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10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Senior Assisted Living Facility

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Senior Assisted Living Facility

Are you looking to move into an assisted living facility but don’t know what to consider when looking? If so we are here to help you consider the most important things when it comes to finding the best-assisted living facility for your or your family. From seeing if the facility’s views align with your to paying attention to location, below you will find our top 10 things to consider when looking for your new home. 

1. Be Considerate of the Location

When it comes to choosing the best-assisted living facility the idea is to stay close to home and not have to move too far away from family and friends. But, you should also keep in mind that while being close to your loved ones is important, each facility is run differently due to laws that can vary from state to state.

An example of this is that there are some states that limit how much medical assistance the residence can offer. So if you or your loved one is someone that will need a lot of medical attention around the clock an assisted living facility may not be the right decision. 

If you still want to live in an assisted living facility but need a lot of medical care then you may want to look at facilities outside of the state. Chances are, you will be able to find a facility that will cater to your needs.

It’s also good to point out that assisted living facilities are based more on socialization over medical care. A senior living developer will model assisted living facilities to be more social-friendly over being medical friendly. If you’re unsure about what your state-specific medial attention laws are you can do a quick search here

2. Take a Look at the Services Provided

Most assisted living facilities will provide services such as dining halls and cafeterias, housekeeping, wellness and exercise programs, and medication management and support. Some facilities will even provide services that are tailored to specific health needs.

When looking at your new home you should take note of what services are offered. Is it everything you want in your new home or does it seem to be lacking what you really want such as an indoor pool?

Also, pay attention to the mediation and wellness management they offer. If you’re someone that needs to be reminded to take your medications or will need help administring it then these are important things that your new home must provide you. If it’s not clear there’s no harm in asking if the staff can help you with your medications down the road after move in.

3. Be Mindful of the Facility’s Size

Did you know that assisted living facilities can range from having only 4 beds to almost 500? This is important to consider when finding the perfect assisted living facility for you. Are you someone that loves to be a social butterfly in a large community or are you someone who only likes to be around a few people?

Overall, size matters in different ways to each individual person on the planet. The most important number you should be paying attention to when it comes to assisted living centers is the staff to resident ratio.

There are facilities with one caregiver for every person. Then there are places that have 1 caregiver per 5 to 6 people. If you’re someone who will require some checking up on then you should look to living in a facility that has a small ratio. 

You’ll also want to pay attention to the staff’s attitude when you’re visiting and checking out the facility. Do those working seem happy or do they seem unhappy, stressed out, and overworked?

If something doesn’t sit right with you about the staff or they seem unhappy then you should consider looking at other options. You don’t want to be in need and a disgruntled staff member walks in not helping you the way they should be. 

4. What Are the Facility’s Options with Transitions to higher Care?

We aren’t getting any younger and as we age health problems seem to pop up unexpectedly. We know it’s a hard thing to think about moving from being independent to a facility that provides resident care so it’s going to be a bit hard to think towards the future when you may need to move into a facility that can help you will all medical needs.

Even though it may be hard, thinking ahead will be worth it and you’ll thank yourself later. When looking at assisted living facilities you should be asking them what they do for end of life care or if you were to need more medical attention around the clock.

This is a great conversation to have because the facility will tell you in which ways they will assist you into another transition of your life or they will tell you what they won’t help with so you can make arrangements and plan accordingly. 

Some assisted living facilities are in a partnership or apart of larger retirement communities that support transitions into end of life care or even into a nursing home that can provide you with medical attention around the clock. 

Remember when asking about these services to inquire about the cost. These transitions don’t come for free so being prepared now will be better than being unprepared later. 

5. Cost is Important to Consider

Each assisted living facility will have its own price tag. Whether you can or can’t afford the price of your ideal facility is what makes or breaks your decision to move in.

When you go to pay for your assisted living you will most likely be paying it through your personal finances. If you qualify for Medicaid then you may have a smaller pool of options than those who aren’t on it since Medicaid doesn’t seem assisted living facilities as necessary.

When it comes to your facility taking Medicaid you will have to ask. Some assisted facilities accept it and others don’t.

With this said, it’s good to note that how you pay for facilities differs from one assisted living residence to another. You will have to pay an upfront cost, monthly rent, and a la carte services or tiered systems. 

After looking at a number of facilities and narrowing down your options to ones you can afford, you should look at all the costs. Will dinner be included or is this something you will have to pay extra for? Looking at all the hidden and upfront costs will help to ensure that you can afford the facility and can live comfortably. 

6. Observe the Culture of the Facility

The truth of the matter is that you won’t know what it’s like to live in an assisted living facility until you actually live there. Even though you won’t know what its exactly like until you move in, there is a way you can get a feel for what it’s like.

By visiting each assisted living facility you have on your list you will be able to get a feel for the cultures at each individual place and then can compare them after visiting them all. You should treat searching for an assisted living facility like looking for a new home.

If you’re looking for a space for a loved one this is of the utmost importance. You don’t want to put your loved one in any facility that you find on the top Google search. Make sure the facility has everything they will need and that they will be happy, just like when you buy a new home.

If you’re looking for yourself go ahead and talk with the staff and residents when you visit. See if those that currently live there like it or if they have reservations. While talking to the staff see if they seem overly happy or overly grumpy to get the best feel of the assisted facility’s culture.

Even go the extra mile to attend a meal at the residence. This will be a great way for you to see how others mingle and give you a really immersive experience of the culture you’ll be living in. 

7. Pay Attention to Loud Noises

No one likes to be disturbed by loud noises and chances are you won’t be too fond of it when you move into your assisted facility residence. When visiting your choice pay attention to the noises around you.

Are alarms going off non-stop? Does the talking around you seem to be too loud and chaotic indicating there is a high number of residence? 

By listening you can also get a good feel for how the facility operates. High-functioning facilities will be calmer and less crowded where ones that aren’t that well organized will seem a bit loud and crazy. If you’re someone who likes to feel calm then consider looking at a facility that has fewer people and is more organized. 

8. Pay Attention to Visiting Hours

When checking out your potential home you should ask if they have visiting hours. Some will be okay having visiting hours but others may find this to be too controlling.

This is a personal preference of course. If you’re someone who knows they won’t have visitors after a specific time then visiting hours may not be important to you. If you’re someone who always has an open door and expects people to drop in at all hours then visiting hours may be a bit too constricting for you. 

Most assisted living facilities that have their own homes or apartments on the premises don’t have visiting hours. If you want to live in a facility that is set up like an apartment that can only be accessed through main doors then they may have visiting hours so people aren’t always sitting at the front desk. 

9. Check Out the Surrounding Neighborhood

You don’t want to move from a place where you feel safe to an area that makes you feel anxious and unsafe at any time of the day. Assisted living facilities can be located in many areas, so it’s important to choose one that is safe for you.

When researching your facilities you should be looking to see what the surrounding town or city is like. Check out the crime rate and look at some news articles to see if there has been an increase in crime recently. If the crime rates or activity unsettle you then it’s a good idea to look at other facilities in better neighborhoods. 

10. Do Your Values Align with Those of the Facility?

This is an important thing to consider when finding the best assisted living facility that’s perfect for you. You don’t want to move somewhere that doesn’t align with your values, this means you will be unhappy and not like the culture.

Things to consider when looking at your potential facility is does their philosophy of care align with yours? Does their end of life care also align with your views? You will want to choose a place that acts in a manner that’s consistent with your preferences. 

Now You Know 10 Things to Consider when Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

We have given you a list of the top 10 things to consider when choosing an assisted living facility for yourself or your loved one. You will want to choose a place that will provide you with the services you need, aligns with your views, and will help you at any stage of your life. For more news and information be sure to check out the rest of our website.

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