If you are considering assisted living for yourself or for a loved one, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the decision. How do you know that you will choose the right facility? Will you or your loved one be happy and well cared for there? Can it ever feel like home?
One good way to help you feel comfortable with your decision is to schedule a tour. You may even want to visit a few times if possible in order to really observe how residents live in a particular community.
While specific needs will differ for each individual, here are a few important general things to look for when touring an assisted living facility.
7 Factors to Consider
1. First Impressions. As you are driving up to the facility, what do you think? Do you like the location? Are the buildings and grounds well kept? Is there adequate parking for visitors? Do the common areas appear comfortable? Do you like the layout of the rooms? Is this a place where you could see yourself or your loved one living?
2. Cleanliness. Your first impressions in this area can tell you a lot, but you’ll also want to do a little detective work. Are corners, baseboards, and windows clean – both in the common areas and in the rooms that you visit? You’ll also want to find out about housekeeping arrangements. How often are the rooms straightened up and cleaned? As you are taking your tour, be on the watch for any unusual odors. A funny smell that is confined to a small area may be due to a minor issue that is easily corrected, but if you notice an unpleasant odor that is widespread, it probably indicates a much larger problem.
3. Staff. Of course your tour guide and any staff members you encounter during your visit should be friendly and courteous, but you should also observe their interactions with residents and with each other. Do they appear to treat others with dignity and respect? Are they personable, outgoing, and positive? Are they appropriately dressed? In addition, make sure to ask questions about the staff-to-resident ratio, whether there are nurses on site, and who is there at night.
4. Security and Safety. This is extremely important, as the level of safety will contribute towards maintaining future independence and mobility. Check for handrails in hallways and bathrooms. Are the floors made of non-skid material, and is the carpeting firm enough for ease of walking? Are cupboards easy to reach? Are there sprinklers, smoke detectors, and clearly marked exits? Are common areas, hallways, and rooms accessible to wheelchairs and walkers? If the facility has more than one floor, are there elevators to the upper levels?
You’ll also want to evaluate the outdoor area in this respect. Is it enclosed? Does it appear safe and secure?
Find out about procedures for contacting staff in case of an emergency. If you are considering assisted living for a loved one with memory issues, you’ll need to find out what measures are in place to prevent residents from wandering and what is done if this happens.
5. Services and Activities. Many assisted living communities offer amenities such as on-site exercise facilities, beauty/barber shops, or religious services. Decide which services are especially important to you, and ask to see them on your tour.
Ask to see the facility’s activity calendar. Are the activities ones that you could see yourself or your loved one enjoying? If possible, take some time to observe one of the activities. Are the residents socializing, and do they appear to be having a good time? If outdoor activities or outings are of interest to you, take note of what is offered in those areas.
6. Personal Care. You’ll want to find out as much as you can in this area. Ask about things such as dispensing of medications and bathing options and preferences. Pay attention to the appearance of residents you encounter on your tour. Are they clean, well-groomed, and appropriately dressed?
7. Food. Last, but certainly not least, make sure you check out the dining options. Visit the dining room, and stay for a meal if possible. You’ll want to find out about the food service schedule and procedures. How many meals are provided each day? Are residents allowed to dine in their rooms? Do any of the rooms have kitchenettes? What arrangements are there for family and friends who may visit? If you or your loved one have any dietary restrictions, it’s important to find out if those can be accommodated.
Once the major questions have been answered, remember to trust your instincts. Do you feel comfortable and at ease? Is this somewhere that you could really see yourself or your loved one thriving? If the answer to these questions is yes, then follow your heart.
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910-686-7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living in Wilmington NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today – schedule a visit to the Davis Community!