Selecting An Assisted Living Facility: What You Need To Know


Ted Silverstein

With so many assisted living options available for your loved one, figuring out how to find the best facility can take time. To make your process easier you should be prepared with your questions ahead of time, focusing on the following criteria. 
  1. Cleanliness and details
    The assisted living facility you choose will be your senior loved one’s new home so pay attention to details as they will reveal how their home will be maintained as well as how it may enrich your their physical and mental well-being.
  2. Caregivers and staff
    If you can, observe one-on-one interactions between staff and residents to assess compassion, friendliness, and patience. Be sure to also ask about accreditation, background and training.
  3. Culture, activities and amenities
    Choosing the right assisted living facility depends on your senior loved one’s hobbies and personality, as well as how the community can support and engage them. Seniors who are intellectually engaged generally feel happier and experience lower rates of stress and cognitive decline, according to the National Institute on Aging.

    Another valuable element of the facility culture is the people. The other residents will become your loved one’s friends and daily companions. The best assisted living facilities promote quality of life and socialization so try to tour during a group activity to observe how residents interact with each other.

    When searching for your loved one’s new home, evaluate the services and amenities your family member would enjoy such as the fitness center, chapel, swimming pool, garden, game room or bar.

  4. Dining
    Incorporating a meal into your tour can provide an opportunity to see available cafeteria options, in addition to the communal benefit. During conversations with other residents, ask questions about their daily routines and honest opinions on the community. In some communities, a volunteer resident ambassador may accompany staff on tours.
  5. Accommodations
    Would your loved one enjoy the company of a roommate or someone who prefers privacy? It’s common for communities to offer a variety of room sizes and floor plans so take some time asking questions that give you an idea of what accommodations are available.
  6. Costs
    For some families, cost is a major factor in the decision-making process. Does the community you’re considering uses all-inclusive pricing, tiered pricing based on levels of care, a la carte pricing, or another model? Additionally, ask about move-in fees and contract terms.
  7. Short-term and long-term care needs
    Verify the staff has experience managing any health condition your senior loved one may have. Can the community adapt if your loved one’s needs change? Finally, consider what will happen if your senior loved one needs more care than they do now. Ask about the facility’s licenses, as well as the move-out process and any associated fees.

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