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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

 

What You Need to Know About Food at Assisted Living Facilities

The food at assisted living facilities is always a prime topic of conversation. Historically, assisted living facilities offered basic dishes with few choices. The good news: today’s assisted livings are focusing on healthy meals made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Gone are the days when canned, frozen and salt-laden foods were the norm. Today, on-staff dieticians and professional trained chefs join forces to create meals that are both nutritious and delicious.

What should families expect in terms of dining options at an assisted living facility? Many feature 24 hour cafes, room service, experienced wait staff, formal dining rooms and causal gathering spaces. Holidays showcase traditional favorite foods and rituals.  Additionally, residents and families have the option of celebrating these special days at the resident’s home.

Food Plays A Key Role

Rick Weisberg, president of Assisted Living Nationwide , works with clients all across the country. He has found that food is one of the most important considerations for elders and their families. Weisberg advises clients to eat at least one meal at the assisted living prior to deciding whether to move-in. “Obviously, it makes sense to discover, first hand, the quality of the food,” notes Weisberg, “but it’s also important to observe the social interaction among the residents and the staff.”

When an elder is used to preparing his or her own food, it is definitely a transition to having to eat at specified time —  in the company of other people. But keep in mind that meal times at assisted living facilities are an integral part of the day. This is a time for all residents to come together and socially interact. And for those residents who choose not to participate in many of the scheduled activities, meals become even more important.

These days, many assisted livings pride themselves on a caliber of food service in line with a five-star hotel. The presentation of the food is as important as the taste. The menus change daily; there are amenities such as frozen yogurt machines, cappuccino offerings, make-your-own omelet bars and freshly baked cookies and cakes. Adjusting to meal times might not be such a difficult transition after all.

Assisted Living Nationwide