What do people want to know about assisted living facilities?
Residents of assisted living facilities and their families and those considering moving into one were asked the questions below. Here are their answers:
What is assisted living?
In general, it is a residential care facility that provides some services but is not licensed as a skilled nursing facility. But that covers a broad range of assistance and standards.
What services can I expect to get?
They may range from little more than group meals in a dining hall, housekeeping, and a pull cord in the bathroom to full-blown dementia care. Here are some questions you need to ask of the assisted living homes you are considering: Is there a nurse on duty 24/7? Is a doctor available? Know what the facility is really capable of providing. Just because a home says it provides dementia care doesn’t mean it knows how to do this well.
What will quality of life be like?
Can people eat when they want, and with the people they choose? Are there activities of interest? Do other residents seem active and engaged?
How much will it cost? Many assisted living facilities change by levels of service, or tiers. The more care you need, the higher the fee. Be sure you understand the details up front.
What is the most important thing to know?
It is all about the aides. Forget about the wood paneling and fresh flowers in the lobby. When you visit assisted living, watch the interaction between staff and residents. Do the aides know the residents by name? Do they seem rushed or do they spend time to chat with residents? What are staffing levels like, especially at night?
Choosing to move, or to move a loved one, into an assisted living facility is a big and emotional step. It is important to take the time and ask questions.
Excerpts - Caring for Our Parents