Deciding on the right assisted living community for you or your loved ones can be an overwhelming task if you don’t know where to begin. Asking the right questions will make easy work of it, but what are the right questions? There are a lot of questions to be asked about several different areas relating to assisted living communities. Broken down by category are some questions you may want to ask:
Are all of the rooms private?
Are the units furnished? Is personal furniture allowed?
Do the rooms have a kitchen/kitchenette?
How many units are in the facility?
What are the different sizes/types of units?
Do the rooms and bathrooms have call buttons?
Are there safety locks on doors and windows?
What levels of care are available?
What specific services are available?
Are extra services charged as levels or a la carte, and what are the fees?
How does the facility address the resident’s changing needs?
Does the community offer Dementia Care?
If so, is the community secured?
Are utilities included in the rental cost? If so, which utilities?
What services are included in the rent?
-Meals (How may meals a day, snacks, room service)
-Laundry -Housekeeping -Transportation
What on-site facilities are available to residents?
-Game room -Craft room
-TV Room -Snack area
-Beauty Salon -Pool/Jacuzzi
-Fitness classes -Gym
Is there a security system?
Is there a backup generator?
Is the building layout easy to follow?
Are the stairways and exits clearly marked?
How large are the elevators?
What is the entrance fee?
Is there a security deposit?
What is the monthly rent?
When was the last rent increase?
How often is the rent increased?
Are pets allowed?
Are residents free to come and go as they please?
Are visitors free to come and go as they please?
Is there a parking fee?
During the process, your own questions will arise. Go and tour as many communities as you can. What is your first impression? Is it clean? Eat lunch with the residents in the dining room, and ask them what they think. Watch some of the planned activities. Are people having fun? Does the staff seem friendly and attentive? Ultimately, you want a place that feels like home, whatever that may mean to you.
An extensive checklist can be found at the link below to the AARP website: http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/promotions/text/life/AssistedLivingChecklist.pdf
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