Posted: August 25, 2023
Finding and choosing the right assisted living community requires careful research, evaluation, and consideration of individual needs and preferences. Choosing the right assisted living community takes time, so starting the process early is essential and allows ample time for research, visits, and decision-making. This article shares a few important considerations to make before, during, and after the search for the perfect fit throughout the selection process.
It is wise to begin the search for a suitable assisted living community by assessing the specific needs, preferences, and priorities of the individual moving to assisted living. This involves considering factors such as location, level of care required, desired amenities, budget, and any specific accommodations like memory care or specialized services. It is important to understand the unique requirements of the individual to ensure they will receive the appropriate level of care and support. If necessary, the assessment can include gathering input and insights from care providers, various family members, spouses, and friends to ensure all the bases are covered.
Just like with any decision needing to be made, it’s always good to dive into research to find as much information as possible. Begin by identifying a list of potential assisted living communities that align with the identified needs and preferences. Utilize online resources, directories, and senior living websites to gather information about different communities. Additionally, seek recommendations from healthcare professionals, friends, or family members who have experience with assisted living. Their insights can provide valuable guidance in the decision-making process, as well as perspective you may not have thought about.
Schedule visits and tours to the shortlisted assisted living communities. This step is crucial as it allows you to get a firsthand experience of the community. During the visits, pay attention to the layout, amenities, security measures, and accessibility of the community. Take note of the cleanliness, friendliness of staff, the overall atmosphere, and resident interactions. These observations will help you evaluate if the community meets the desired standards and if it feels like a comfortable and welcoming environment, especially since many of these communities promote independence.
Touring in person also allows for dialogue with the community staff, so be sure to come prepared with a list of questions! Interact with the staff and administrators to gain insights into the community’s philosophy, care approach, and available services. This step is an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of how the community operates and how they prioritize the well-being of their residents. Additionally, consider speaking with current residents and their families to gather their perspectives and experiences if appropriate. Their firsthand accounts can provide valuable feedback about the quality of care and overall satisfaction within the community.
Obtain copies of the contracts, policies, and pricing details from the communities under consideration. Carefully review these documents, paying attention to the cost structure, services provided, admission criteria, cancellation policies, and any other pertinent information. It is important to have a clear understanding of the financial obligations and the terms of the agreement before making a final decision. A recent AARP article suggests taking the terms and conditions to a professional lawyer or financial advisor for review to ensure the terms are clearly understood by everyone involved before submitting a signature.
Ensure that the assisted living communities you are considering are properly licensed and meet the local authorities’ regulations and compliance standards. You can usually obtain this information from the community or local regulatory agencies. Verifying the community’s compliance with regulations ensures that they maintain a safe and suitable environment for their residents.
Seek input and opinions from family members, close friends, or trusted advisors to gather different perspectives and insights. Discussing the options with loved ones can provide valuable input and help you make a more informed decision. Their perspectives may bring up considerations or concerns that you may have overlooked.
The Bottom Line
By following this process, you can navigate the journey of finding and choosing the right assisted living community with confidence. What may seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, allotting the time to spend on each of these steps will better ensure that the needs and preferences of the individual are met in a supportive and caring environment.