Finding the Right Assisted Living Facilities for Yourself or a Loved One

Assisted living facilities are for those people who have disabilities or who choose not to live independently. Assisted living is a long-term senior care option that provides personal care support services such as meals, bathing, dressing, medical personnel, medication management and transportation.

It’s a big step, so before deciding, plan how you will evaluate the centers:

  1. Why do you want assisted living?
  2. What is the best location?
  3. What are the amenities?
  4. What necessities do you require?
  5. How do you analyze the various options?

Before you begin looking at assisted living facilities, think about your needs and desires for a long-term residence.

Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I must have in life?” It could be living near the grandkids, being close to your physician or maybe within walking distance of shops.

Ask yourself the right questions. Do you like to walk to shopping and restaurants? Do you swim and want a nearby pool? Should it be close to your physician or your kids and grandchildren. The location is all about listing your priorities.

What amenities are important to you? How the dining area looks? What do they offer for leisure time? Is there a gym or workout facility?

When you visit a facility, have a list of questions ready. It’s not just about the physical layout and amenities but the rules that affect you. Always ask to see a copy of the contract that details the fees, rules and regulations.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Can I continue to see my own physicians?
  • Can I have a pet and my own furniture?
  • Can I come and go as I please?
  • Are any activities prohibited in private rooms or apartments?
  • What training and background checks are required of staff?
  • Is there a registered nurse or other medical professional available at all times?
  • What happens if I run out of money?
  • Do you participate in Medicare, Medicaid, VA Aid and Assistance, long-term care insurance or any other payment program?
  • What circumstances would force a resident to move out of the facility?
  • If I require a higher level of care in the future, is that available at this community?
  • If I have a long-term stay in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, do you hold my residence?
  • How many rooms or apartments are currently empty? (A high number of empty beds or rooms can be a red flag that residents are unhappy with the facility and that the facility has financial trouble.

Don’t rush into long-term care because it’s a major transition. Understand what items you can take with you, the freedoms you’ll have and the care afforded to you.

Baby boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day. We are all getting older, and it’s never too early to consider what to do in your later years with respect to assisting living of some kind.

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