Touring and choosing an assisted living facility for a relative –whether Mom, Dad, a grandparent, or a spouse– can be one of the hardest, most important decisions. Touring facilities can quickly become overwhelming! There’s so much to account for: various amenities, costs, and types of care. And, you want the best care that is the best fit for your loved one! Here’s some tips and things to ask when you begin touring assisted living facilities.
- Are there different sizes or types of units available to tour?
- Are rooms and bathrooms shared, or private?
- Are there kitchens or kitchenettes?
- Is the floor plan logical and safe for your loved one’s needs? Handicap accessible? Minimal stairs? Is the shower/tub accessible? Etc.
- How often is housekeeping provided, and what services do they provide?
- Is there lawn maintenance, snow removal, etc. if necessary?
- Take time to inspect the cleanliness of the housing unit, in every room or area of the unit.
- Make note of the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation units. Are they performing well?
- Is there 24-hour care available?
- Is the nursing and care staff fully licensed, and what type of experience do they have?
- If necessary, is there designated space and a level of care suitable for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, or other memory impairments?
- How often to physicians visit? Can residents choose their own doctors?
- Where is the nearest hospital or healthcare facility off-campus?
- Are there emergency call buttons – for residents to wear and/or in their living facilities?
- Are prescriptions delivered? Can medications be administered?
Cost & Other Questions
- Does the contract specify what happens if a resident can no longer pay?
- How does the facility bill for services?
- What is their visitor policy?
- What other amenities are included? For an added cost?
- What types of activities are offered? Transportation?
- Under what circumstances would a resident move out?
For other suggestions of questions to ask and tips for touring, more resources are available here. You may also want to download this comprehensive checklist from AARP that is a great tool for keeping track of your questions. Ultimately, ask questions – lots of them! – and trust your gut. No one knows your loved ones better than you do!