Finding an assisted living community to meet the needs of your aging loved one requires research, legwork, and lots of discussion. It’s not a choice you can make sight unseen. You’ll want to tour potential communities before you and your loved one make a decision.
1. Discuss your loved one’s preferences to narrow down your choices
Would your loved one thrive in a more luxurious community? Or would they be more comfortable in a laidback environment? What types of activities do they enjoy and want to stay involved in?
Each assisted living community has its own unique personality, and you will want to find one where your loved one will feel at home.
2. Investigate the staff-to-resident ratio
Does the staff seem stressed and overworked? Or are they smiling and pleasant? Does the community appear to have enough staff members to care for the residents?
These are all important observations to make.
3. Take a formal tour
The formal tour will introduce you to all the services and amenities of the community. Talk to staff members to get a good feel of the environment. Are staff members personable and friendly? While touring, be sure to pay attention other residents. Do people look happy and engaged? Are residents socializing with each other and engaged in programs or activities? Do you see evidence of a robust program for social, fitness, lifelong learning, entertainment and other activities, such as a calendar of events or notices around the community?
4. Share a meal in the community
Some communities may not allow visitors for meals in the dining room due to Covid restrictions. But if the community you are visiting does allow guests in the dining room, take adavantage of the opportunity. Assess the quality and nutritional value of the food in the community by eating a meal in the dining room with residents. Pay attention to how the residents and staff act.
Are they friendly and welcoming? Do people seem to be enjoying socializing over their meal? Will your loved one easily make friends here?
5. Chat with the residents
Chances are the residents in an assisted living community will be happy to have company and more than willing to chat. AARP recommends the following questions:
How long have you lived here?
Do you like living here?
What do you like to do during the day?
Is the staff attentive without being intrusive?
Are caregivers friendly?
6. Ask about day trips and transportation
Ask the staff about what services and enrichment opportunities are located in the local area from shopping to cultural arts. What sort of transportation does the community offer to take advantage of these? Does the community schedule fun day trips for residents?
7. Explore the physical details
The physical details can tell you a lot about a community. Is it warm and welcoming? Is it clean and well-kept? Or are walls, doors, and floors in disrepair? Look for wide corridors, light colors, and well-lighted hallways, which can help reduce the risk of falls.
If you are ready to start the search for a forever for your loved one, tour several communities, take notes, and ask questions. Assisted Living is a great choice that can provide outstanding care and valuable peace of mind. Do you want to find out more about what assisted living is really like? You can get a bird’s-eye view from the safety and comfort of home by scheduling a tour today: just click here to get started.