Whether you’re a retiree in need of assistance with daily living, or you’re a child of a parent in need of around the clock care, assisted living facilities can help! There are several assisted living facilities from which you can choose to turn to for your daily care needs. With this being said, not all facilities are going to offer the same services, luxuries, or levels of care. Before you decide where to go (as a retiree), or where to place your loved ones (as a child), consider a few of these variables to help you in the decision making the process.
Location of the facilities
The assisted living facility should be close to hospitals, doctors’ offices, EMS, and other professional medical care if necessary. Even if there are doctors and RN on staff, sometimes those who are in these facilities need to be treated in a hospital. If this is the case, time is of the essence in some cases, so they should be close to major highways and routes of travel.
The location should also be close to family. If you are a child that wants to visit your loved ones regularly if it’s a 1-hour drive away from your home, it makes it tough to visit daily, or even a few times each week. Consider the ease of access and how proximate the assisted living facility is to you.
Staffing on site
The assisted living facility should have at least a few registered nurses on staff to administer medical care if required. If possible, there should also be a doctor or licensed physician that can-do emergency visits. The staff should be:
- Offer high levels of care to retirees
- Provide assistance with daily tasks those living in the facility might require
Additionally, you want to feel at home (or you want your loved one to feel at home), so choose an assisted living facility which has a good team in place.
Many people in assisted living don’t require 24/7 care. In fact, many are mentally competent, can walk, and can enjoy outdoor living and activities. When choosing an assisted living facility, consider the actual facilities.
Some things to look for might include
- Internet and wi-fi accessibility
- The activities and events offered to those who live in the facility
- General cleaning services
- On-site activities (outdoor areas, community events, etc.)
Depending on the level of care you require, many assisted living facilities have different levels of care and accommodations. Keep this in mind when choosing one to live in.
Size (staff/resident ratio)
If there’s a staff of 20, and 500 people living in the assisted living facility, you likely aren’t going to get the attention and care you need. If, however, you don’t require ongoing care or attention, this might work for you. Based upon your personal needs, medical needs, how much help you require, and other factors, you’ll have to consider the staff to resident ratio. This will help you best determine if the assisted living facility can accommodate you, your healthcare needs, and the attention you require, when you can no longer live at home by yourself.
Diet/nutrition, special needs
If you suffer from diabetes, have health problems or conditions, or need to follow a special diet, does the assisted living facility have a staff on site that can help with this? Or, if you require special medication and treatment, can they administer it when necessary? Make sure you visit the assisted living facility, learn about their care and staff, and which reasonable accommodations they offer. In some cases, they aren’t staffed or don’t have the personnel in place to accommodate your diet or exercise needs. This is important for some people, so make sure you understand what is/isn’t offered.
When the time comes to choose an assisted living facility when you can’t live by yourself any longer, there are countless options from which you can choose. And, every facility has its own perks it offers to residents. Make sure you consider these factors, as well as any red flags (violations, healthcare issues, staff abuse, etc.), in order to avoid choosing the wrong assisted living facility, and to ensure you are going to receive the best care regardless of where you eventually do end up.