According to the National Center for Assisted Living, there are 28,900 assisted living centers in the United States, with a total of about 1,000,000 licensed beds. With 16.5% of the U.S. population sitting at 65 and older, it’s safe to say discussing whether or not to move to an assisted living community is brought up in millions of households across the country.
When you and your loved ones have discussed the pros and cons of transitioning into a senior living community, you may wonder where you need to start when it comes to finding the best possible fit for your lifestyle and your needs.
9 Questions to Ask Assisted Living Communities
These are a few essential questions you’ll want to ask an assisted living community to see if it is right for you.
- What is the staff to resident ratio?
This question is straightforward. The answer will tell you whether there are too many residents for the number of people on staff. This could be an indicator of how thorough the care you will receive will be.
- How much staff turnover is there?
One great way to get a feel for the potential facility is to see whether or not staff members like working there. High turnover rates could indicate poor management and lead to a lack of continuity of care.
- Are staff onsite 24/7?
It’s important to know what level of care will be received no matter the time of day. Ask what kind of medical personnel are available 24/7 or who is on call should an emergency arise.
- What are accommodations like?
Most facilities offer a wide variety of accommodation sizes and layouts. Ask what kind of privacy you can expect as a resident, what personal items you are allowed to bring with you, and what policies are for visitors. You want to make sure your new home is everything you need it and want it to be.
- What kind of activities do you offer?
One of the many benefits of assisted living facilities is that they provide opportunities for social interaction and organized activities to keep residents engaged and moving. Ask about the on-site activity opportunities to make sure you have the level of socialization and engagement you’re looking for.
- How do you help new residents adjust?
The move from independent living to assisted living can be quite an adjustment. Ask how the facility orients new residents to the rhythm of the community to make sure you have a place that will help you feel at home as soon as possible.
- How do you keep residents safe?
Improved safety is probably one of the many reasons you have decided to look into assisted living. Ask about emergency procedures for fires and severe weather, if residents have access to emergency alert buttons, and if all accommodations have safety rails and other measures to prevent falls. In addition to these questions, you can also ask what kind of background checks are performed on staff members and how residents are accounted for each day.
- Is transportation available?
Even with sleek accommodations and plenty of on-site activities, there is a whole world outside of any community. Some may offer a shuttle service within a certain vicinity so you can easily access shops, doctor appointments, or religious services. See what kind of transportation is available for your monthly payment and whether there’s an opportunity to travel further afield for additional fees.
- How does the community involve families?
Staying connected to family and loved ones is vital to the mental and physical well-being of any resident. Ask about visiting policies and any special activities offered to share with loved ones. Additionally, inquire about how families are kept updated on any policy changes or information they need to know about the facility. Is there a newsletter, group email, or social media page? What can families expect when it comes to being in the loop?
These questions are just a place to start when it comes to making sure you choose the best assisted living community for you and your medical and social needs. At Elder Care Alliance, we want you to move into one of our communities, fully confident that you’ve made the right choice. Contact one of our professionals today to discuss how we may be the right fit for your needs.