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Questions to Ask and Things to Consider When Looking for Assisted Living Communities

- Monday, August 22, 2011

The decision to move your loved one into an assisted living facility is not an easy one. As your loved one ages, they may need more help with daily activities like bathing or remembering medication. Moving to a facility that provides some assistance, without sacrificing independence, may be an option. This type of assisted living environment such as Spring Arbor, is a great option for long-term care.

What should you consider when looking for an assisted living community? First, think about what activities you or your loved one need help with. Here are some considerations to help guide you in your search.

What is most valuable in your loved one's life? What gives them purpose and meaning? Think about where their doctors, church, and family are. The assisted living facility should be near the things and people they hold dear. Seniors need to remain connected.

Think about current and future needs. If a progressive illness is involved look for a facility that can accommodate as mobility changes. Ask questions like: What are the levels of care offered? Are there ramps located throughout? Is the room or apartment fully accessible if a wheelchair is required in the future?

Also, if dementia is involved, there is a risk of wandering; is there an Alzheimer’s area that is safe and secure? When a loved one has Alzheimer's or a related dementia it can seem as though few options are available. As needs progress, the constant care and attention required can seem overwhelming. To meet this need, Spring Arbor offers  "Special Care Cottages" programs that are custom designed for residents with these unique challenges.

Get referrals. You will be surprised at how many people you know or how many people you can be connected with who have done this research. Also, contact your local agency on aging to find out if they can provide a list of facilities they'd recommend in your area.

Visit a few times beforehand. Stop by the community at least twice and take at least one guided tour. Show up unannounced for some other visits in order to see what happenings on a regular day. A nighttime visit is important because most of the staff has likely gone home.

Talk to current residents. If is it possible, talk to residents you meet during your on-site visits.