services & Programs They Offer

Assisted living communities offer various services to residents. Some of these may be more important than others, so you should make a list of the services and activities you would like your community to offer. You may not be able to find one that has everything on the list, but you might find something that has everything that is critically important. Some residents may need help with cleaning, cooking, dressing, shaving, and more.

You should also make sure you or your loved one will be able to stay active and remain in the best of health for as long as possible. Check for walking paths, gyms, and group classes the community may offer to keep you moving and having fun.

Make sure to ask about the medical care available and express concerns if you or your loved one has a specific health condition. By doing so, you can ensure that you get the medical attention you need immediately, even if it is required daily. Some services may be covered in the total costs of your care while others may be billed separately.

Go with Your Instincts

After visiting several communities, the most important thing to go with is your instincts. Think about how you or your loved one may enjoy living in the community. If you see yourself being comfortable and feeling at ease, then it may be the right option for you. Follow your instincts and go with what calls to you and makes you feel more at home.

The journey to finding an assisted living community can be made much easier by using these tips when it’s time to decide where you want to move. Keep these in mind when doing research and visiting communities and you will find it a lot easier to spot things that you like as well as things you don’t like. This information can help you make the best decision for you or your older loved one.

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