Assisted Living Due Diligence: What To Look For
We’ve covered some good ground in our family caregiver series and we are in the middle of various aspects of assisted living facilities. If you provide any level of care for a loved one, you are a family caregiver. Considering a new place for your loved one to live; short or long term, is stressful for all involved. Our last post covered the considerations when deciding what assisted living facilities to visit. With this information, we shift our attention to what to look for when you visit assisted living facilities.
First, I strongly encourage you to visit unannounced. Just like you would when researching day care centers for your children; it’s what you see when nobody is expecting visitors that you want to see. Second, if at all possible, I recommend having both you and your loved one present to check out the facility.
Here is a list of the major things you’ll want to look for ( this is by no means a complete list but represents the major things):
1. Are all areas clean and clear of clutter and anything that could be a fall risk?
2. Did you receive a warm greeting from staff?
3. Is the decor attractive and home-like? This is important as your loved one will be living there; whether short or long-term and the facility should be as home-like as possible.
4. Are doorways, hallways and rooms accessible to wheel chairs and walkers?
5. Notice how staff talk to residents. Are they friendly and personal?
6. Do residents socialize with each other and appear to be happy?
7. Are staff engaged with the residents and do they appear to like their jobs?
8. Are staff appropriately dressed and are all staff easily recognizable?
9. Is the floor plan easy to follow? If you get confused, imagine the challenge your loved ones may have.
10. Are hand rails available to aid in walking? Are other assisted devices installed in appropriate places?
11. Are floors easy to walk on (yet fall resistant?)
12. Are cupboards and shelves easy to reach?
13. Is there sufficient natural and artificial lighting?
14. Is the residence clean and appropriately heated/cooled?
15. Are fire and overall safety common sense rules met?
These are some of the main things you’ll want to look for overall when evaluating an assisted living facility. Next up in this series, we’ll discuss what questions to ask staff, what to look for with individual rooms, services available and what to look for in a nursing home.
Next up: Assisted living due diligence – Individual Room Evaluation
It’s your turn: Which of these tips is the most important? What is missing from this list?
Please comment below.