There are many choices when looking for eldercare options for your aging loved one, who can no longer live independently. It is important to define what you are looking for in an assisted living community and how to meet your loved one’s care needs.
Start by creating a list of questions for your initial conversation and tour of a community. These questions will not only help you understand what each community has to offer, but can also assist you in making a priority list of what is most important to your family.
Here are a few sample questions to start the conversation as you begin to compare communities:
- How many staff members care for each resident?
- What type of training does your care staff complete?
- Are staff trained to care for residents with memory loss or Alzheimer’s? (link to: http://www.aegisliving.com/aegis/senior-living-facility-ameneties/memory-care-facility/lifes-neighborhood/ )
- Are staff onsite 24/7?
- Can staff administer medications?
- Do you have nurses on staff?
- Do you have an in-house physician?
- What type of security and safety measures do you have in place?
- Do you have experience with Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s? Diabetes? (or the specific diagnosis of your loved one)
- Do you complete an assessment prior to moving in?
- What types of apartments are available?
- What is the monthly cost per apartment? What are the differences in price?
- What is your waitlist policy?
- Can I meet another family with a loved one at the community?
- Do you have transportation for doctor’s appointments?
- Do you have an activities calendar? (link to http://activities.aegisliving.com/#!/view/1)
- What additional services are available if the care or personal needs change while living here?
- What is your billing policy?
- Are there additional fees for services or activities?
- Do you offer hospice and end of life care?
If you are feeling nervous or stressed, print this list and have it available as you tour an assisted living community. This way, you won’t forget to ask the important questions that are unique to your situation. If you do forget to ask a question or you need clarification, call or email the director. This will also help you understand their responsiveness to your concerns.
This is an important decision, so ask questions until you feel satisfied that you understand all the options, policies, and benefits of the assisted living communities that meet your criteria. And knowing the answers will make you feel confident in your final selection.