Assisted living is a group of services that provide long-term care to seniors and disabled persons. These services can include personal care, housing, and healthcare. Assisted living facilities can be independent communities, integrated with nursing homes, hospitals, independent housing complex, or part of retirement communities. A majority of the residents of assisted living facilities are seniors who need help with their routine activities such as bathing, laundry, and other errands. Also, there are assisted living facilities with specially trained staff for seniors who have a developmental disability or suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Depending on a person’s health requirements, it is necessary to carefully pick an assisted living facility that will help to live a comfortable life in the senior years. Apart from health requirements, there are other factors as well that need to be considered to find the best suitable assisted living facility. It is essential to find a place that will make the transition from home to assisted living easy. Here is a checklist that will help to find the perfect assisted living community.
- Affordability: Medicare and Medicaid barely pay for assisted living expenses. All expenses have to be paid out of pocket. This makes it essential to understand how much a family or the senior can afford. Although most assisted living facilities are not very expensive, the costs may change depending on the level of assistance required by the resident and types of services offered by the facility. Check what all the total costs will cover; ask whether there are any special charges for moving in, moving out, transport facility, medical services, and fees for miscellaneous services.
- Medical services: Some seniors may require frequent medical services. In some cases, only emergency medical services may be required. Check what kind of medical assistance is provided by the assisted living facility. Do they have in-house nurses and doctors, or they have a contract with a nearby hospital? How far is the nearby hospital? Are there any specialists employed by the facility? Or are any specialists invited to provide their services to the residents of the facility?
- Transportation services: Seniors who are looking for an independent living facility may want to take their cars along with them. Ask whether the assisted living facility offers chauffeur facility, or if they have shuttle services for residents. Also, check if there are any other transportation services offered for residents to occasionally go out to run errands, for appointments, or for personal or social commitments.
- Staff: Check the staff-to-resident ratio. Ask about the recruitment process, the average experience, and training of the staff. Ask if there are any background checks done during the hiring process and if there is any overnight duty staff. During guided tours, interact, and communicate with the general staff, apart from the marketing manager, to ascertain whether they are pleasant, helpful, approachable, and amiable.
- Safety: It is essential to know how the assisted living facility deals with emergencies. During guided tours, ask whether there are any contingency or emergency preparedness plan. Are the residents of the facility made familiar with the evacuation and emergency plans when they are first admitted to the facility? Check whether smoke detectors and fire sprinkler are installed throughout the facility.