An ideal way for someone who has been injured or who has grown too old to take care of him or herself properly is to be in the right environment with people who can take care of them and make sure they are safe. For the majority of people, this means an assisted living facility. There are many of these facilities out there, however, and not all of them are the kinds of places your loved ones deserve, so you do have to know a bit about what to look for when choosing an assisted living facility.
What Does Your Loved One Need?
Everyone is different, which means that what one person might need another might not. You have to take this into consideration when choosing an assisted living facility. If your loved one is injured or ill and they need specialized care, then you have to find an assisted living facility that can provide the right kind of care.
Keep in mind your loved one’s personality and tastes. Someone who likes privacy will do much better in a facility that has private bedrooms available, for example. Since you want the person to be as comfortable and happy as possible, as well as safe, take the time to think about the following things:
- Does your loved one need physical therapy and can the facility provide it?
- Does the facility have the dietary options your loved one needs?
- Are there private rooms available?
- Is music allowed in rooms?
- Are residents allowed to walk unassisted through around the facility?
- Are there pleasant views?
- Will residents be able to sit outside if desired?
Visit the Facility
Before making any decisions, you have to visit the facility. A website or brochure does not provide the same information that you get from seeing the place in person. Ask for a tour and keep an eye out for a number of things:
Safety – First and foremost, you need to see that safety measures are in place for all residents of the assisted living facility. There should be ramps for wheelchairs available everywhere and if there is a second floor, there has to be an elevator. Any spots that may present a danger of causing falls needs warning notices and sharp objects, like knives and forks, have to preferably be plastic.
Cleanliness – The assisted living facility has to be clean. The floors should be freshly scrubbed so that no there is no fear of residents catching infections. Everything used in the kitchen has to be disinfected after each use and the bed linens have to be changed at least every other day. You should also take a look at the bathrooms to make sure they are also sanitary.
Staff Interactions – It’s always a good idea to speak to a number of different staff members in the assisted living facility. Don’t stick just to the supervisors, but talk to nurses and assistants to see if they are the kind of people you want taking care of your loved one. Pay attention to how they treat current residents so that you can get a good sense of what to expect.
Watch an Activity Session – Assisted living facilities provide many different kinds of activities for their residents, so it is always a good idea to stick around and watch one or two of them. You will get to see staff and resident interactions. This can be a very important step in determining if the facility is the right one for your loved one.
Outdoor – The assisted living facility you choose should have a pleasant outdoor area that the residents can enjoy. It should be clean and well-kept and be extremely safe.
Cost and Contracts
Cost is always a concern when it comes to assisted living facilities. We all have budgets we have to stick to, so it is very important to take into consideration what will be included in the monthly payments for a facility for your loved one. Many times there can be small fees, but they can add up and overpass your budget, so by asking about every expense the facility will charge for, you may be saving yourself from a surprise bill in the future.
When you receive a contract for the assisted living facility you’ve chosen, be sure to have someone with legal knowledge look through it to ascertain that it is standard and that there are no hidden fees that you may have trouble paying later. If there are any concerns with the contract, you should discuss them before signing anything with the assisted living facility.
What to Expect: Personal and Physical Care
Assisted living facilities have a number of different ways of making sure your loved one is as happy and healthy as possible.
Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is an integral part of making sure that your loved one stays healthy. If they have injuries or deterioration, this can make all the difference in how they spend their years at the facility.
Exercise – To prevent injuries and deterioration that can occur with old age, it is important for residents at an assisted living facility to have regular exercise. There have to be different levels depending on physical ability, and they have to be varied enough that the residents do not get bored with them.
Counseling – Some of the assisted living facilities offer counseling for loved ones who suffer from stress, anxiety or depression. This is very important, especially if they have prescription drugs they have to take regularly.
Updated: March 28, 2014