It’s likely that no one knows your parents better than you. You know their wants and needs. You know their medical and personal background. So when it comes to choosing the right Assisted Living community, you are the best person to help them make a decision. But with so many communities out there, how do you determine which one is the right fit for your senior parent?
In this blog, we’ll review some of the things you’ll want to learn about an Assisted Living community before determining whether or not it’s the right fit for your parent.
Step 1: Do your research.
Before you even visit the community, you’ll want to do some research. Assisted Living communities are not regulated the same way as nursing homes, which must meet strict national standards. Instead, Assisted Living communities are state regulated, and each state has it’s own laws. Some states provide easy-to-access online databases that include information like customer feedback and inspection results.
Some online databases assign overall star ratings to Assisted Living communities on a 5-star scale. There are many factors that play into these star ratings, and while these factors are important on their own, remember that the algorithm that determines star quality can sometimes be inaccurate. The rating is less significant than the professional staff and overall cleanliness of a community, so be sure to look deeper than the star rating.
Take time to research the location of the Assisted Living community. Is the community in a convenient place for your parent, yourself, and your family? Will it be easy for you and family members to visit often? Is it located near places that your parent likes to spend time, such as coffee shops, shopping malls, or the local library?
Look for any important information on the Assisted Living community’s website. See if they have a list of health services provided to residents, and any information about amenities, dining, or activities.
Step 2: Visit Several Communities
Each Assisted Living community has its own personality, so be sure to plan on visiting several communities. While planning each visit, take special notice of how the community’s staff handles your call. Can they answer your questions easily and clearly? Are they friendly and helpful?
Plan your visit during daily activities and mealtimes to get an accurate feel for what daily living is like. Ask your counselor or guide if you and your parent may have lunch in the dining room along with residents. Not only will you get a sampling of the community’s dining service and quality, but you’ll also have a chance to speak with current residents about their experience at the community. Ask how they spend their time on and off campus, and if they’re satisfied with services and amenities at the community.
Step 3: Pay Special Attention
During your visit, there will be a few particular things to pay special attention to. First, observe how staff members interact with residents, guests, and other staff members. Do they offer you warm welcomes? Do they seem friendly, approachable and personable?
Second, your counselor or guide should be clear about all fees, provisions, refunds and transfer policies. The more transparent the community is, the better. Ask for consumer disclosure information, and a list of available care and support services.
Third, take notice of the physical environment. Are rooms well lit and nicely furnished? Can you easily spot emergency exits? Is everything clean and well maintained?
Step 4: Review with Advisors
If you work with a personal financial advisor, speak with your advisor about the costs of each community. Ask about any tax benefits that you or your parent may be eligible for as well. A financial advisor may be able to offer professional insight into the financial benefits of each community that you may not be able to see on the surface.
Step 5: Make a decision
Keep a list of several Assisted Living communities that you feel will be an excellent match for your parent. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is for your parent to be comfortable in their new home, and therefore your parent’s choice should hold the most weight.
For more information on how to choose the right Assisted Living community for your parent, or to see if Fair Haven could be a great fit for your parent, call us today at 205-956-4150.