The decision to move into assisted living is often one of the most difficult decisions seniors and their families face. There are so many benefits, but also so many potential problems. You will want to find a facility where you can be sure that you will be safe, happy, and well cared for. This isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly as it can be for the rest of your life.
This comprehensive guide will take you through all the steps for finding the best assisted living facility for your needs.
When looking for any home, we hear the phrase location, location, location. There are several reasons why the location of any senior living community is so important:
Family and friends
One of the biggest things to consider when choosing a home to live in is, will it be convenient for family and friends to visit? When you are living in assisted living, you will probably want to visit your old home every now and then, meaning it’s best to live near o relatives and family members. This way, you will have lots of close friends who can help support your move into assisted living.
Those special places
You may also want to visit places that are special to you or that have special memories associated with them. Keeping ties to your old neighborhood is a good way to stay connected.
It could be a lifetime dream to move to a warmer climate. This can be your opportunity to realize your dreams of living somewhere warm throughout the year. However, this decision will depend on your own personal preferences and how important it is to stay connected with your old life.
Assisted living should be a place where you can make the transition to an older lifestyle that is more comfortable for you. Comfortable doesn’t have to mean slow. Comfortable could mean a facility that offers an exciting range of activities for you to take part in whilst knowing help is available – if it’s needed. Don’t just move to an assisted living facility that is located in your hometown. You should consider moving to a community that presents itself as the kind of environment where you would like to spend your life.
This is an opportunity to find a community where you can enjoy a range of activities safe in the knowledge that help and support are available immediately. For example, does the facility you are considering offer a social calendar that you would enjoy and offer all day, all night, and on-site licensed nurses?
3. Your support needs
Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. When considering different assisted living facilities, the support offered must match your immediate requirements and those you may need in the future.
Services to consider include:
The correct medication management plan will help to reduce the times in a day that medication is taken and ensure that an accurate record is maintained.
Housekeeping and laundry services
Personal independence is important, but staying on top of housekeeping and laundry can be challenging at the best of times. A little extra help when needed can make all the difference.
Caring for personal appearance
The benefits of maintaining a personal appearance are numerous, from maintaining a positive self-image to improving a person’s health and well-being. As we get older, it can become harder to look after our appearance making it more important than relevant assistance is available.
Patients that are experiencing cognitive decline or dementia need ongoing support from trained staff. The correct support can help residents maintain dignity, autonomy, and a level of independence.
You should be honest with yourself on the level of support you need now and how the level of support you need may change in the future. If you are suffering from mental decline or memory loss, your needs may be greater than those of physical decline.
You may want to consider moving into an independent living community but still have the option of moving into assisted living in the future when help is needed. Look for a facility that offers both types of care on-site.
4. Researching Assisted Living Facilities
Your search for an assisted living facility will probably start online. If you are considering multiple facilities, then it may be beneficial to learn about each facility before visiting them in person. This can be done by reading reviews online, reading blogs written by families who have stayed at the facility, or by speaking directly with other people who have used the facility. These reviews will also give you information about how happy or unhappy residents are with their care.
You can also ask whether the facility has been awarded any quality assurance awards or whether the facility has signed up to a code of conduct. For example, in New Jersey, the Health and Senior Services Commissioner has announced a partnership to improve the quality of Assisted Living Residences.
Facilities that exceed all state licensing regulations qualify as part of the Advanced Standing program. You can gauge for yourself the level of service you would receive from an assisted living facility like Brandywine Haddonfield at Brandywine Living that meets the Advanced Standing criteria.
5. Visit potential facilities
Such an important decision shouldn’t be made solely from an internet search, and even the most meticulous study of reviews can’t replace a visit to the facility itself. Visiting a potential community will give you an idea of the atmosphere, staff, activities, and access to medical care.
The number of potential facilities you visit will depend on how much groundwork you want to do beforehand. If you are only interested in one or two communities, then you may visit them both.
Taking time to select an assisted living facility most suited to your needs can help to ensure that your quality of life is maintained at a high standard and meets your needs today and tomorrow.