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Looking for Assisted Living?  As people age and need more help with daily activities, such as bathing, safely taking medication or preparing good meals, moving to a facility that provides some assistance, without sacrificing dignity or independence can be a great option!

However, the decision to leave one’s own home, or the desires of family care givers to provide more constant attention and assistance for a loved one is not an easy decision.   So, what factors should you consider when looking for a place to move to?  First, think about what activities you or your loved one may need help with?  People residing in Assisted Living Facilities may need assistance with any number of daily activities such as dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, cooking or eating, taking medications and regular household ‘chores’ such as laundry and housekeeping.   Physical mobility is also a key concern…how well is the person able to move about, and with how much confidence and assistance?

If you are considering an Assisted Living facility for yourself or a loved one, here are 6 considerations to assist you:

Location.  Consider a location that will keep the person connected to family members, friends, church associates and medical teams.  The greater the distance from these parties can make follow-up, support and care much more difficult and less effective.

Think about your current and future needs.  How much care does the individual need now and how much care will they need in the future.  Always ask, what is the “level of care” that you provide?  How much physical accessibility is there in the facility for wheel chairs or walkers?   How easy is it for the person to exit the building in case of fire or other emergency?   How much care is provided, in terms of resident to nursing assistant ratio?

Reflect on the environment of the facility.  Do you or your loved one want a cozy and homelike environment, or a large ‘corporate facility’ with more people, functions, attractions (and more cost.)

Examine the offerings of the facility.  Are there good home-cooked meals provided, is it ample and nourishing?   Does the staff seem attentive and caring?  Do the current residents seem happy, comfortable and positive?   Is there space to walk or exercise, sit outside, garden, enjoy the neighborhood?  Does the facility offer the services that you or a loved one need, including housekeeping, medication administration, bathing or clothing assistance and laundry services?

Take a tour of the facility.  Match your observations with the expectations that you have for services needed.   How would you or a loved one FEEL here?   Does the facility look and smell clean and attractive?  Find out if there are vacancies and what process will be followed for admittance, along with a timeline for service.

Understand the costs.   Are there any extra charges?  What are the payment terms?  Does this feel like a good value to you?   Review the intake documents carefully and ask questions before making a final commitment.

Best wishes in making a confident and comfortable decision about assisted living that will provide the care you want for yourself or a loved one!