playing cards at assisted living facilities

5 Key Qualities People Look for in Assisted Living Facilities

If you work in an assisted living facility, review these five qualities to determine how well your facility stacks up.

Seeking out a quality assisted living facility for a loved one can be an overwhelming process. Whether the loved one requires additional care for safety or medical reasons, when the time comes, choosing the right facility can be difficult. Figuring out where to even start can be daunting. The more information that can be pulled together will ensure an informed decision. These five elements make up an assisted living checklist that will ease the process of deciding on the right facility to meet the family’s needs. Alternately, if you work in an assisted living facility, it’s equally important to be familiar with these five qualities and how well your facility stacks up.

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Starting the Search

These days, nearly everyone turns to the same place when looking for information on an unfamiliar subject: the Internet.

#1: Reputation.

Happy grandma read our assisted living checklist and can't help but celebrate Almost every product or place online has reviews, and assisted living homes are no different. Reputation matters early-on, even before potential residents have had a chance to visit an assisted living home. Websites like Senior Advisor allow residents and their families to review their experiences at facilities throughout the country. It also doesn’t take much digging to find out about any code violations or issues with the state. Good reviews and satisfied residents will ensure future residents consider your facility—your online reputation is more important than your advertising.

#2: Location.

Assisted living homes are physical places, so location matters for a lot of reasons. While many facilities may provide food and medication on-site, some homes that focus on independent living aren’t equipped to do so. Even if food is provided on-site, being close to a favorite restaurant or grocery store allows for visitors to bring in treats and favorites the kitchen staff might not know about. Pharmacies are another option to consider. Can residents easily obtain their prescriptions? And, for those residents in a long-term care situation, having hotels nearby eases the burden of relatives trying to stay rested while sleeping on unfamiliar furniture.

Narrowing the List

#3: Medical Care.

If you’re looking into an assisted living situation, you likely have health care needs that must be met. Be sure any homes you consider have the staff and the resources devoted to handling your needs. Ask staff members your questions directly, or contact the administrative workers at the facility through social media. Discover if their staff is on-call and where their doctors work when not at the facility. Some facilities specialize in certain types of care, which might be just what your loved one needs.

#4: Facilities and Amenities.

A tour of a location also helps narrow down the assisted living facilities choices. Assisted living care is no longer one-size-fits-all. There are many care options to choose from these days, thanks to the expanding market. Residents may live in small apartments rather than communal rooms. There may be spaces for hosting guests and events. Activities and trips offer opportunities for active physical and mental health. Offered amenities can generally increase quality of life and overall happiness and therefore can make a big impact come final decision time.

The Big Decision

#5: Care Staff.

The last piece of the puzzle for many families is how they get along with the staff that will care for their loved one. An overworked staff shows its stress in many ways. When facility staff are overwhelmed, it may be difficult for those individuals to provide the level of care they wish they could provide. Modern facilities often adapt to technology that eases these burdens. Technology also helps keep families up-to-date on the status of residents. Caregivers are a critical part of any assisted living facility operation. They provide that vital bit of spark that ensures a happy resident that chooses to stay in one place over all the other options available.

 

There are many factors that contribute to choosing the right assisted living facility for a loved one, but five of them stand out at the top of the list. Seek feedback on a facility’s overall reputation. Choose a location that’s convenient – not just for family visits, but also for the proximity to outside resources beyond what the home provides. Be sure all medical needs can be met. Tour the facilities to get a feel for the day-to-day life on-site. Talk to the staff to see if they’ll get along with the resident. Once these pieces of the puzzle are set, completing it becomes a whole lot easier.


Featured image “the gamers” courtesy of Flickr user shira gal licensed under CC by 2.0.

Image “Happy Grandma” courtesy of Flickr user Alex Santos Silva licensed under CC by 2.0.