Visiting Assisted Living Homes, Part 2

An important thing to keep in mind if you’re visiting assisted living facilities for a family member is that your likes and dislikes may be very different from those of your loved one. A good strategy is for you to tour all your best prospective homes, and then have your loved one tour one or two that you have chosen as the best ones.

When you tour the apartments themselves, some things to look for:

  • What kind of closet and storage space is available?
  • In the bathroom, is there a walk-in shower or tub?
  • Are there emergency cords and systems in place?
  • Is the kitchenette suitable for preparing meals if the need occurs?
  • Can the stove or burners be disabled if necessary?
  • How and where are medications administered?
  • If a pet is part of the family, are there doors to the outside available? Is pet care part of the assisted living services?

Another thing to keep in mind is that the entire Assisted Living home will become the resident’s home, because interaction with other residents and staff is part of the whole lifestyle. So, as you tour, ask yourself the following questions about the facility.

  • How big are the individual apartments? Smaller is often better, especially if mobility is an issue.
  • During the tour, pay attention to how the staff interacts with residents, and whether they call residents by name regularly.
  • If you are interested in the home, be sure to schedule another visit during the weekend or evening hours to see if the atmosphere is different when the management team is not onsite.
  • Take some time to chat with current residents and their family members if possible. Residents will usually give you their honest feedback about the home.

When you use this checklist to organize your visits, you will be able to compare your various options for an assisted living home.

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