It is not easy to decide that your senior parent requires more assistance than their home. Finding an assisted living facility that meets your needs is possible. What are some things to consider when looking for an assisted living facility?
- Proximity. Choose a home close to you if possible so that you can visit frequently and spontaneously. Your parent will be reassured that you are only a short drive away, which will ease the transition.
- Caregivers. Meet the caregivers at home each shift. While the state requires certification and training, you can find experienced caregivers who truly enjoy caring for the elderly. You can often tell by their expressions if they are happy or just doing the job. Ask how many residents are living in the home and how many caregivers they have per shift. You should look for an assisted living facility with a high ratio of residents to caregivers.
- Meals. Visit during mealtimes. It is important that the food you serve be healthy and tasty. As they age, the elderly tend to eat less. As we age, our taste buds become less sour, and our appetites decrease. Food must be tasty, fresh, and of high quality to ensure adequate nutrition. It is good to choose an assisted living facility with a nutritionist on-staff or consults with nutritionists when meal planning. Make sure that the home can accommodate dietary restrictions and offer substitutes.
- Activities. Activities should nourish the mind, body, and spirit and foster community. Ask for the monthly activity calendar. Are they interesting, entertaining, engaging, and varied? Senior citizens are often placed in assisted living homes because they fear for their safety. Your loved one should feel safe in an assisted living home. Are they all in the same area or their own rooms? Are they able to communicate with each other during meals and activities? Or are caregivers the only ones who speak?
- Amenities. A care home’s amenities can make life easier. However, care homes can be very different. Ask them what makes their home unique. Are they able to nurture the mind, body, and spirit? Are they able to offer holistic treatments? Are there any special programs? Are they able to make house calls?
- Cleanliness. Are the bathrooms clean and smelling fresh? Are common areas clean? Are the common areas clean and tidy? Residents have the right to refuse food, medication, dressing, or hygiene assistance. However, residents must be notified by their doctor, guardian, or family members to address any issues. Residents who appear to be untidy may indicate a problem with their care.
- Violations. There are regulatory agencies in every state that monitor violations at assisted living homes. For example, it may not be of concern to you that a care home fails to record a routine fire drill, but it should be of concern if multiple allegations of abuse, neglect, or safety concerns have been made.
- Cost. Care homes usually charge sliding fees based on how big the room is, whether the suite has a private bathroom, and what level of care the resident needs. Higher fees are charged for more care. Suites are the most costly, and the larger rooms cost more. Residents are responsible for personal items such as medications, Depends, other hygiene products, denture creams, and medicine. The monthly fee usually includes meals and snacks and assistance with daily activities such as washing, dressing, toileting, cleaning, laundry, and entertainment. To avoid surprises at the end, find out what is and isn’t included in your monthly fee. Don’t be afraid to ask about their fee-raising policy: Do they give notice? How often have they raised fees before? Are they planning on raising prices in six months?
When you visit care homes, make sure to have a list or checklist of questions. To ensure that you are fully informed, ensure that you have all the information necessary to decide. After you have done your research and narrowed down the list to the top 3 or 4, take your parent along to tour the homes. Your parent can choose the one that is right for them. It will make the transition easier by including your parent in the decision-making process. You both will feel confident that you have made the right choice.
For more assisted living communities, call us today at (301) 608-9087 to set up a time to visit and have all of your questions answered!