Assisted Living – Guest Post
The process of finding an assisted living facility can be daunting, as there are a number of things to take into consideration when trying to compare and narrow down which assisted living homes are best. Additionally there are a lot of questions that need to be asked to ensure that your loved one is well taken care of in the assisted living home you choose. Therefore it is best to truly understand what you should be looking for in a great assisted living facility, so that you can be fully prepared to tackle the search head-on. Not only are there things you need to look for in the resident rooms and the facility, but there are also other things to review like amenities and staff. In an effort to make this decision easier, we have put together information to give you insight into the questions you should ask, and the things to look for in a great assisted living facility. This information appears both in graphical form and written. The graphic below provides you with something you can print out and take with you when touring facilities, or you can use it to describe facilities to your loved one. It is followed by a full explanation for those who prefer more information.
Examining an Assisted Living Home
Investigating the resident rooms is one of the most critical steps in the process of trying to find the right assisted living facility, as seniors will spend a good amount of time in their room, so it is essential that their room is warm and comforting. One of the key elements in an assisted living room that makes this happen is by having nice windows, which not only brighten up the room, but also cheer up residents as they can get fresh air and have a a view outside. Look for windows that push outward to open, as these are the easiest for a senior to open on their own. Windows that slide up or down, or from left to right, tend to cause a strain on seniors, making it frustrating to perform such a simple task. Additionally the room should have a comfortable bed, that is set up in a way so that seniors can easily get in and out of it. Bathrooms should also have certain attributes, like ADA accessible showers with seats, grab bars, and raised toilet seats. Additionally, the better facilities will include a thermostat for residents to control the temperature of their individual rooms. Other nice to haves include a TV, room for seating beyond just a bed, and a call button for immediate assistance.
When touring a room, make sure that it has ample space for walkers and wheelchairs. Bathrooms should be easy to move around in and all doorways should be wide enough for any walking aid. While your loved one may not need any help walking now, over the years this could become a need for them, so it’s best to plan ahead just in case.
The amenities of an assisted living home, and the overall quality of the entire facility are other factors which you should consider when conducting your search for the best option possible. Some of the most important amenities to review when looking for a great assisted living home include 24 hour supervision, recreational and spiritual activities, and 3 healthy meals a day as well as food between meals. Another popular amenity that many seniors enjoy is an enclosed outdoor garden or patio, this is especially useful if the senior has dementia, as they can still go outside, but will not be able to wander off. All assisted living facilities should also provide laundry and housekeeping services, help with dressing, toileting, and medicating.
In addition to the cost of the assisted living home, there are also a number of questions that you should consider asking so you can feel good about the facility you choose for your loved one. One of the most important questions to ask is if the facility is licensed by the state. This is essential if your loved one will need to use state funds like Medicaid to pay for their stay at an assisted living home. On top of that you should also make sure you understand all the terms in the residential agreement contract, specifically what needs to be done to get out of a contract.
One of the most trying aspects of putting your loved one in the hands of an assisted living home is giving over your trust to a staff of employees that you do not know too well. Because of this, take the time to sit down for a meal and watch how staff interacts with residents, especially those that need help eating. Watch the overall mood of residents and make sure that there aren’t any overwhelming odors not being attended to. Finally, ask the staff what the process is for complaints. Be sure that your loved one has someone to speak to if something is wrong. Also make sure that there is a process to be followed for any extreme complaints. Define with them what you view as an extreme complaint and make sure that their process includes calling yourself and other family members to help solve the problem.
Overall there are many more things that you should look for in an assisted living home, and more questions you might want to ask. If you want to see a complete run down of everything you need to know, then you can review the detailed infographic above that helps illustrate and explain The Ins and Outs of Assisted Living Homes.
About the Author: Ellen Geotz is a regular author for All Assisted Living Homes, a website dedicated to helping seniors and their loved ones find assisted living facilities for retirement living. Ellen grew up on the east coast and spent 10 years working in senior homes during her 20′s and 30′s before taking a break to raise her 3 children. Now that her children are in college, Ellen uses her knowledge of senior care to help her write about all of the latest industry news.