How to Choose the Right Assisted Living Community
We’ll walk you through 7 things you should consider before choosing an assisted living community. Before you get started, we recommend researching several different communities in your target area and calling to schedule a visit at each one. While you’re visiting, keep these things in mind:
- Check out the neighborhood
The size of the surrounding community may determine certain amenities, like things your loved one would enjoy within walking distance or in a short travel. Churches, Senior centers, shopping, salons and other businesses and institutions within the area could be more accessible in a larger area, though smaller communities may also offer just the lifestyle needed.
- Scope out the environment
While you are visiting different places, take a look at the outside of the building and grounds. Is the lawn/landscape well maintained? Is the inside well-lit and inviting? Are there places to enjoy the outdoors? Does the community have features that are consistent with a home or is it more clinical looking? Environment is very important when considering the comfort of your loved one!
- Location, location, location!
Is the community near a hospital or your parent’s primary care provider? Is it in a residential or urban area? Is it in a place that is convenient for you and friends and family members to visit? Make sure you choose a place that will be easy for you to access as well as people who want to visit.
- Safe and sound
Ask whether the community allows full access for loved ones to check on residents, if there is staff on duty 24/7, whether the community provides emergency pendants, and if there are licensed nurses on staff.
- Day-to-day living
Think about all the things your parent or loved one needs to live day-to-day. Ask about meals, laundry, nursing and physician services, transportation services, activities for seniors and any other concerns you or your parent/loved one might have. What does this community offer that would improve your loved one’s quality of life? How does this community accommodate dietary, health or religious preferences?
- Observation is key!
When you visit each community, take a look around at what the workers are doing. How does the staff interact with residents? Do they know the residents by name? Are they spending time with the residents or moving along doing their work?
- Licensing and Accreditation
It’s also important to take a good look at who is working in these communities. What is the ratio of staff members to residents? Is the community licensed by the Ohio Department of Health? Ask to see their latest State Survey results. You can also check them out at the Ohio Department on Aging website at ltcohio.org.
At the end of the day, you should trust your gut. Observing the environment and staff will help you hone in on some of the nuances of the places you’re visiting. Ask the questions that matter most to you and your loved one to help determine the best fit.
Whether you are looking for Independent Living, Assistant Living, Skilled Nursing or end of life Hospice Care, Generations can help you find a community that best fits the needs for your parent or loved one!
For more general information on assisted living click here.