How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility
If you or someone you love are considering the transition to assisted living, you no doubt agree that the decision is not an easy one. You may feel overwhelmed by the number of options available, and questions such as “How do I choose the right assisted living facility?” and “How can I be sure that I will be happy?” may be swirling in your head.
When choosing an assisted living facility, it’s important to find out as much as you can about all of your possible choices in order to assure that, whatever choice you make, your needs will be met both now and in the future. Here are a few important things to consider that may help you to narrow down your options and make the right choice for you.
5 Factors to Consider
1. Will the facility enable you to stay connected socially? Staying active socially has been associated with many benefits for elderly people. Most assisted living communities offer many chances for residents to socialize, so the chances are that you or your loved one will make a few new friends during your stay. However, the social activities offered on site should not be your only consideration. You need to take a look at your current relationships and think about how the facility you are considering will impact those.
If you can’t imagine life without your beloved long-time doctor, your friends from church, or your bridge club, then make sure that the assisted living facility you choose is in a location that will make maintaining these relationships possible and that transportation to and from appointments, services, and meetings is available. If weekly visits from children and grandchildren are a highlight of your life, you’ll want to make sure that the community you live in is in a location close enough that your family will still be able to visit regularly.
2. Will the facility be able to accommodate both your current and your future needs? If you are considering assisted living, chances are that you already could use some help with tasks such as preparing meals, cleaning, and possibly managing your medication. However, if you have a progressive condition, you will also want to anticipate future needs and find out what will be done if your physical or mental health declines to a point where you need additional assistance.
3. Consider legal and financial issues. Make sure any facility you’re interested in is licensed and that it meets state regulations. You may be able to get a copy of the license or certification from the residence administrator. You’ll also want to ask for a copy of the admissions contract and residence rules. If possible, have these reviewed by a lawyer before making any decisions.
Since most assisted living costs are paid for out of pocket, it’s important to know what to expect financially. You’ve probably already reviewed your own finances and the current costs of the facilities you are considering. However, it’s also wise to ask about additional fees associated with your specific needs or those you might have in the future. You’ll also want to get assurance of the financial security of any facility you look at. Assisted living communities are not immune to changes in housing markets and the economy, and newer facilities, or those who recently renovated and then had a decrease in residents, may be at risk for bankruptcy, leaving residents who invested large sums of money into their long-term stay out in the cold. Protect yourself from unexpected costs or other complications by doing your homework.
4. Is there a waiting list? You could do all the research in the world to choose the perfect facility for yourself or your loved one, but if there is no room when you need to move in, it would all be for nothing. Ideally, your search for an assisted living community should begin well before you anticipate making the transition. Many high quality assisted living facilities will have a waiting list, so you should try to allow at least six months to a year to plan ahead.
5. Meet the residents and staff. In any community, the people you interact with every day can play an important role in determining how happy you are there. You’ve probably already planned to schedule tours of prospective assisted living communities to allow you the chance to view them up close and determine if they feel like home. In addition, visiting in person will give you the opportunity to observe the staff and to ask them important questions pertaining to your care. You should plan on visiting a few times, and pop in unexpectedly at least once. While you’re there, make sure you talk to the current residents. They should be more than happy to share what they like about the facility and also if they’ve experienced any problems. This can give you some valuable perspective and may make your choice a little easier. If the residents seem content and well cared for, chances are good that you or your loved one will be too.
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!