Senior Care Blog

Mar11

How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility
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Choosing an assisted living facility can be a very overwhelming process. In an ideal world you would be able to take time to discover what facilities are available prior to the actual need to move, thus avoiding choosing a facility placement that might not be the best match and also to understand the cost and different sources of funding, and possibly get on a waiting list at the facility of your choice.

Often times the need for facility based care arrises during an unexpected crisis, when there is very little time to identify or understand what options are available.

At Vida, we understand the burden this can place on the family of an elder loved one.  Our Assisted Living Facility Transitions program is designed to “buy” you and your loved one the precious time you need during the decision making process.

Our Senior Transition Consultants can help with both choosing an assisted living facility and also by getting your loved one senior home care services during the “transition period”.

Your Vida Transition Consultant will help you evaluate and choose a facility based on the following criteria.

Initial Assisted Living Facility Considerations:

  • What area of town is preferred?
  • What is the size of the facility? larger (30+ residents) or smaller home style (2-12 residents)
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is smoking allowed?
  • Are there private rooms available, or only shared rooms?
  • What sources of payment are accepted by the facility?
  • What level of care is needed?

Once the assisted living facilities in your area are identified that meet these initial considerations, there are several additional questions to then ask.

Service & Planning

  • How often are residents’ needs assessed? Who completes the assessment?
  • Are there special programs for memory impaired residents and residents with dementia? Is it a locked area?
  • Are there accommodations for memory impaired residents to be outside and exercise?
  • Are there special programs for residents with disabilities?
  • How are emergency situations managed? What is the protocol for such events
  • What happens if the health care needs of a resident change? Under what conditions are residents asked to move if there is a change in health status?

Service & Activities

  • Does staff assist residents in administration of medication?
  • Does the facility use a particular pharmacy? If so, does that pharmacy participate in the individual’s Medicare Part D prescrition drug plan?
  • Are there professional nursing services on site? If not, does the staff assist residents and families in making arrangements through a home health agency?
  • Are the services of physical, occupational or speech therapy available or arranged?
  • Does the facility provide laundry service?
  • Are there beauty shop services available on site?
  • What recreational and spiritual activities are available? Obtain and review a copy of the activities calander
  • Is transportaion provided for medical appointments and recreational purposes?
  • Are there resident and family counsils? How often do they meet?
  • Can hospice care be offered? If so, does the facility coordinate that care with the physician and family?

Staff

  • What is the resident’s staffing patterns and philosophy about staffing?
  • What training and qualifications are required for staff? Are there on-going training programs provided for staff?
  • Observe staff and resident interactions. Are they positive? Courteous?

Moving in

  • What does the moving in process entail? What are the paperwork requirements and the time frames involved?
  • How is the initial assessment managed? Who completes the assessment?
  • Is the assisted living facility affiliated with a hospital or skilled nursing facility should acute or long term care be needed? If so, is there a priority admission process?
  • If your loved one needs hospital or or nursing home care, is their room held?

Costs & Fees:

  • What is included in the basic monthly cost? Ask for a written copy.
  • Does the facility have a written schedule of fees for extra services? If so, request a copy.
  • Under what circumstance might the fees change? How much notice is given if there is a fee increase?
  • Is there a security deposit? What is the refund policy?

Dinning and Food Services

  • Does the assisted living facility accommodate special diets?
  • Does a dietician review the menus? Request to review copies of the menus.
  • How often do the menus rotate?
  • Are residents allowed to have guests for meals? Is there a separate guest dining room.
  • What are the criteria for residents to eat meals in their rooms?

Living Space

  • Are the resident rooms furnished or unfurnished?
  • What is the policy for overnight guests? Are there guest rooms available?
  • What are the guest fees?
  • Does the facility meet the rules for people with disabilities?
  • Are pets allowed in the residence? If so, are there additional fees or deposits?

Licensure & Certification

  • Is the facility licenced?
  • Ask to review documentation.
  • If the state requires the administratior to be licenced,is it current?
  • Does the staff participate in a professional association?

To learn more you can call us at 1.866.273.2995. You can also fill out the simple online form to have one of our Senior Care Specialists contact you. Get Help Now.


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March 11th, 2009 | Posted by:

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