An assisted living facility is a community or home for the elderly that only need minimal assistance with their daily activities.
Unlike in a nursing home, the people that live there are allowed to be independent as long as they are able.
These facilities offer different types of living spaces and residents can choose from private apartments or semi-private apartments, private studios, one-bedroom units, or dorm-style facilities just to name a few.
If you think assisted living might be right for you or your loved one, first request a tour so you can get a visual idea of what the facility is like.
This is the perfect time to ask questions. Below are a few suggestions of questions you should consider asking.
How many residential units does the facility have and what types of units are available to choose from?
Knowing the number of units available will tell you how many people can live there. You will also find out what types of living arrangements are available such as private apartments, shared spaces, etc.
What amenities and services are included?
Ask about details such as cable, wi-fi, room cleaning services, and entertainment options. Ask if they allow pets and room decorations.
Don’t forget to ask about common areas that residents share and do activities together, and ask if each apartment has a parking space.
How many staff members are in the facility? Are there skilled professionals, and what are their responsibilities and tasks?
Finding out about the staff of the facility is crucial because you, or your loved one, will be in their care. Make sure you will be in good hands.
Ask about their professional background, training, experience, and how long they have worked at the facility.
What special services are available for residents?
Some assisted living facilities offer services including trips to the café, bank, salon, or supermarket. Some facilities offer such services for free and others for an additional fee.
What food do they offer and are the meals served to the residents?
Some units may come with a kitchen, but even if they do, will staff still help with dining? Can visitors bring food in for residents, for example, for their birthday?
Will they help administer medication?
Although typical residents at an assisted living facility only need limited assistance, it is important to know whether they help manage and administer medication.
What is the monthly fee per unit type and are there any extra fees?
Once you have learned other information about the facility it is time to ask about the costs. Most facilities have a monthly fee, but make sure to ask about additional fees that you may not anticipate. Knowing this information in advance can help prepare your budget.
Will you need an assessment?
Many assisted living facilities require residents to undergo an assessment to determine if the facility is right for you or your loved one. The test will also provide the facility with medical and health details they will need if an emergency were to occur.
It’s important to do your research before committing to a living facility. Don’t be afraid to be thorough with your questions. Each living facility is different so it’s important to understand what you are signing up for.