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Medical Assessments to Qualify for Assisted Living

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)

Medical Assessments

 

Making the Transition to Assisted Living

The first time you leave your mom or dad (or both) at an assisted living is similar to leaving your child at pre-school or daycare. It’s frightening. Even though you know in your heart that it’s the right thing to do, you feel anxious, indecisive and – in all probability – a bit guilty. Certainly, that’s a typical reaction, but there are things you can do to make those first days and weeks as seamless as possible. Below, from Assisted Living Nationwide, are a few tips to consider:

Visit the assisted living for lunch or dinner a few days prior to the move-in

Ask the staff to introduce your mom or dad to a few residents and other staff members. This allows you both to become familiar with the dining room and the residents. Plan your visit for a week day, when most residents are on-site.

 

Establish lines of communication with the Executive Director and Director of Resident Care

They will have first-hand knowledge of your family member and can address any concerns or monitor the transition. Determine whether email or phone calls are the best option; feel free to ask as many questions as need be.

 

Personalize the apartment so it’s warm and inviting

It’s important to mix prized possession s like photos, artworks and memorabilia with new accent pieces and decorative touches. Photo collages are the perfect wall décor, adding color and familiarity.

 

Check in with your mom or dad — within reason

Calling every few minutes or even hours will not help the residents during the transition. Set a schedule that works for both of your schedules during the first few weeks.

 

Don’t ask about the food!

You will hear about it no matter what. Food is the most popular topic on a daily basis.

Assisted Living Nationwide