Things to Consider in your Search for the Right Assisted Living Facility Sept. 17, 2014

Which Assisted Living is Right for Me?Searching for assisted living for your loved one can be difficult. After all, you want to ensure you find the best place for them. Some of the standard requirements is that the facility is clean, well-run and within your price range. However, you want to make sure you get a good feel for what each community is actually like, not just what the advertising says about it.

We have compiled the top elements to look for when assessing a senior assisted living facility. The decision of moving a loved one to assisted living relies solely with you and your loved one, so make sure to consider what specific factors are most important to you.

1.      Observe the level of cleanliness and follow your nose

Does the facility feel fresh and clean? Make sure to check areas past the furnishings, including corners, baseboards, and windows. Find out how often housekeeping is tended to in personal living spaces, and get complete information on types of maintenance provided, including response times.

In addition to looking for cleanliness, it’s useful to follow your nose to any odors as odd smells on the property may be indicators of a lack of sanitation or other problems. Odors concentrated to one area of the property could be an indicator of a single, recent incident, while odors throughout the property may indicate a bigger problem. If you have concerns, be sure to ask the manager.

2.      Visit during an activity

Try to schedule your visit when activities in the facility take place, and if possible, partake in the activities. A few things to pay attention to: Does the staff seem to enjoy the activities? Are the activities well attended by residents? Check into the community calendar of events; do they match your loved ones interests or hobbies? Do the events/activities vary in size, type and location? Make sure the activities are in sync with your loved ones best interests and personal hobbies.

3.      Eat a meal at the facility

The dining room experience is imperative to seniors. When making a visit to the community, make sure you discuss entrée choices, learn about dining hours, options and processes. Try out a meal at the property with your loved one. This is a good way to not only enjoy the food, but also a good method to meet some of the residents and learn more about the community.

4.      Pay close attention to staff attitude

The attitude and friendliness of the staff are large indicators of how the facility operates. Do the staff members listen and make eye contact with the residents? How many staff members are allotted per resident? Talk to management about their staff management system so you have a clear understanding of their care of residents.

5.      Get feedback from residents and families

Talking to the residents and their families is one of the best ways to get honest feedback about the assisted living community. Make sure to ask about problems they have experienced and how well they have been handled by the staff.

Most importantly, trust your intuition and gut instinct. Can you picture your loved one comfortably living in this facility? Do you feel at ease after the visit? Always follow your heart.