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Signs You Found the Right Assisted Living Community

happy seniors talking with peers at an assisted living community

You may have noticed your loved one can’t do all the things they used to do and may need some help around the house. When that happens, most families start to consider assisted living for their family member. What is assisted living? Assisted living is a type of residential living offered at a retirement community, where the staff  offers help with activities of daily living (ADLs) — bathing, grooming, dressing, managing medications, and more  — to help your loved one maintain as much independence as possible.

What to Consider When Choosing an Assisted Living Community

When deciding how to choose an assisted living community, here are 11 things to consider:

Location: While it might be tempting to look at out-of-town cations, it’s probably best to start looking close to your loved one’s current home or close to family. That way they’re able to tour the community and meet with the staff and residents.

Activities: Knowing they’ll be able to do what they love is one of the biggest reasons your family member may like the idea of assisted living. Check their community calendar to make sure their activities and cultural offerings match your loved one’s interests.

Size: How big is the community you’re considering? Size can affect the type and variety of assisted living services and amenities a community offers and the quality of care your loved one receives. It’s also important to ask about the staff-to-resident ratio.

Services: The typical assisted living community offers dining services, housekeeping, exercise and wellness programs, assistance with ADLs, and scheduled transportation for medical appointments and other outings. . Most also provide health care services such as a pharmacy/pharmacist, dietary support, and physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Culture: Get a feel for the community’s culture. Can you see your loved one living there? Does the feel of the community match your loved one’s personality? Some of the best assisted living communities focus on keeping residents engaged, social, and happy to ensure residents enjoy a high quality of life.

Accommodations: Does the community have residential accommodations of a size and layout that will fit your loved one’s needs and preferences? If your family member has a pet, will that pet be allowed at the community?

Details: When visiting a community, pay attention to cleanliness, curb appeal, and the layout and design of the community, including social areas, lounge spaces and comfortable furniture. Also look for safety features like grab bars, handrails, zero-threshold showers, wheelchair ramps, widened doors and elevators.

Staff: If possible, observe one-on-one interactions between staff and residents to assess staff compassion, friendliness, and patience. Be sure to also ask about staff accreditation, background and training.

Food: An important part of any retirement lifestyle is the food. When touring a community, try to incorporate a meal into the visit. It’s a great opportunity to check the menu, sample the food, and talk to residents about their daily routines and opinion of the community.

Cost: Because assisted living is typically paid for through personal resources, for some families assisted living cost can be a major factor in the decision-making process. Ask your loved one’s potential choice if they offer all-inclusive pricing, tiered pricing based on levels of care, a la carte pricing, or another model. Also be sure to ask about move-in fees and contract terms.

Future needs: Before making a decision, it’s important to ensure this community can meet your loved one’s needs today and in the future. Be sure to ask if they offer additional levels of care, such as memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Is the community licensed to provide these services? Are these services on-site?. This is a very important consideration, because having to move their loved one again in the future isn’t something most families want to go through again.

Start Your Loved One’s Search at Oaks Senior Living

As you explore your family member’s assisted living options, Oaks Senior Living can help with your loved one’s senior living search, including suggesting questions to ask. Or to learn more about our senior care services, contact us here.

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