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Questions to Ask when searching for Assisted Living
Posted .February 24, 2016

Every adult child who is serving as their parent’s care giver thinks and worries about a million different things when it comes to finding the right assisted living facility for their loved ones. Price, location, facilities, reviews, staff and living arrangements are all things that have to be carefully considered.

If you’re in the beginning stages of finding a nursing home or assisted living facility for your aging parent, take a few of these things into consideration.

Staff-To-Resident Ratio- It is important to consider how much individual, personalized time your parent needs or wants in an assisted living facility. If they are very independent, mobile, and without any major cognitive issues, a facility with a low staff to resident ratio may be suitable. However, if they need constant care, help and supervision, a much smaller ratio may be better for their needs. 

Staff Qualifications- The people working in the place where your parent will live are going to become a large part of your parent’s life. These are the people who will provide support, a listening ear, a helping hand, a laugh, smile or shoulder to cry on for your parent when you can’t be there. Do some digging to make sure these people are qualified in their particular field. Ask about the number of staff on at all times, ask about overnight staff, their experiences and qualifications. Find out as much as you can about the people who are running the establishment. A simple, affordable living space with an all-star team on board is always much better than a fancy, expensive place with a grumpy and incompetent team.

Price- Ask about the billing and payment policies, what is included in the quoted price, and if there are additional services available to your parent for an extra cost. Make sure you understand what is expected of you financially, and that you understand what you’re getting for what you pay.

When You Take A Tour- If you have the opportunity to take a tour of the assisted living facility that your parent will be moving into, pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the public areas. Pay attention to the smells around you, look into corners and small spaces to inspect for dust and debris. Ask questions about housekeeping and how often both the private and public living spaces are cleaned. If possible, visit during a planned activity to get an idea on how the staff conducts these activities, and observe the amount of patient participation. Eat a meal while you’re there to get an idea of the food they serve, and pay close attention to the attitude, body language and overall friendliness of the staff.  Keep an eye out for security issues, such as unlocked doors, uneven pavement or anything else that could cause residents harm.

Every community is unique, and finding the one that fits your loved one the best can feel like quite a task. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Get recommendations from friends and family, talk to residents when you visit the home, and get professional support. By doing and asking some of the things listed above, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect place for the ones you love the most.

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