Tips for Finding the Right Assisted Living Facility for Your Parents

Assisted living for the elderly

It can be really hard to watch the people we love grow older and become less independent. Having the conversation with a family member about possibly moving into one of the area’s assisted living communities is not fun nor does anyone really want to have to do that. Unfortunately, these conversations must happen if we want to make sure our loved ones get the care they need and deserve and can have the highest quality of life. Here are some tips in finding the best assisted living home for the person you care about.

Tips for Looking at Assisted Living Communities:

  • Start with your other friends and relatives. Do you know anyone who has moved a loved one into a nursing home or other assisted living facility? Even if you think the community they picked for their family member is one of the places you would consider for your parent or loved one, they may have seen at least a few and can offer their feedback. The best referrals are word of mouth. You should also look online for reviews. You can check Yelp and look for different Facebook groups that might have reviews or other information about the different assisted living centers. Remember that peole are much more likely to complain than compliment so weigh anonymous complaints accordingly.
  • Talk to your loved one’s doctor.Have you talked to the person’s physician? They can be a great resource when looking at assisted living communities. They may have experience working with the staff at the local independent living facilities or know people who have moved into them. If your family member needs to move someplace because of medical issues or problems, their doctor may be able to direct you to one that offers all of the services they will need. If their doctor does not have first hand experience dealing with the assisted living communities, they may be able to ask around and get more information for you.
  • Ask about the medical care they provide.Like the people they service, different assisted living communities have varying levels of medical care avaiablle to their residents. The level of care offered can range from just checking on residents at night (or in the morning) to around the clock medical care and a full time nursing staff. Facilities that cater to people with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease offer a different level of care than those that cater to others. Dementia is a common issue for people as they get older and more than 40% of assisted living community residents suffer from some form of it.
  • Ask about the activities they provide their residents. Studies show that the more active a person stays, the happier they are. This is one reason so many people fear retirement. Find out what kinds of activities are offered at the different assisted living communities and try to find one that can help your family membr or patrent keep up with the things they love to do. Some facilities have tennis courts and swimming pools that gelp the people who live there stay active. Others have game nights and that sort of thing to facilitate fun and social interaction.
  • Visit assisted living communities during meal time. Many assisted living communities have meal services. These can be a great way for you to see how the residents like living at the facility. Many people find dinung to be a fun activity and that eating good food does increase their overall happiness. Go to a few assisted living communities during their meal times and see how they look. You can get a sense of the food offered but also see how the staff interacts with the residents. This is also a good time to ask residents what they really think of the place.

While the idea that your parent or other family member needs to move into an assisted living community may not be fun or something you look forward to, moving them into one may be the best thing for them. Many seniors find their lives improve after they find the right assisted living facility. They can increase their social interactions and find a way to enjoy their retirement.

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