When trying to find an assisted living community for oneself or for a loved one, there are many factors to consider. The process can seem overwhelming, but having a checklist of things you are looking for can make the process easier.
First, determine what general location is best. Will the resident be happier in the city or in a suburb? Perhaps being closer to a particular family member is important. Remember to include the resident in this decision, as the location of a home factors in to satisfaction.
Next, consider what you can afford. There are new and different expenses associated with a transition to assisted living, but it can be affordable. Cost will vary by community and by the services that are included or offered at the location. Narrow the possibilities down to those within the resident’s price range.
Each resident of an assisted living community will have unique needs. In a conversation with the resident, decide what needs must be met. Most assisted living facilities offer meals, and many have social activities. The defining feature of assisted living is daily contact with a staff member. If the resident will need assistance getting dressed or performing other daily activities, be sure the facility can meet those needs.
After discussing these factors and finding several communities to visit, go. It is vital to visit several communities during your decision process. During your visit, be sure to see more than just the public areas. Look at different rooms, visit with residents to see if they are people that you would enjoy talking with, and perhaps eat a meal in the dining room.
While you are visiting, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the policies of the facility. Do residents have the option to eat in their room or in the dining room? Are pets welcome in the community? What types of activities are held on a regular basis? Also, ask to see the most recent licensing evaluation of the community.
It may be important to have a shared room or a private room. Assisted living communities may have both options, but only select availability. Discuss the options for rooms if you are accepted as a resident. Also, determine whether resident bathrooms are shared or private. There may be rooms that have a small kitchen area with a sink and a microwave. You may want to pay attention to storage options in the room; be sure there is space for the resident’s belongings.
Through your visit, you will get a sense for other factors affecting the energy and life of each assisted living community. Do the residents seem happy and healthy? Is the staff warm and smiling? Do the staff members greet residents by name? It is important to spend time in the common areas and get a true feeling for your comfort.
Be sure to include the resident in this search and decision. Together, you will be ready for a successful and happy move.