When searching for an assisted living facility, there are some important things to consider, and facts to uncover, about the facility. Assisted living facilities vary greatly, so be sure to go over the following nine tips before you make a decision.
- Decide What Things are Most Important to You and Your Loved One
When choosing an assisted living facility, keep in mind what gives your loved one meaning and purpose in their life. For optimal physical and mental health, it’s important that your ageing parent or loved one is able to continue to pursue the activities that keep them hopeful and optimistic about the future.
- Consider Both Current and Future Needs
Certain conditions that affect the elderly have progressive symptoms. For instance, your loved one may not need help in the bathroom now, but if they have increasing mobility issues they will need more help getting around in the future. If you don’t consider future needs along with current needs, you may wind up having to move them to a different facility later on, which could cause unnecessary disruption in their lives.
- Ensure the Facility is Financially Sound
Behind the scenes, assisted living facilities are run like a business. They have fiscal responsibilities, budgets, and expenses just like any other business. And, if the facility is not financially sound, they run the risk of not being able to provide the top quality level of care you’ve come to expect.
- Confirm Correct Licensing for Your State
Assisted living facilities must maintain up to date licensing under federal and state regulations. You can easily confirm that the facility is correctly licensed by searching online. It’s also a good idea to check the facility’s record with the Better Business Bureau to find out about any complaints that have been filed, or ongoing disputes.
- Check References and Ask For Recommendations
Most established assisted living facilities will provide a list of references from past caregivers, as well as a few from existing residents. If your facility hasn’t already provided them, ask if you can have a list of references or recommendations. This will help you to hear firsthand what it’s like to use that assisted living facility.
- Ask About a Waiting List
The better an assisted living facility is, the more likely that it will have a waiting list. Once you visit the facility and decide to put it on your shortlist, ask to have your name added to the waiting list right away. If you decide to choose a different facility later on, you can always have your name removed.
- Make Several Visits Before Finalizing Plans
Your visits should include one unannounced visit, preferably when you first express interest, one daytime visit, and one nighttime visit. This will give you a comprehensive idea of what it’s like to visit and live there.
- Speak With the Residents
The best source for accurate reports about living in the facility is the existing residents. While formal interviews with residents probably won’t be possible, you can strike up casual conversations with residents to determine their level of satisfaction with the facility.
- Have a Lawyer Review Paperwork Before You Sign
Assisted living facilities vary greatly with how different circumstances are handled, along with resident and family member requirements. Sit down with an elder law lawyer and go over all the paperwork before you sign, so you understand exactly what the terms are.
Your success with an assisted living facility depends in part on how well you do your research ahead of time. These nine tips should help you cover everything you need to know before you make your final decision.
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