You finally made the difficult decision to move your loved one to an assisted living facility. But how do you decide which one is right for them?
This list of questions to ask about assisted living can help you decide, though finding a facility is step one.
Finding A Facility
Start by making a facility checklist of residences to visit, likewise considering the proximity between you and your loved one. The following resources can help you identify assisted living facilities in your local area:
- State or local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
- Local yellow pages
- Word of mouth from other family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
- The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA)
- Internet resources, including Retirement Living, A Place for Mom, and SeniorHomes.com
After finding a facility, do some digging in regards to their reputation, along with calling the facility to schedule a personal tour if you remain interested.
Remember, the prospective residence is where your loved one will call home, so allow them to. These questions to ask about assisted living can also help navigate and resolve to a well-informed decision.
33 Questions to Ask When Visiting Assisted Living
Questions are divided into considerations regarding the facility itself, staff they employee, services provided, and payment obligations:
The Facility Itself
1. Inquire about state regulations and licensure requirements.
2. With facilities ranging in size from a single room to a large apartment, ask what types of living areas are available.
3. Are there special units providing care for unique conditions? I.e. Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis
4. Are there documented rules and regulations?
5. Are exits well-marked?
6. Are appropriate locks, safety features, and sprinkle systems installed?
7. Is there an outdoor space senior can enjoy?
8. Are pets allowed?
9. Is there a standard schedule for visiting hours?
10. What kind of experience and training does your staff possess? I.e. Are they trained to administer medications?
11. What is your staff-to-resident ratio? What about overnight?
12. Is a dietitian in-house to monitor meals and nutritional statuses?
13. Who helps ensure your loved one’s personal space will be cleaned and maintained?
14. Who coordinates care plans? How often do they occur?
15. Is there medical assistance accessible? If so, what types?
16. What types of leisurely activities are provided?
17. Are there volunteer and/or learning opportunities?
18. Are there transportation services available?
19. What about special services? I.e. a bank, café, salon
20. Are religious services offered?
21. Is there a required security deposit? If so, how much? Is it refundable?
22. What are the costs of available living areas?
23. What are billing and payment policies?
24. How are services billed?
25. What is the breakdown of monthly fees?
26. Are utilities included into billing?
27. Inquire about their contracts and ask for any sort of clarification.
28. Are there policies set into place for transfer and discharge coverage?
Moving to an Assisted Living Checklist
Before committing and moving to an assisted living, also consider the following:
29. Was the facility considered safe and clean?
30. Did the culture match your loved one’s interests and personality?
31. Can costs be covered over the long-term?
32. Do you fully understand the contract? Consider reviewing it with other family members, financial advisor, and lawyer.
33. Ultimately, and most importantly, does your love one approve?