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How to Choose the Right Assisted Living Community

Deciding on how to care for and meet the needs of your senior parents is rarely easy. Ultimately, everyone involved wants what is best, though everyone will have different opinions and ideas about what that means. An assisted living community is just one of the many options available. If that’s the route you choose to go, it’s important to select a community that will be a good fit for your senior parents. Ask yourself the following questions when considering which assisted living community to choose.

Can the Assisted Living Community Meet Your Loved One’s Specific Needs?

If you have decided to help your parents transition to an assisted living community, it’s likely because your parents have specific needs. The right community will be aware of your parents’ specific needs and be able to meet them. Research the community by checking their website, talking to and observing the caregivers, and taking tours of the community facilities. That will help you get a good feel for the community’s ability to meet your parents’ needs.

Can the Assisted Living Community Manage Your Loved One’s Medical Condition?

Medical conditions tend to become more common and more severe with age. If your parents have any medical conditions, it’s essential to know if the community can manage them appropriately. Assisted living facilities often have medical professionals who help distribute medications and manage daily living activities (ADLs). They may not be able to provide around-the-clock supervision and care, though. 

Is the Assisted Living Community in Your Budget?

Talking money with your senior parents can be challenging, but it’s crucial to make care plans. You all need to be on the same page with what is in the budget when choosing a facility. An assisted living community’s cost varies widely based on the location, level of care, and amenities available. It may be best to get quotes from a community before you go to visit it in person. That way, you reduce the risk of falling in love with a location and community, only to find out that it’s outside the budget and therefore not an option.

Does the Assisted Living Community Offer the Kinds of Activities Your Loved One Enjoys?

One significant part of living in a senior assisted living facility is that they offer residents various activities or hobbies to participate in and enjoy. While Bingo may be the stereotypical go-to, seniors enjoy so much more than just that one activity. Talk to your parents about the types of activities they are interested in. Ask the community managers for a list of activities they provide for residents. Activities offer community members an opportunity to interact with one another and do something enjoyable. The more activities they show that your loved ones will enjoy, the happier they are likely to be in their new home.

Is the Assisted Living Community Close Enough to Visit Often?

It’s a good idea to keep distance in mind when choosing a community. Your senior parents may now have the option of making new friends and interacting with their new community, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still want to see you. You’re family, after all. Visiting often is essential. A visit from you can brighten their day in a heartbeat. It will also help you ensure that your parents are getting the care they need. Whether it’s intentional or not, assisted living residents whose family visits often tend to be better cared for.

Is the Staff Responsive to Your Requests?

There’s an excellent chance that once you choose a facility and get your parents settled in, you’ll have requests for the staff concerning the care provided to your parents. The team’s responsiveness will impact the care your loved ones receive, but that can be tough to gauge ahead of time just by talking to the staff, management, or even current community members. For this, your best bet is to check out the reviews the community has to see how satisfied family members are with the staff’s responsiveness.

Does the Community Conduct Background Checks on Staff?

Facility staff will be handling the day-to-day care your parents receive. It’s essential to have some degree of understanding regarding how team members are chosen. There are a ton of horror stories about elder abuse perpetrated by assisted living staff. You don’t want your parents to be another story, and you probably wouldn’t find out until it was too late. Ask management about the vetting process the staff goes through. It’s generally a good idea to opt for communities that conduct background checks over ones that don’t.

Lots of work and consideration goes into choosing the right assisted living community for your senior parents. With multiple factors at play, you and your parents need to be on the same page regarding what they need, what they can afford, and what the options are in terms of available communities. Take your time. Check out multiple communities and facilities before you decide on one. Above all, consult an assisted living locator in your area. That will help you and your parents feel confident that the one you choose will be the best fit.