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When a family feels assisted living may be a good for their parent, there are many options available but it takes some research to find the best fit.

Much like researching a college or camp for a child, it’s important to start this research before it may be actually needed.

“East Ridge at Cutler Bay offers monthly open house events for the Three Palms Health Center so families can visit and tour the new assisted living and memory care residences as well as skilled nursing also found there,” explains Rick Drew, director of marketing and sales.

What should a family be looking for when assessing assisted living facilities?

Here are some pointers from Drew:

  • When you visit a community, you want to be aware of the atmosphere. The feeling a community has is important. Do people look happy and relaxed?  Observe the staff and feel if there is chemistry or stress in their interactions with residents and each other.  Does the staff show residents’ respect?  Do you feel the warmth starting with the receptionist?
  • What types of activities are available? A monthly activity calendar should show both large and small group activities.  Are there activities for mental stimulation such as board games and cross word puzzles?  If your mother enjoys outings, check to see if there are group excursions.

At East Ridge, there are activities which get people outdoors to enjoy nature.  This has many benefits and is so important to peoples’ wellbeing.  Is live entertainment offered at least once a week?

  • Meeting the staff is important. You want to talk with someone in addition to the marketing person.  Meet people who will be caring for your parent. You should be introduced to the executive director.  These are people you’ll want to know on a first name basis.  Learn if there are family conferences and updates.  Get a feeling if the staff really knows their residents.

You may want to ask if there are any residents living at the community from your parent’s prior neighborhood or if there are any residents who enjoy a specific activity.

  • Sample a meal at the community. Dining plays an important aspect of community life and you want to learn how frequently the menu changes and if special food can be prepared if your parent wants to order something different than what is offered. Is the dining room inviting and spotless?  A community dining room should be very similar to a country club or hotel restaurant with well-groomed and attentive and wait staff.
  • Learn about the philosophy of care the community offers. For example, East Ridge places a great deal of importance on resident-centered care and practices the philosophy of “Choice and Change”. The resident determines their care. Rather than adapt to the community’s schedule and program, the residents’ needs and desires are the priority.  Residents’ privacy is valued.  They have the freedom to lock their door.  They can individualize their lives and their freedom is respected.  Certainly there are schedules but how people spend their time is their choice.  Our staff revolves around the residents, not the other way.

If you would like to visit the new Three Palms Health Center and attend an Open House, the next Open House is May 30 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Please call us at 305-256-3564 to let us know you are planning to visit.