There are plenty of things to consider when browsing ‘assisted care living facilities near me’ on your internet search. However, it can be hard since it’s a long-term commitment with many different aspects, challenges, and concerns.
Suppose you or your senior loved one cannot live alone anymore. In that case, it might be time to look into assisted living options that can fulfill your unique needs. Here are the top 10 questions to ask to know if a community will meet your requirements.
1.) What kind of training did your team members receive?
You want what’s best for yourself or your loved one, so you should know what kind of training the staff received. For example, a key part of successful assisted care living facilities near me is well-educated and certified staff members.
Inquire about company compliance standards as well as whole-person care. Pay close attention to what the team says regarding their evaluations, philosophy, and orientation procedures.
2.) Do you have on-site staff 24/7?
Usually, in assisted living, separate teams work the day and night shifts to take care of the residents 24/7. But, you can dig even deeper and ask the specific personnel working 24/7. For example, do they handle bathing care, dressing, nursing care, dressing, etc.?
Inquire about which staff are on-site and which are available on call (an important distinction). Also, know the process you or your loved one should follow to get care if needed.
3.) What kind of welcoming do new residents receive?
The initial days and weeks in the community are important for forming lasting happiness. Ask the staff what you should expect and what measures are put in place to help new residents adjust.
Be sure that it’s in the community culture for the staff to get to know new residents and make them feel comfortable. Then, get into the specifics of how this process goes. Do they hand new residents questionnaires to fill out? Will they spend enough time with new residents during the initial few weeks?
4.) What kind of meal services are provided?
The ideal assisted living community will have a variety of healthy dining options. Ask how meals are planned, the available meal options, and what dining styles are presented (family-style dining, buffet, or restaurant).
5.) What stuff (activities) is there to do?
A popular precedent that assisted care living facilities near me follow is creating a monthly activities calendar to encourage participation in various activities. First, you’ll want to know what the popular activities are. However, a diverse array of activities is a good sign because it will be more likely that something fun might catch your eye.
It’s also a bonus if the staff are willing to consult with the residents about adding or adjusting future activity programs.
Finally, ensure that there is a balance between offering residents new and fresh activities while also allowing opportunities for growth from the existing activities. A good balance of activities would include ones that are mentally, physically, socially, and even spiritually engaging.
6.) How many residents are there in your community?
Besides the number of staff a community has, how many residents live there is also a relevant consideration. One red flag to watch out for in assisted care living facilities near me is too many residents and too little staff.
7.) What influence do residents have over community decisions?
This question is important because it shows how committed the community is to its residents’ future growth and happiness. It might feel uncomfortable, but ask how much influence residents have over their meal preparation, activities, care plans, etc. Also, ask if there is a Resident council. How about a Town Hall that gets everyone (staff, residents, family members) involved in the community’s future?
Essentially, residents should have a say over each aspect of their lives in the community.
8.) How do you create a sense of community?
What kind of interaction does the staff have with residents? How do they get to know each other? What kind of personalized or group attention do residents receive?
There should be formal and informal avenues for creating a strong sense of community.
9.) What is your policy for families?
The next thing to consider is family. The ideal community will allow visitation, family member volunteers, and even participation in social events. Family members should also be allowed to discuss matters involving their loved ones. Another thing to consider is whether the children have any say in their parent’s care. When visiting the best assisted care living facilities near me, these are great questions to ask.
COVID-19 may have affected visitation policies in many communities. However, it’s still an important aspect to consider for the future. During the pandemic, you can ask what kind of visitations they allow and what safety protocols are put in place to protect everyone, including visitors and staff.
10.) How do you keep track of residents’ happiness?
How a community keeps track of residents’ happiness is a great indicator of its success. For example, plenty of communities provide surveys or have small group chats about residents’ satisfaction to glean information about the happiness of the overall community. It would be helpful if you could see a sample survey.
Also, talk to the current residents to find out how much they enjoy their living experience.
When visiting an assisted living facility, you may understandably be excited or nervous, which might make you forget to ask important questions. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused during the tour:
- Come at least ten minutes early. That way, you can just passively check out the place without solicitations.
- Bring a family member along with you for some added perspective.
- Chat with other residents throughout your tour.
Choosing the right assisted living community can feel like too big of a hill to climb at times. Don’t lose heart. These questions should serve as a useful roadmap during your tours and visits.