Tips for Choosing an Assisted Living Facility
While there are many good things that come with age, such as wisdom, it also has its pitfalls. At some point, you may find that you are unable to live completely independently. If you are having trouble with day-to-day tasks but do not require extensive skilled healthcare, an assisted living facility may be the perfect solution to the challenges you are facing. Here, you can receive the help you need while still maintaining a large degree of your independence. If you are considering transitioning to this form of living, here are some tips for choosing the right facility for your needs.
Do Your Homework on the Facility
When deciding on the right facility, it is important to get some basic background information. The Department of Health and Human Services provides in-depth information on assisted living facilities in the country. You should also get in touch with the state’s long-term care ombudsperson to see if any complaints have been lodged against the facility. Assisted living facilities are licensed on a state level so it is important to check with the appropriate agency regarding that.
Visit at Different Times of Day
Before deciding on the best assisted living facility, it is important to visit during different times of the day; come during meal times and sample the food. If there are recreational or physical therapy sessions taking place, come back to see a few of them in action. Arrive early for appointments so you have time to tour the facility on your own and get a feel for a typical day, the noise level and the general atmosphere.
Focus on What Best Meets Your Needs and Wants
While a pleasant atmosphere is important, do not dismiss the place lacking the designer furniture; while you want tasty food, do not focus only on the places with gourmet food. A nice outdoor area is important but do not discount the places whose grounds are not impeccable. The most important things are whether you feel safe and at home, how the people treat their staff, quality health care and how well you see yourself fitting in with the other residents. Amenities are important but not the primary concern.
Pay Attention to the Staff
In many respects, your experience at an assisted living facility will only be as good as the staff on hand. Observing the staff will be an important factor in choosing the best place for you. Watch carefully how the staff interacts with residents in all the different situations such as meal time or during recreational activities. While it is likely the staff make up will change during your time at the facility, the presence of quality staff speaks volumes about the hiring and management practices, which means that any future staff will likely be on par with the current ones. Make sure to meet with the owner or the operator of the facility for a face-to-face meeting. Good staff will enrich the experience greatly and is probably one of the most important considerations.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blog about a variety of elder care topics; if you are looking for an assisted living facility in Illinois, she recommends you learn more about this Chicago assisted care center.