Ultimate Checklist for Choosing an Assisted Living Community

Finding an ideal assisted living community for your senior loved one can be an overwhelming task, given the wide variety of facilities available. And while the suitability of a community varies from one individual to the other, there are certain must-haves in a senior living residence.

Here’s our assisted living residence checklist.

 

1. Qualified Caregivers and Staff

You want to leave your senior in the hands of a team that’ll professionally attend to their needs and make them feel special and loved.

For this reason, you can tour a community and observe how the staff interacts with the residents. Look at how compassionate, patient, and friendly they are with the seniors.

You can ask about their qualifications, training, and the staff-to-resident ratio.

A good team of caregivers and staff gives you peace of mind that your senior loved one will be in good hands.

 

2. Cleanliness

The community you choose will be your senior’s new home; therefore, you’ve to choose a clean place. A clean and well-maintained senior living community promotes your loved ones, physical, mental, and general well-being.

Typically, it’s easy to spot a clean community; look at the outdoors; how is the landscaping? Look at the indoors; the dining area, lounge area, sleeping units, community halls, etc. do they look clean and well maintained?

A clean home creates a conducive atmosphere for your senior loved one.

 

3. Senior-Friendly Design Details

An ideal assisted living community should be designed to meet the needs of seniors. It should include safety features such as grab bars, handrails, and zero-threshold showers.

The facility should also have accessibility features like widened doors, wheelchair ramps, and elevators.

When looking at the design details, don’t forget to look at the furniture and decor items. The furniture should be comfortable for your senior loved one to sit or lie on.

 

4. Food and Dining Options

Seniors need a balanced diet. So, it’s advisable to check the meals offered in the facility. If you’re touring the facility, you can grab a bite for a first-hand experience.

Check whether the facility accommodates seniors with different dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegan meals.

Ask questions such as, how many meals are provided each day? How often does the menu change? Are the meals freshly made?

 

5. Activities

Most senior living facilities offer a range of activities to residents, depending on the number of people living there and their abilities.

Keeping seniors engaged makes them feel happier, reduces stress levels, and lowers cognitive decline.

So, you should settle for an assisted living facility with activities that match your senior’s hobbies and interests.

For example, if your senior loved one loves gardening, look for a facility with gardening activities; if they love reading books, look for a home with a library, etc.

 

6. Accommodation and Comfort

An ideal senior living facility should offer a variety of accommodation options depending on a senior’s needs.

Some seniors are social and may prefer shared accommodations, while the introverts prefer their own space. So, you should ask whether the facility has the option to choose between shared and private rooms?

Also, look at the furniture, the bed, mattress, and beddings, to mention a few.  Are the bathrooms designed to accommodate seniors on walkers and wheelchairs?

If your senior loved one has a pet, they may want to tag it along to the facility. So, in this case, you may want to look for a pet-friendly facility.

 

Bottom Line

If you’re on a search for an assisted living facility for your senior loved one, the tips discussed above will help you settle for the perfect residence. Good luck!

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.