Are your parents facing the challenges of living alone? If you are considering assisted living as a solution, you may be learning about all the benefits they offer.
Although everyone’s situation can be different, community life can provide social interaction, a helping hand when needed and improve quality of life.
Making the decision about moving can bring great relief. But how do you choose the right assisted living?
Asking these questions and then comparing the answers may help:
Questions to ask about assisted living
Communities can be very similar or stronger in certain areas than others. It may be helpful to separate them into three broad categories when evaluating. The following are suggested questions to ask under each section:
- Quality of carea. What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
There will be different staffing numbers during a 24-hour period, due to activity levels. But you’ll want to feel confident that your parent’s needs will be addressed in a timely manner, no matter when assistance is required. Also, ask if there is a registered nurse (RN) at the community or on call.
b. What type of training does the staff receive?
It’s important to understand the education and experience of those who will be caring for your loved one. Ask about the training required and if the staff participates in continuing education.
If your loved one requires special attention, such as memory care, you’ll want to be assured that the staff’s training includes knowing how to effectively interact with those who have cognitive issues.
c. Will your loved one’s specific needs be considered?
Make sure the community offers the type of assistance needed by your loved one. Ask how they tailor a treatment plan for each individual. Look for a community that practices and provides person-centered care so that individual preferences are considered.
You will also want to ask about their policy if the needs of your loved one change and more care is required. Can they provide the additional services or what options might be available?
- Home choices offered
a. What types of homes are available?
Each assisted living community can offer different choices so don’t assume that they are all the same. The most common are private residences but they may be included in a large apartment style complex or be part of a smaller community.
Ask to see the different floor plans and take note of the size and layout. This move will likely require downsizing but keep in mind the number of daily activities and opportunities that will occur in the common areas of the community, including dining.
b. What is the cost and what services are included?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the total cost. Depending on the size of the home or other features, the prices will differ.
But you’ll also want to ask about what is included in the cost. There may be selections that you can choose as add-on services so ask about these fees. Also, inquire about their payment policies, deposits and due dates.
c. Is the home you would like available now?
Your loved one may have found their next home and be excited to confirm a move-in date but discover there isn’t a similar home available at present.
If a move needs to occur soon, ask about other options available and consider any compromises in size or location in the building that would need to be made. Or, if there is no need to rush, inquire whether they have a waitlist and the approximate time you may need to delay the move.
- Quality of overall community and amenities
a. What amenities are on-site?
You may be surprised to discover all that is included in an assisted living community. Among the many options, you might find a fitness center, art studio, swimming pool, classrooms, a theater or a library.
b.What activities are available to the residents?
You’ll likely discover that boredom will be impossible if you choose the right assisted living community. Ask to see their monthly activities calendar that lists all the possibilities for the residents to choose from.
This is a great way to have fun and meet new friends in a natural setting. You’ll also want to ask if scheduled transportation is provided for shopping, medical appointments or to any off-site social events.
c. Are there outdoor spaces to enjoy?
Depending on the climate where you live, it’s always a plus if the community offers the chance to spend time in the fresh air.
Look for gardens, gazebos, walking paths and patios with comfortable seating areas that encourage residents to spend a little time outdoors whenever possible.
d. What type of meals are offered?
As we grow older, our appetites may change but the need for good nutrition is more important than ever.
One of the biggest benefits of assisted living is that someone else takes care of the cooking so all your loved one will have to do is show up, order what sounds good and enjoy.
Always ask to see a copy of the menu to ensure there are lots of choices and food selections that your loved one would enjoy. Or better yet, have a meal at the community together.
Life at Tapestry Senior Living communities
When searching for the right assisted living community for your loved one, you’ll want to pay attention to the answered questions – but also by what you observe.
Take notice of how well the residents and staff interact and whether they seem happy and content. Ask yourself if the community’s philosophy of aging-well is apparent and supported in the services they offer.
You’ll also want to pay attention to your instincts. Sometimes you just know when a community will be the best fit for your loved one.
At Tapestry Senior Living communities, we provide not only assistance but the activities and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life. And our person-centered approach and services all play an important role in helping our residents remain engaged.
If your family is considering assisted living, we invite you to download our free guide and resource on how to decide between home and senior living, Should You Stay or Should You Go?
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.