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Five Questions To Ask An Assisted Living Facility

Finding the right assisted living for you or a family member is often time-consuming – and certainly a bit overwhelming. The most effective strategy is to compile a list of questions to ask an assisted living facility during a scheduled tour. Below are five questions designed to help you find the right assisted living in terms of staffing, rates, activities, meal times and social interaction.

  1. How many hours of care per month of are included in the monthly rental charge?

Typically assisted living facilities include one hour a day of care services, but each facility is different. Additional support can be costly, so make sure you find out any hidden costs up front.

  1. Can we schedule the tour close to lunch or dinner?

Meal times are the only time per day to obverse most of the residents together as well as the social interaction among staff members and the residents. And, of course, it is a good idea to sample the food!

  1. Can we meet the staff?

It’s important to meet both the Executive Director and the Wellness Director/RN. These individuals will be your day-to-day contacts. The Wellness Director, in particular, will be in charge of the resident’s care plan. Do ask about their background, how long they have been at the facility and staff turnover rate. Always ask how long they have been at the assisted living facility.

  1. Can we observe the daily activities?

You want to make sure there are enough activities that meet the interests of your mother or father. Do ask for the calendar of activities. Most facilities put out the schedule on a monthly basis.

  1. What are the monthly rental charges, care charges and the current availability of apartments?

Rates can change quickly so it’s a good idea to lock in a rate when you first tour to avoid higher rates at move-in time. Always determine if there is any flexibility in the rates. After all, it never hurts to ask!

Assisted Living Nationwide will quickly and efficiently find the three best assisted living facilities based on the family’s criteria. We will schedule the tours and give you information on the facility, the corporation that owns the facility and other relevant data. The five questions above help in making this very important decision.

 

Choosing an Assisted Living Location

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Today there are more options than ever before in choosing an assisted living facility (ALF). There are, in fact, thousands of ALF’s across the country. How does a couple or individual decide which geographic location would be best? Most likely, there will be an assisted living in whichever location you decide to live.

Here, from Assisted Living Nationwide, are some guidelines on how to choose the right assisted living location:

Live Near Your Children

As you age, family is so important, for many reasons, including socialization and health care decisions. Residing in an assisted living close to one or more family members is a plus for both the elder and the family. Make it as easy as possible for families to visit the ALF.

Choose Your Setting

Decide upon a suburban or city setting. Maybe you are one who likes the outdoors with walking trails, gardens and many acres to explore. Or maybe, you like the city with access to theatre, movies, museums, restaurants etc. Do consider the interests, hobbies and lifestyle of the senior before touring an ALF.

Weathering On

As you age, those long winters are quite depressing. There is a reason why there are so many assisted living facilities in such states as Florida, Arizona and California. This is definitely the plus-side to living in a warm climate in your later years. All other factors being equal, this can be a very pleasant environment for an assisted living.

 Move Back to the City Where You were Born

Not surprisingly, many people move back to the area where they grew up. There are memories, connections and familiarity. Your childhood friends my still live in the area or even be residents at the ALF of your choice.

The good news is that today people have more options than ever before in choosing an assisted living facility. Think of this next step as an exciting life choice. It may very well turn out to be the best decision for you you — and yout entire family.

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.

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