Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities offer help with daily activities that family and friends might be unable to provide. They are also typically staffed 24/7, allowing families to spot problems early.

However, your loved one may be apprehensive about moving into an assisted living facility. Fortunately, many facilities offer month-to-month lease arrangements, enabling your loved one to experience life there on a trial basis.

Do Your Research

If you’re in the process of finding an assisted living facility for your loved one, it’s crucial to do your research. Much information is available online, but not all is accurate or true.

Read reviews, visit the facilities you’re considering, and ask many questions. This will help you avoid making a mistake that could lead to regret.

For example, you should consider staff-to-resident ratios and whether they are on a regular schedule. It’s also important to carefully review the contract and any additional fees. If your loved one can still participate in decision-making, ensure they’re involved. This will ensure that they feel comfortable and happy in their new home.

Schedule a Visit

Whether hunting for senior living or visiting a friend or family member in an assisted living home, the right approach can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to help your visit go smoothly:

Consider bringing small items that remind your loved one of your home, like a favorite piece of art or photos. It’s also a good idea to ask about social activities your loved one enjoys and try to attend with them to feel part of the community.

It’s best to schedule your visit when the resident has their highest energy level, such as in the morning or after a meal. Trying to keep their spirits high will make for a more enjoyable and memorable experience for both of you. Most retirement communities, like offer tours regularly of their grounds, facilities and rooms.

Ask Questions

You will have lots of questions, and you will likely want to examine various facilities. It’s essential to ask about staffing, policies, and more. You will also want to ask about the level of care available at the facility.

For instance, you’ll want to determine how many caregivers are on the staff and their qualifications. You’ll want to know the emergency procedures, such as what happens if someone has a medical emergency or falls.

You’ll also want to examine the contract and determine the fees involved. Take the contract home to review carefully or have an elder law attorney look it over. You will also want to find out about the activities and dining options.

Ask for References

When you’re selecting an assisted living facility, try not to put too much emphasis on superficial things like gourmet meals or pristine grounds. The most crucial factor is whether the place feels friendly and welcoming to your loved one.

Make sure you ask about staff training, policies, and background checks. You can also ask how well your loved one gets along with other residents and how active the community is. Positive relationships with other seniors can help your loved one avoid loneliness and stay healthy by participating in enriching activities.

Determining if the community offers month-to-month leases instead of long-term contracts can also be a good idea. This can give your loved one a trial period before making a permanent decision.

Listen to Your Gut

While following a structured and systematic search process is essential, trusting your gut is equally important. After all, that’s where your best intuition comes from.

For example, if your loved one is complaining about the food or being bored, listen to them. These concerns are legitimate and should be taken seriously.

Additionally, if your loved ones often visit relatives from far away, consider whether the facility is easily accessible. A facility located on the outskirts of town may be challenging to get to and make it harder for them to visit often. This is something to keep in mind when touring facilities. Keep a journal of your gut responses so you can start to recognize when and why they are triggered.