Comparing Assisted Living Facilities
What to Consider When Comparing Assisted Living Facilities
So you’ve done your due diligence and researched all the different types of senior living facilities out there. You know which kind of senior living facility is best for you, but you may be feeling torn about which particular facility to choose…so now what? Comparing Assisted Living Facilities
Choosing the facility that is just right for you is essential, so before you make any final decisions, make sure you know what to consider when comparing assisted-living facilities.
Your Essential Checklist
Here are five factors to consider when comparing assisted-living facilities as outlined by Argentum:
- Do you like the location and overall appearance of the facility? Is it close by so family and friends can stop in for a visit? (Be sure to check visitation policies!)
- Does it have that ‘homey’ feeling? We know nothing can quite replace living in your own home, but can you picture yourself there?
- Do residents seem comfortable? Are they socializing with each other? If you can, talk to a few residents about their experience.
- Is the staff friendly? Did they greet you when you arrived? Do they smile as you pass by? Do they act professionally (both to you and to other staff members)?
- Is the facility well-designed? Does it accommodate walkers and wheelchairs? Are there elevators and/or stairways with handrails? Is there plenty of lighting (both artificial and natural)? Is the floor plan easy to follow so you won’t get lost easily?
- Does the cost seem reasonable? Could Medicare, Medicaid or any other programs help cover the cost? Be sure you know the facility’s refund and transfer policies.
- Does the facility complete a residency agreement? This outlines the personal care, services, fees and other move-in/move-out provisions.|
- Health Care:
- Is assistance with activities of daily living available 24 hours a day? This includes help with mobility, dressing, eating, grooming, bathing, toileting and hygiene.
- Is self-administered medication allowed? Are there specific policies regulating the storage of medication?
- Does a staff member organize home healthcare visits from a nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, etc.?
- What is the facility’s procedure should a resident experience a medical emergency? Be sure to ask for details!
- What personal care services are available? Ask for a complete list.
- Are three meals a day, seven days a week provided? Do menus include a variety of nutritional food? Are special dietary restrictions considered? Are there set mealtimes?
- Are housekeeping services provided?
- Is transportation to doctor appointments, stores, hairdressers, or any other activity provided?
- Social Events:
- Are there daily, organized activities? Look for a daily schedule posted around the facility; even check for reading materials! Do residents typically participate in these or other activities taking place outside the facility?
- Can family members attend or volunteer at these social events?
- Are pets allowed in the facility and who responsible for their care? Some facilities have their own pets.
Some other ideas: check that the facility conducts criminal background checks on all staff members and if they’re trained on elder abuse and neglect. It’s a sad reality that this type of abuse does happen, so make sure you’re putting the care of a loved one into trustworthy hands.
It’s also a good idea to travel to facilities with a family member or friend to get a second opinion, but don’t let their thoughts completely sway yours. After all, you’re the one who will live there, and your comfort at an assisted-living facility should be your and your loved one’s top priority.
Author: Meghan Orner
About the Author
As Senior.com Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well. Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor. Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver. Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor. She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.View All Articles