Finding the best assisted living facility for your loved one comes down to making a decision that mixes feelings with facts. It’s based both on how you view the facility and on how it fills the specific needs and preferences of the individual who will be living there.
While location may be critical for one family – and so a place 30 miles out of town would be ruled out – another may not care. Similarly, if the elderly person loves water aerobics, for example, not having a pool could be a deal breaker.
Begin by going beyond the marketing and doing your own detective work. This begins even before you decide on which facilities to visit. For example:
- Go online to look for reviews of assisted living places in the area
- Visit their websites
Search for information about providers through the Better Business Bureau or local Office on the Aging
Just as you may have felt when your children visited college campuses, feelings can be very visceral. A beautiful facility can seem cold and unfriendly, while a more “broken in” one may seem just right.
Here are some boxes to check off:
- If your family member will be bringing a car, is there onsite parking?
- Is there good security?
- Is the building clean?
- Does the food seem nutritious and does it look and smell inviting? Do they cater to special diets or observances? Can guests eat with the residents?
- Does the staff seem capable and compassionate?
- Do the residents seem happy? Are they well engaged?
- What kinds of activities are available (and will they appeal to your loved one)?
- Are there field trips?
- Are the common areas appealing?
Making this effort will further the likelihood that the assisted living facility you chose will be the right one.