Choosing the right senior living option for your parent can be a complicated process. If you’re worried 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. Asking the right questions can help you narrow down your choices and find the right option for your parent. Consider the following questions when starting your search.
Is the community non-profit or for-profit?
The majority of assisted living communities are for-profit, and most are part of large national chains. On the other hand, non-profit assisted living communities are owned by private groups, and many are affiliated with faith-based organizations. It’s important to note that non-profit assisted living communities are held to the same high standards and regulations as for-profit facilities. But while for-profit communities are typically driven by revenue, non-profit assisted living communities are driven by an overall mission based on the underlying principles and values of the organization. Be sure to take a look at a community’s values, mission statement, and vision statement to guide your search and provide more information about the way the facility is operated.
How can residents decorate and furnish their new space?
For many older adults, moving to a new residence in assisted living can be very different from their previous home. It’s a good idea to take a tour of different assisted living residences to get a feel for the layout and take measurements of the space. On your tour, ask about the types of furniture, storage space, and décor your parent can bring with them to make their new assisted living residence feel more like home.
Does the community have protocols and procedures for emergencies?
Another important factor to evaluate is the safety and security of the assisted living community. Are there alert systems in each room so residents can call a nurse in the event of an emergency? Does the community use security monitoring to ensure residents are safe? Look for an assisted living community that has a standard set of procedures in place to handle any emergency situations.
What kind of activities and events do they offer?
Many communities offer a full calendar of fun monthly activities, including social events, entertainment, excursions, and continuing education opportunities. Take a look at the calendar for the assisted living options you are considering to see if the activities offered match your parent’s interests.
Is the staff friendly and attentive?
Taking a tour of assisted living communities gives you the chance to observe the interactions between caregivers and residents. Does the care staff seem friendly, compassionate, and attentive to residents’ needs? Assisted living caregivers often form long-lasting relationships with residents, so it’s important to find a community that is warm and welcoming.
Finally, it’s important to evaluate the overall atmosphere of the community when choosing the right assisted living community for your parent. Can you picture your parent living there? Are the other residents friendly and welcoming? Consider these important factors when you research and tour assisted living facilities to find the community that’s the best fit for your parent.