If your health or that of a loved one has declined to a point where independent living is no longer an option, an assisted living facility may be something to consider, provided there is no need for round-the-clock care and observation. Choosing one can seem like a daunting task, and there are many important considerations. Demand a clean property, friendly staff and good, nutritious meals before deciding on a location.
Spend a significant amount of time with current residents to get a feel for the experience. Pepper management with probing questions concerning safety procedures and other aspects of the facility to become comfortable with the home. List out what factors are most important to you and you loved one to paint a picture of the ideal home in your mind. Get as many facts as possible to make an educated decision about yours or your loved one’s future.
Listen to Your Nose
Noting offensive odors upon entering an assisted living facility serves as a glaring red flag. What could possibly be creating these smells? Smelling strange odors in a particular area is usually indicative of a recent, isolated incident. If however you notice a strong, offensive odor through the facility you might be dealing with a cleanliness issue. Check with the manager to see what the problem might be. Considering that you or your loved one will potentially be living in the facility settle for nothing but a clean, lively and well-kept facility before signing any contracts.
Demand a Friendly Staff
Observe how staff members interact with residents. Some workers just want to collect a paycheck while others deeply care about their customers. Note if staff members make consistent eye contact with residents and listen intently to their needs. Observe how many staff members are involved in resident care to ensure that adequate attention is doled out to individuals. Understand the goals of the facility by meeting and chatting with management. Gain a level of comfort with the staff of the facility to make an informed, confident decision.
Choose Clean Facilities
Look around to observe the level of cleanliness in the assisted living facility. If the building appears to be clean and fresh you can cross a critical item off of your checklist. Check windows, baseboards and corners for debris, dust or cobwebs. Look past the furnishings to see how fastidiously the staff cleans the grounds. Inquire into how frequently housekeeping services are provided for your room. Ask for full maintenance details and response times to see if the facility’s level of service matches your needs. Check into laundry procedures and ask about any additional costs and specific services.
Chow Down at the Facility
Since the dining room experience is important to most residents eat a meal on the grounds to see if the fare matches your tastes. Inquire about procedures, dining hours and other options such as entrée choices. Unless you thoroughly enjoy your meal at the property consider selecting another facility. You can meet residents, get a feel for the level of service and sample the cuisine by simply having a meal at the property. Also ask about the procedure if an individual is unable to make it to the dining hall for a meal.
One element of successful senior care planning is thinking ahead and not waiting until crisis strikes. Start looking at facilities as soon as you think this may be the road you or your loved one will travel. The good ones may have waiting lists.