Choosing the perfect assisted living community is not an easy task, and you’ll likely go on an assisted living tour. Typically, this decision is made because a loved one needs more care than you’re able to provide. Especially for today’s Sandwich Generation who are caring for parents while also raising children, the stress of caregiving can be detrimental to overall health and wellness. Assisted living communities can offer things that many homes can’t – round-the-clock staff members trained to help residents and residences designed for ease of use, such as wide doors that can accommodate mobility assistance, are just two things. But how do you choose the right residence for your loved one? Below is a list of questions to ask during your assisted living tour. Feel free to print it and use it to take notes after your visit.
What is included in the monthly service package?
Some communities have an inclusive monthly service package, where all care is included, even when a resident’s need for help with specific tasks may change. Other communities have a smaller initial monthly service package, adding additional fees as different services are needed.
What is the staffing like?
Will your loved one generally be cared for by the same team of nurses, LPNs, CNAs and housekeepers? Or are employees more likely to float between different floors, buildings and roles? Who would be your point of contact if your loved one moved in? How could you reach that person?
Does the community offer private rooms?
Are both parents moving in? Does the community have a residence that can fit them, or do they only offer single residences? Some communities have companion suites, where your loved one could end up sharing with a stranger.
What events and activities are held on and off campus?
It’s likely that at each community you visit you’ll see some of the standard events – holiday celebrations, small concerts and similar activities. Are there any events or activities that appeal to you? Is there programming specifically to foster friendships? Are there off-campus events that the assisted living residents are invited to attend? Do the events seem like ones that would interest your loved one? If they aren’t, how open is the staff to accepting new ideas for events and activities? Are you permitted to join your loved one for things like exercise classes?
What higher levels of care exist?
What plan is in place if your loved one needs more care at some point in the future? Are there memory care residences where you know he or she will be secure and safe?
How are the residents you see on your visit?
Do they stop and chat with each other in the halls? Do you see small groups congregating or large groups attending events? Do residents greet you and your family member when you pass them in the hall? Everyone has bad days, but overall, do the residents seem happy?
What’s the community’s visitation policy?
Are there set visiting hours? Can you bring your loved one home for the holidays, vacation or other special family events? What is the process? If your loved one has a beloved pet, are you allowed to bring it for a visit occasionally?
This list of questions, while not exhaustive, can provide a good baseline of ways to help you compare communities. Before you visit, you should think about other questions that are important to you and your loved one’s specific situation and add them to the list. And, if you go home and realize that you forgot to ask one of your questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the community!. A big part of the decision is making sure you are comfortable with the level of communication you receive, and that starts during the research process!.
To learn more about assisted living available at The Village at Gainesville, click here to request an informational kit, or call us at 352-548-3507.