An assisted living facility can be a perfect place for seniors who need assistance with some activities of daily living but typically function well independently. With the help of tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and taking medication, most older adults may continue to enjoy a safe and healthy life. However, considering the many assisted living communities out there, finding the right one that fits your needs is no easy task. Here are six essential factors to consider when choosing an assisted living facility for your loved one.
- Services offered
Seniors in assisted living facilities usually require assistance with some activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and walking, but may not need round-the-clock nursing care. While some communities offer medication management assistance and exercise programs, others offer customized services depending on specific needs, such as dementia. Find out whether your potential assisted living facilities, such as Longhouse, offer specialized care for older adults with special conditions.
- Staff-to-resident ratio
The staff-to-resident ratio is critical since it determines the quality of care your loved one gets. It determines the number of staff available for every assisted living community resident. Assisted living facilities should employ enough staff to ensure proper care and safety of the residents. Finding a community with more staff means older adults with unique needs will receive the attention they need, ensuring their safety and immediate care in the event of a medical emergency. Avoid choosing a facility that doesn’t have a sufficient number of staff members.
Location is critical when selecting an assisted living facility for your elderly loved one. Ideally, you want to find a facility near your home so you and your family can visit your loved one regularly. Location also governs how a facility operates based on local or state laws. For instance, some states limit the medical support provided to residents. In such states, the emphasis is usually on socialization rather than medical care. Ensure you choose a facility that can offer the services you require.
According to the National Center for Assisted Living, the average number of insured beds in an assisted living community is 33. Facilities differ significantly in size and might be a small facility or an extra-large one. The NCAL website will give you all the information you may need depending on your state.
It’s important to note that the size of a facility may impact the services offered. For instance, larger assisted living communities usually have many amenities, including swimming pools and entertainment centers. They may also offer specialized care units.
- Track record of the facility
Every assisted living facility is different, and a short visit to the premises is not enough to get an accurate picture of the community. Ask your family or friends whether they or someone they know has had any experience with your potential facility. You can also go further and make inquiries with your state or local long-term care ombudsman program. Avoid any facility with complaints against them and only consider a facility with a good track record of how they treat their residents.
The final factor you should consider when choosing an assisted living facility is the cost. Find out how much the facility charges for their services and what’s included in that fee. Most of the time, the fee covers room and board, utilities, social activities, and housekeeping services. Some facilities might charge extra for medication administration, transportation, or laundry services. Ask about all these fees before making your decision so you can create a budget.
You should also find out whether your loved one’s long-term care insurance policy will cover the cost of assisted living. If not, research other financial options such as government programs or veteran benefits that can help offset the cost.
Selecting the right assisted living facility is a crucial decision for you and your family. It’s important to do your research and visit different facilities before making a decision. Consider all the factors discussed in this article to ensure you choose the best possible assisted living facility for your loved one.
When choosing an assisted living facility for your elderly loved one, it’s important to consider several key factors, including the staff-to-resident ratio, the location of the facility, the size of the facility, and the cost of care. Additionally, be sure to research the track record of the facility and inquire with your state or local long-term care ombudsman program to ensure that the facility has a good history of providing quality care to its residents.
Finding the right assisted living facility can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Considering these factors will help you find an assisted living facility perfect for your elderly loved one.