Is an assisted-living community a wise choice? The answer is "yes," depending on the health and needs of the individual and the careful selection of a well-run community.
As our population ages and requires more complex care, harder questions need to be asked, and a more comprehensive process needs to be in place when you are looking for assisted living for your loved ones. Currently, assisted-living communities are home to more than 750,000 Americans.
Assisted living is designed to help those who need some help in order to continue to live independently; not those who need nursing home care.
How can families be sure they have made a good choice for their parents or loved one? First, nursing homes are federally regulated, but assisted living regulations vary widely from state to state. Therefore it is important to ask questions, investigate and ask others about the homes you are considering.
If assisted living may be a future choice for you or a family member, here are some suggestions:
- Find out what regulations are in place in that state.
- Check state authorities to see if inspection reports are posted on line.
- Do your homework. Ask the hard questions.
- Visit the facility several times at different times of day.
- Find out the longevity of the staff, their training and ratio of staff to resident.
- Talk to residents.
- Send for AARP's checklist for visiting assisted-living communities.
- Check with an elder-law attorney before signing an admissions agreement.
For residents with dementia, know how the facility manages their care and safety. Understand what level of care is needed and how that may change with age. Assisted-living facilities often have limited medical staffs so for some seniors, a nursing home is the better option.
For more information on assisted living facilities, contact Spring Arbor.
New Haven Register