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April 29, 2021

Choosing Assisted Living: 5 Questions Your Family Should Ask

Middle-aged woman hugging older woman
Is it time for assisted living?

If you’re concerned about the safety of your parent living alone, or if your parent requires more assistance than you can provide at home, it may be time to look for an assisted living community. In an assisted living community, residents live independently but receive assistance with daily activities such as medication management, grooming, bathing, and getting dressed.

Researching and touring assisted living communities can be an overwhelming and confusing process for older adults and their families alike. You’ll find that there are many options to choose from, and every community is different!

As you start the assisted living search, asking the right questions can help you narrow down your choices and find the right option for your loved one.

Here are five questions to ask when choosing an assisted living community:

Is the community non-profit or for-profit?

When researching assisted living communities near you, pay attention to how the facility is operated and structured. The majority of assisted living communities are for-profit, and most are part of large, national corporate chains. On the other hand, non-profit assisted living communities are owned by private groups and are often affiliated with faith-based organizations.

Non-profit assisted living communities are held to the same high standards and regulations as for-profit facilities. But, unlike for-profit assisted living communities, which are typically driven by how much revenue they can earn, non-profit communities are driven by an overall mission to serve others. As you compare your options, make sure you read about each community’s mission, history, and reputation. It’s important to find a community that aligns with your family’s values and needs.

How are residents’ care needs evaluated?

Before a resident moves into assisted living, the community will conduct an initial assessment of their current health needs to determine the level of care and daily assistance they require.

When researching different communities, ask about their process for evaluating prospective residents’ care needs. What does it entail? How often does the community perform assessments of residents once they move in? At Bethany Village, we have licensed social workers on staff to assist older adults and their families through every transition and ensure each resident is always cared for spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

What kinds of activities and amenities are offered?

Ideally, the assisted living community you choose will offer a full calendar of engaging activities for residents, such as social events and clubs, music and pet therapy, arts and crafts, fitness classes, and learning opportunities. When researching assisted living communities, ask to view a calendar to see if the activities offered will fit your loved one’s interests. 

In addition to fun daily activities, today’s assisted living communities have a variety of modern amenities to make life easier for residents. Look for a community that has convenient on-campus amenities and services available like housekeeping services, transportation to doctor’s appointments, and beauty salons and barbershops.

What dining options are available?

One of the biggest benefits of assisted living is that older adults no longer have to worry about the hassles of grocery shopping, planning healthy meals, and cooking for themselves. At Bethany Village, our assisted living residents look forward to healthy, fresh, nutritious chef-prepared meals every day, with snacks available between mealtimes.

As you tour assisted living communities, pay attention to the different dining venues available. What’s the atmosphere like? Is dining an enjoyable, social experience for residents? You can also ask to see a sample menu or, if possible, try to stay for a meal.

What happens when a resident needs more care?

Planning for the future is critical for families because you never know how or when your older loved one’s health needs may change. It’s important to find out how the assisted living community will approach the situation if your loved one needs services such as memory care in the future. 

The advantage of choosing a continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) like Bethany Village is that the full continuum of care is available on one campus, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, and an on-site rehab center. This means that as your loved one’s needs change, they can transition to the next level of care without leaving the familiarity of the community they call home. For families, knowing their loved one will be cared for no matter what the future holds provides priceless peace of mind.

Choosing an Assisted Living Community

Making the right choice in an assisted living community will take time. Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions and take multiple tours as you compare your options and determine the best fit for your family.

When you’re ready to begin the search for assisted living for a parent or older loved one, Bethany Village is ready to help. Contact us today—we’ll be here to answer your questions every step of the way!