Help in Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

I said in a recent blog that you should do your homework before beginning a discussion about assisted living with your elderly loved ones. I recommended that you research the various living alternatives and facilities so that you will be able to answer questions and have a productive conversation.

So this month, let’s look at the various alternatives and review questions you should ask at each facility.

There are all types of facilities available these days. They range from retirement communities that take away the burden of managing a home to full-service assisted living facilities that provide caregiver assistance, medication management, food, entertainment and transportation.

Some are huge apartment-type dwellings that are operated by corporations and often require you to fill out loads of paperwork or jump through hoops to make any changes in the care that is provided.

Others, like Country Home Assisted Living in western Elbert County, are smaller operations with a limited number of residents that provide a home-like setting in a pleasant neighborhood.

And, of course, there’s everything in between those two options.

As the owner of Country Home Assisted Living for about 18 years, I would like to explain the advantages of our home in a country setting.

As a smaller facility, we tend to have an attentive staff that will notice any changes in a resident’s health, mood, urinary functions, eating habits, etc., much sooner than a larger facility where nursing care is spread across many more people.

At my eight-bed assisted living facility just outside Parker, I take prompt action, calling a family member or doctor, whatever is necessary, to keep our residents in the best health possible.

In addition to a quicker reaction time and greater personalized care, smaller facilities like Country Home offer a much more intimate experience. The residents at Country Home Assisted Living are part of my family. My staff and I get to know them well. We get to know their families. It’s a much more intimate, involved relationship.

Finally, a smaller facility probably is more affordable and probably accepts Medicaid patients, which is something that can’t always be said for the new, larger corporate assisted living facilities.

Now let’s look at some questions that are important to ask at each of the facilities that you may visit:

  1. Is the facility licensed?
  2. How many residents live at the assisted living facility?
  3. What is the ratio of residents to staff?
  4. What are the room sizes and are they private or semi-private? What about bathrooms?
  5. What type of care is provided?
  6. What type of meals are provided? If applicable, you’ll also want to ask if special diets can be accommodated.
  7. How is housekeeping/laundry handled?
  8. Are cable TV and Internet service provided?
  9. What types of activities, such as outings or art classes, are regularly scheduled?
  10. Is transportation available to and from doctors’ offices?
  11. Can a family physician be involved in providing medical care?
  12. Are family members welcome to visit and/or take their loved ones out for a family activity, lunch or doctor appointment?
  13. What is the admission criteria?
  14. What is the starting price and what does it cover? If applicable to your situation, be sure to also ask if Medicaid is accepted.
  15. What are the reasons for which a resident can be discharged? And how much notice is given to the family?

Perhaps my best advice is to consider the personal needs of your loved one, those that exist now and those that may exist in the future. Let your loved ones visit the facilities that have made your final cut, so they can tell you which place will make them comfortable.

If you’d like information about or want to tour Country Home Assisted Living in Parker, please give us a call at 303.840.1986.