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Five Things to Consider When Choosing An Assisted Living Facility

Date : May 15,2013
By : Kandace Heller

As the American population ages, many desire to maintain a degree of independence, but they may also require monitoring and care that their families are not able to provide in a home setting. Many families consider placing their loved one in an assisted living facility, or an Alzheimer’s care facility, but deciding to do so can be a difficult decision because of concerns about costs, safety and quality of life for the patient. When choosing an assisted living facility, there are five main things to consider that will make this challenging process a little smoother.

What is the condition of the facility?

Does the facility appear to be clean and well taken care of? Do you smell any unpleasant odors? When visiting a long term care facility, you should insist on seeing more than just common areas and model rooms because you need to make sure the entire building is being maintained at a standard that meets your approval. Facilities that are dirty and in disrepair may be a red flag and an indicator that the residents are not being well cared for either.

Do the residents appear to be well cared for?

It is very important to observe the general mood and demeanor of the residents. Are they clean and are they appropriately groomed and dressed? If they seem to be happy and in good spirits, this probably means that they are in a safe and pleasant environment. You should also ask to speak with actual residents to get personal accounts of what living there is like.

What is the staff like?

When speaking with staff members, are you satisfied with how your questions are being answered? Are staff members pleasant and accommodating, or do they seem to be rushed and reluctant to give detailed information? How do they interact with residents, and more importantly, how do residents seem to respond to them? Does the staff include people able to respond in the case of medical emergencies?

What is daily life like?

Are the meals provided healthy, nutritious and appetizing? Are there activities for residents to do and opportunities for social interaction? How much are families able to visit and be involved in the daily life of residents? How often are they able to venture outside of the facility? These are all questions that will give you a good idea of what it is like to live there on a day to day basis.

5. How much does it cost to live there?

Expense is a major consideration when choosing an assisted living facility. Can you afford the monthly costs? How do they handle insurance and do they accept the type of coverage you have? Loving the facility will not matter if you cannot afford to pay for it.

As you review various assisted living facilities, make sure to keep these questions in mind. If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive, then you may want to reevaluate the facility you choose.