Which Assisted Living community is the best fit for your loved one?
As we continue our series of articles on the benefits of Assisted Living for you or a loved one, an important factor to take into account is that some Assisted Living communities may be a better fit than others based on the needs of the individual.
Some things to consider when choosing an Assisted Living or Memory Care:
- Size of community — Some people may prefer a smaller setting, an environment that is easier to navigate and easier to get to know other residents. Just like a big city versus a small-town atmosphere, some people just feel more comfortable in a smaller community. It may be helpful to maneuver in a smaller environment and often allows you to get to know your neighbors better.
- Activities and socialization — Most likely activities and socialization will be an important feature in your selection of a community. If so, you will want to review the community calendar and visit the community to ensure scheduled activities are happening routinely.
- On-site physician services — Would you or your loved one feel more secure having access to medical providers on site at your community? This service, available at some communities, may be beneficial to those that are not able to travel as much or don’t want to sit in a doctor’s office, risking exposure to others’ illness.
- Access to other medical providers — It’s also a good idea to check if your community has relationships with other third-party medical providers such as home health, podiatrists, mobile labs, or X-ray companies that can be brought to the community for greater patient/resident convenience or necessity.
- Good food – One of the most basic and important features to senior residents is enjoying delicious, nutritious food. You want your loved one to find an Assisted Living community that has a reputation for culinary excellence. Try to eat a meal at the community prior to making your decision. Also, know that all communities may have an off day, so it is advisable to eat at least two meals at the community before you commit. Know what types of diets are offered.
- Emergency preparedness – All communities should have some level of emergency plans in place, but what are they and are you satisfied with their protocols. Ask questions to find out what your community’s emergency procedures are to ensure the safety of all and for peace of mind.
- Assessment of actual needs – Skilled Care is very different than an Assisted Living and Memory Care center. You don’t want to assume that just because your parent or loved one needs care that they need a skilled community. The environment in a skilled nursing facility can be more clinical and less community like.
Often times we hear that a resident needs “skilled care” when they actually do qualify for an Assisted Living, so it is always a good practice to discuss what needs the resident has to ensure that placement is appropriate for you or a loved one and one where they will thrive. An additional question to ask is what the Assisted Living facility’s policy is on “aging in place.”
Although there are other benefits and reasons to select an Assisted Living, these are some of the top items to consider when choosing the appropriate community for your personal needs.