How To Evaluate Assisted Living Facilities
This section covers how to evaluate an assisted living facility. We cover specifics in this section. Consequently, start this section after you’ve narrowed down your options to a few assisted living facilities and want to get into the details. In other words, you’ve downselected to a few facilities. Learn about identifying options here.
Use Your Existing Skills
First, this isn’t a new process. You’ve been evaluating what’s right and wrong for you for years. Remember when you dated? You kept your eyes open and, every once in a while, found a prospective partner. Moreover, over time most found a prospective spouse.
Remember some of the questions or steps you probably asked (or should have) when picking a spouse. Here are a few examples.
CarePlanIt will help you take you’re existing skills and transfer them to the modern world of selecting assisted living options. This process isn’t different. Priorities and objectives may change a bit, but the evaluation process should be the same.
The diagram below, and the sections below the diagram cover the areas and things you should ask about. However, our complete questionnaire includes 20 pages of detailed questions. Get it here.
Eight Key Areas To Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities
1. Gather Public Information About Assisted Living
There are lots of public reviews of assisted living facilities. You can find them on Google and Yelp. Caring.com maintains a staying system and white labels their system to publications like US News and World Report. Use them for your initial evaluation of assisted living communities. Visiting a senior center for lunch can also shed some insights into local facilities.
2. ADL And IADL Services Offered
Ask the facility what activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) they support. Learn about these here. Get specific. If they offer transportation, what does this mean? Do they have their own busses? How many? Where will the bus go? Are reservations required? If a facility doesn’t provide ADL support, do they allow the resident to bring in-home care? If so, what are the rules? Can they spend the night?
3. Medical Planning And Services
Make sure the facility has the capability to perform regular care plans. Facilities that offer minimal services like meals may require a medical evaluation prior to admission but require no ongoing evaluation. Understand when the facility would require ongoing care plans. It should be mandatory as soon as a resident encounters any conditions that diminish their IADLs/ADLs. If they don’t require regular evaluations, make sure you understand if you or your spouse can remain in the facility if abilities decline.
Conducting regular care plan meetings and adjusting the plan is a sign the staff is keeping up with the resident’s needs. Also, make sure you know what medical and medical-related services they have? Do they have onsite doctors, nurses, nutritionists, or physical therapists? If they don’t have onsite medical professionals, do they have part-time professionals? Can the professionals visit the resident? Do they have a room where the visit takes place or does it have to occur in the residents’ room? What medical procedures (e.g., enteral feedings, intravenous injections, intramuscular injections, etc.) are performed onsite? Do they have onsite physical therapy?
4. Activities And Amenities
When you evaluate assisted living facilities, you want to understand all the activities and amenities available. Activities are things like classes, movie nights memory classes, game nights, and fitness classes. Amenities are things like restaurants, beauty shops, pools, game rooms, kitchens, and clubhouses. Are the activities permanent, or can they be canceled? Also, well-run facilities have calendars listing activities. Finally, sit in on these activities and explore the amenities.
5. Staff Is Key When Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities
The staff will care for you or your loved one. So understanding who the staff and how well trained they are, will have a significant impact on the resident. What is the composition of the staff? What languages are spoken? Is English competence required? Are there training or certification requirements? What for, and for who? What’s the staff turnover? Also, are there any lawsuits against the facility for staff actions?
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “You can’t judge a book its cover?” It might sound simple, but when you’re evaluating a senior assisted living facilities you can, at leaset partially, judge a book by its cover. Is the facility it well maintained? Are there lots of common rooms? Is there p[parking? Does the facility smell good? Is the facility secure? Are the grounds nice? Are there patios, places to eat outside, walk areas? What are the showers and bathrooms like? Do they have safety features? Can wheelchairs fit into the bathrooms? What are the eviction procedures? Under what circumstances can a resident be readmitted? It might sound simple, but what the facility looks like is a reflection of their attention to detail.
7. Overall Convenience of Assited Living Facility
Is the facility nearby the senior? Is it nearby relatives? What are the transportation options? If the resident has a visitor, can they stay in the room over night?
8. Costs And Pricing
Who is responsible for paying? Who signs the contract? When do you pay (daily, monthly, etc.)? Is everything included, or are there a la carte charges for services? What’s included in the standard fee? What services require an additional fee? What happens if you fail to pay? If I’m paying out of pocket, or my family is paying or helping to pay, what happens when the money runs out? Also, how changes in a resident’s income affect their status is critical if the resident starts off with private pay. If I start in a facility as a private paying resident, what happens if I run out of money? Would you accept what I’d get from Medicaid if I qualify? Would they accept my social security check?
Make Good Decisions When You Evaluate Assisted Living Facilities
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