Choosing An Assisted Living Facility

Elderly Woman Dancing

Choosing an assisted living facility for an aging loved one can be a daunting task. Today there are many options available, and this can make the decision feel quite overwhelming. Doing your research can help you feel more in control of the process, and you will be able to help your loved one settle into the place that’s right for them. Here are some helpful tips on what to look for in a facility.

  • Look for public certificates clearly displayed. You should be able to view inspection reports, and certificates from the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Safety and the Fire Department.
  • Look for cleanliness. Keep in mind that the level of cleanliness you see when you visit the facility is probably a good indicator of the cleanliness of the building all the time. See if the standard of cleanliness matches your standards. Notice how clean it smells too.
  • What is the level of transparency? When you tour, every area of the facility should be available for you to view. It should raise a red flag if there is an area that is off limits to you.
  • Consider the current residents of the home. Do they appear to be happy, healthy and well cared for? Are they engaged in activities? Notice how staff interacts with residents.

Important questions to ask when you visit:

  • Find out what the cost of the facility covers. Ask if Medicare and Medicaid are accepted, and what other payment options there may be. Ask all your financial questions, and find out whether there are ‘entrance fees’, deposits, or any other hidden costs.
  • Ask about medications. Will they be supplied by the facility or the patient? Who is responsible for dispensing it?
  • Learn more about what kind of personal care is provided. Does the facility provide necessary personal care supplies and to what extent?
  • Find out about staffing. What are the requirements staff has to meet? How long do people work there, what kind of background screening is done? Of course you will want to ask about staffing ratios throughout the day.
  • Ask about aging in place options. As your loved one grows older and her needs change, are there programs in place to enable her to stay and get the services and support she needs?

After all the questions have been asked, listen to your intuition. And ask yourself if you were in need of assisted living, where would you like to live? To learn more about finding the right assisted living facility for yourself or a loved one, contact A Caring Heart.

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