How to Choose the Right Assisted Living Facility

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Sunday, March 24, 2019

There are currently more than 51,000 assisted living facilities in the United States. While they generally serve the same population and support the same housing goals, they vary widely by size, culture, cost, and the quality of care they offer.

Of course, you want to ensure that your loved one is well cared for and that the environment suits his or her personality. The sheer number of options available can make choosing an assisted living residence even more challenging. So where do you begin?
























 

Here are eight important factors to consider when you're searching for an assisted living community for your aging loved one:

The staff: Having confidence in the community’s staff members is critically important. Be sure to observe staff members interacting with current residents on several occasions. Are they caring and friendly? Do they listen attentively? Learn about the staffing system, as well. How many people are involved in residents’ care and what are their roles? An introduction to the management team will help you to better understand the operations and culture of the facility.

Cost: Affordability is often the make or break factor when it comes to the choice of an assisted living residence. Because Medicare doesn’t cover assisted living or long term care, most residents pay through personal finances, using their savings, long term care insurance, home equity life insurance, benefits for veterans or some combination of resources. Facilities differ in how you pay for them, too. They may charge an upfront cost, monthly rent, a la carte services, or a tiered system. Narrow down your options to those you can afford, and then evaluate them the same way you would regardless of cost.

Resident to staff ratio: As you evaluate care options for your loved one, it’s important to understand resident to caregiver ratios and what they mean. You may be surprised to learn that staffing requirements aren’t determined by the state or any governing board, but by each assisted living facility itself. The lack of an established standard in this area is one of the reasons why the quality of seniors’ experiences with assisted living varies so widely. A low resident to staff ratio helps to ensure that each resident consistently receives quality attention and care. 

Services offered: Most assisted living facilities offer dining services, housekeeping, medication management, and basic wellness programs. More and more communities are taking it up a notch by offering tailored services based on specific health needs that have gained prominence. For instance, nearly 60% of assisted living communities in the U.S. now offer an Alzheimer's disease or dementia program. Almost half offer programs for patients with diabetes, heart issues and depression. Many communities also focus on improving their residents’ quality of life by offering activities such as outings, computer classes, art session, and pet therapy.

Cleanliness: Does the community appear to be clean and well-maintained? Pay special attention to corners, windows, and bathrooms. And be sure to follow your nose. If you find smells concentrated in one area, it’s most likely an isolated, recent incident. Odors throughout the community indicate a far bigger problem. Ask how often housekeeping is provided and get the details about the types of maintenance available. Don’t forget to ask about laundry procedures, as well.

Food and dining: Make sure you and your loved one enjoy a meal at the property you’re considering. Not only is it a great way to sample the fare, it also offers the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the residents. Learn about the various menus, dining hours, options, and procedures.

Safety and Security: These important features are the keys to peace of mind for you and your loved one. Make sure that bathrooms are accessible and have grab bars in convenient locations. Inquire about other safety features available in living quarters and throughout the community. Find out how residents can contact staff if they have an emergency and the typical response times. Gain an understanding of staffing patterns and determine who is on-site at all times to assist residents. How does the community assist or manage residents’ medication needs? Don’t forget to ask specific questions about any other medical needs that might apply to your loved one.

Transitioning to a higher level of care: Everyone graduates through different stages of life, and while it’s a big step, assisted living may not be the last one. Some assisted living facilities are part of a larger continuing care retirement community, which allows residents to move to more intensive skilled nursing facilities if they require it. It’s smart to think ahead. Consider what requirements your loved one could have in the future and ask the facility how they could be met.

For many older Americans, assisted living has become an increasingly popular alternative to remaining in their homes. If you’re searching for ideal assisted living community for a loved and would like more information, we’re here to help.  Please reach out to our caring team members anytime.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations.  For more information, please call us at 215-549-4700 or visit our website.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Digital Grief: Addressing Death Over Social Media

The digital age has made it easy to share everything, all of the time. In recent years, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have become widely used for all sorts of milest...

A Labor of Love: Helpful Tips for Choosing the Music for a Funeral

“Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories.” – Stevie Wonder Choosing the right songs for a funeral can feel like a formidable task. After all, music plays a critical function in the f...

Today’s Senior Independent Living Communities Aren’t Like They Used to Be

As senior living communities continue to evolve, one thing is clear: today’s mature adults want to remain active and engaged. Today’s seniors represent an immense and influential demographic that’...

How to Host the Perfect Funeral Reception without Breaking the Bank

It’s customary to host a reception following a funeral or memorial service. This event gives mourners the chance to support each other, share fond memories, and celebrate the life of the decea...

Depression in the Elderly: Do You Know the Signs?

We all get the blues from time to time. Usually, we bounce back. But when those negative feelings persist and begin to interfere with our daily activities for two weeks or longer, depression may be...

Home Renovations for Seniors: What’s Best for You?

Although medical advances are keeping seniors healthy and active longer, aging still comes with its share of challenges. Eyesight and hearing tend to diminish, falls occur more frequently, and a wa...

When Grief is Overwhelming: A Guide to Coping with a Sudden Death

“Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss Dealing with loss is always emotionally challenging. It can take a long time to get to a place of...

Taking Care of You: Helpful Resources for Caregivers

Few people plan to be caregivers for their loved ones. It’s a role that often comes on suddenly following an emergency or evolves over time as a result of an ongoing medical condition. In either ca...

The Ins and Outs of the Age-Friendly Health System Movement

The Age-Friendly Health System is changing what it means to age in America. Self-described by its founders as a “movement to recruit and support entire healthcare systems to focus on the areas of m...

Five Common Questions (And Answers) About Veterans Burial Benefits

Funerals, memorials and celebrations of life offer opportunities to honor and recognize a service member’s heroism and contributions. Whether you’re making final arrangements for a deceased veteran...