Though not everyone finds themselves faced with making a decision for a loved one regarding assisted living, a large majority will have to deal with this issue at some point in their lives. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 735,000 people across the nation are in an assisted living facility. If you find yourself in the position of having to look for additional help for your loved one, then resources such as We Know A Place can provide you with the tools you need to select the best option. Use the checklist below to help you focus on a few key points to consider when touring assisted living options, and then utilize the free family services offered by We Know A Place to help you conduct further research on your top choices.
Staff Training and Education
When touring assisted living elder care facilities, be sure to ask about the credentials of the staff. Registered nurses can provide your loved one with a higher level of care than certified nursing assistants. Find out if the facility employs RNs and see how they are used in the home. Also check into the extended training and licensing of other members of the staff to find out if their qualifications are up to your standards.
Facility Cleanliness and Modernization
As you tour your options, be sure to take particular notice of the cleanliness of the rooms, bathrooms, bedding, floors, windows, food service items and even of the staff. Dirty uniforms, stained bedding and grimy windows can point to neglect that extends beyond just the facilities. Outdated furnishings, sub-par technology and older medical equipment may also indicate a poor level of care given to both the environment and the patients.
Many of those living in assisted living facilities struggle with dietary restrictions. If your loved one falls into this category, make sure you speak with an administrator about special meal options. Some facilities don’t offer substitutions when a resident can’t eat certain foods. This means your loved one may go without meals or deal with hunger after less than adequate food services. Make sure your family member’s special dietary concerns will be taken care of satisfactorily.
While some assisted living facilities provide laundry services for their residents, others leave this chore to family members. Regardless of which method you prefer, be sure to check with each home during your tour so you’ll know what arrangements need to be made. Many facilities will offer these services – sometimes at an additional cost or only once a week – so clarify before committing.
Many care homes will assist your loved one when it comes to administering daily doses of medications. Check during your tour to find out what their medication policies are and if they will also take care of obtaining prescription refills and calling the doctor with questions or concerns related to your loved one’s medications.
It’s also important to find out if the facilities you’re interested in will provide transportation for doctor’s appointments, offer salon services, provide social opportunities with movie nights or games and if they will take meals to your loved one if they would prefer not to eat in the dining room.