When it comes a time that your loved one needs more help than you can provide it is difficult to know how to choose the right place for them.
So you have to do your own research.
Not all facilities are the same. It’s important to know the right questions to ask assisted living facilities so you can make an informed decision.
Don’t fear because we have a list of the best questions to ask for you to know which home will give your loved one the quality of life and care that is best suited for them.
Let’s get started!
The Basic Details
The first things you’ll need to know are the basic details of the facility. This would include general questions such as:
What Are the Living Areas and Individual Rooms Like?
You’ll want to understand how each room is set up and if they will be sharing with a stranger or have a private room.
You’ll also want to check their policy on furniture and personal items. Some homes do not allow personal furniture because the rooms are too small or for infection control reasons.
They may or may not be able to have electronics and technology such as televisions, computers, and telephones. If your loved one can’t fall asleep without the radio but they aren’t able to have one at a facility that can make the transition much more difficult.
What’s Included in the Cost?
Some facilities provide housekeeping, meals, therapy, medical care, outings, and activities.
Other facilities nickel and dime every single service or meal and will require you to pay extra for help with activities of daily living, medication reminders, and meal preparation.
What Services and Programs Are Offered?
Beyond the day to day necessities of life, many assisted living facilities offer specialized programs, activities, and therapies to their clients either as part of their care plan or as an extra service you can pay for.
More than 5 million Americans live with some form of dementia and many of them require around the clock care above what family members or untrained workers can provide.
The healthcare industry has been creating programs and therapies to help those with dementia live the best quality of life they can.
It’s important to know what services and programs will meet your loved ones physical and mental needs.
What Are the Ratios of Trained Staff to Patients in Their Care?
It doesn’t matter what services a facility offers if they don’t have enough staff to provide them. You’ll feel better and your loved one will receive better care if there is a policy and plan in place to ensure the facility always has the staff on each floor necessary to provide proper care.
You also don’t want your loved one being cared for individuals who don’t have the proper training or are being underpaid and overworked. This leads to lack of care, aggression and can cause burnout in even the best-intentioned caregivers.
Important to Know
There are some things that will be important for you to know when trying to make this very difficult decision. These things will help you determine if the assisted facility is the right fit for you and your loved one.
What Are Meals Like There?
There are different ways that assisted living facilities handle meal time. This often depends on the residents’ needs, the State legislation, facility accommodations, and other factors.
Some places employ a nutritionist and a chef to provide fresh, healthy, and appetizing menus for the residents to choose from. Other, often larger facilities, offer meals that are brought to the floors in warmers and distributed to the residents in a communal dining area.
Others operate similar to a restaurant and add some class and dignity to mealtime.
You may be able t request that you and your loved one come for a meal during your tour. That way you can experience for yourself what the social atmosphere and physical sustenance are really like.
Request information on their meals and what assistance is available for your loved one. If your loved one has dietary needs or is a picky eater it may be important to delve deeper into whether they will be accommodated so they can enjoy their meal rather than just tolerate it.
What Are the Facility Policies on Complaints or Reports of Abuse?
You want the peace of mind of knowing your loved one is safe and if they have concerns or complaints they’ll be taken seriously.
Know how staff members are hired, what training is required and what the facility policy is when there is an accusation of abuse.
There are 1 to 2 million elderly Americans abused or mistreated with some studies showing statistics as high as 44% suffering from abuse at least once within a nursing home or assisted living facility. Close to 10% of US elderly in care having suffered abuse or neglect in the past year.
What Specialized Dementia Programs Are Offered?
While your loved one may not be suffering from severe dementia now, there is a possibility they may in the future with another person developing the disease every 65 seconds in the US.
It’s good to know whether the facility can handle increasing health and care needs as your loved one’s issues change or their health worsens.
They may just need a helping hand and someone to be close by for safety now but could require the constant care and security of a locked dementia unit in the near future.
You don’t want to have to uproot them and relocate if you don’t have to. There are many facilities that offer various stages of care letting a loved one can stay as their needs increase.
No Stupid Questions to Ask Assisted Living Facilities
There are no stupid questions to ask assisted living facilities when you are choosing the right place for a loved one to live. You are their advocate and want to find a facility that will give them the compassion, care, respect, and dignity you would.