Five Factors to Consider When Inspecting Assisted Living Facilities
Identifying the assisted living facility that is just right for your loved one is definitely the most important decision that you can make after determining that the senior family member would be better off there than at home. You should never opt for any assisted living facility just on the basis of its website or other internet promotion, though getting the opinions of others on the Web is also important. Make sure that you personally visit each and every assisted living facility that you have made a shortlist of and carefully check out the quality of care that can be delivered to your loved one. Some important considerations:
A Fresh and Clean Environment
Perhaps the most important factor in selecting an assisted living facility is the cleanliness of the overall facility, the apartments, and rooms, the community areas. By taking a close look, you can find out whether regular cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep are done. Ask specifically to see the kitchen and the dining area and find out how often housekeeping services are provided to the residents’ personal living space. Get the details of services that are not included in the monthly payment and find out what they cost. If you encounter strong odors ask the management their causes, and decide whether the explanation provided is acceptable or not.
Evaluate Activity Participation
It is best if you can time your visit to coincide with any activity planned at the facility. Just by watching the proceedings you can find out if the residents are participating in the activity willingly and enjoy it. Ask for a calendar of events planned for the year to find out whether they match the interests of your loved one. Find out if there is a variation in the type of the activities and whether some of them include trips away from the facility. Find out the position taken by the community management regarding religious services.
Perhaps the single most important factor that will impact the quality of the residents’ stay in the assisted living facility is the attitude of the staff. When you talk to them they should be talking in a friendly manner making eye contact with you. Evaluate whether they are willing to listen to you and respond accordingly or just parroting their official spiel. Look at how the staff is interacting with the residents and especially look out for signs of impatience and rude behavior. Get the full details of their staffing pattern, and the number of personnel involved in the care delivery.
Outdoor Areas Quality and Access
While investigating the community facilities, be sure to ascertain that there are enough outdoor areas and the residents are allowed to access those areas to enjoy the sunny weather. The area should not only be clean but also safe and secure.
Quality of Meals
Remember that the experience of the dining room is as important to seniors as it is for the rest of us. While all assisted living facilities will claim that they serve healthy and tasty food, you need to find out the details of the meal planning, including dining hours and diet options. Ask to have a meal in the facility along with the residents and see whether they seem to be enjoying the experience. Interact with some of the residents to find out if they are having any problems with the quality and quantity of food being served to them.