Let’s assume you find the perfect assisted living facility (ALF) for your parent. What’s more, you’ve found a place that meets all your criteria in terms of location, care support, activities and demographics. One would imagine that the next step would be to move in and become a resident. Not so fast!
A medical assessment for prospective residents is required by every ALF prior to move-in day. The assessment is usually administered by the Wellness Director (RN) and determines if the ALF is appropriate for the prospective resident. Both physical and cognitive abilities are evaluated in these tests. In most states across the country, these assessments must be completed no more than one month prior to the move-in.
Today, the majority of ALF’s now feature memory care residences. These medical assessments also determine whether the prospective resident is a candidate for these specially designated areas. Significantly, there are times where the assessment indicates that a nursing home would be a more appropriate choice.
Assessments are often used when a prospective resident lives out of area and is not be able to visit the ALF beforehand. Larger ALF groups that have many locations can utilize a RN from a “sister” ALF to process the assessment. Many home care agencies process assessments, along with companies that specialize in out-of-area assessments. Assisted Living Nationwide works with companies, such as Long Term Solutions, to make sure these assessments are processed quickly. As with the entire assisting living selection process, time is always a critical factor.
What is Assisted Living?
The Assisted Living Federation of America defines assisted living as a long-term care option that combines housing, support services and health care, as needed. Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer’s, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Residents are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in condition. The assessment is used to develop an Individualized Service Plan. (Source: assistedliving.org)