If your parent has reached a stage in their life where they can no longer manage to live alone, assisted living can be the next step in providing them with the proper care they need. Assisted living can be very hands-on, or a situation where they get check-ins and customized assistance based on their physical or mental capabilities.
These communities are a branch of long-term care that provides a combination of senior housing and personal and health care for those needing assistance in daily activities. But it still allows enough room for seniors to transition to long-term care but maintain the most independence as possible at that stage.
When it comes to choosing the right assisted living for you or your family member, you’re going to want to ask all of the right questions when you visit for tours and interviews. You need to make sure the amenities and services check all the boxes that meet their needs and wants.
Here are some critical interview questions to ask when you begin touring assisted living communities.
- Do you have apartments available right now?
- If not, what is the waitlist policy?
- What sizes of apartments do you offer?
- How much is the rent? Are there options to buy?
- Is there a monthly fee? What does that cover?
- What is the application process like?
- How elaborate are your evaluations for prospective residents?
- Do you have experienced staff to handle conditions like Parkinson’s, Diabetes, etc.?
- What is the staff to resident ratio?
- Do you offer 24/7 staff services?
- What training and certifications does your staff have?
- Are staff trained to handle dementia patients?
- Can staff administer medications? How can we ensure that service?
- Are there on-site nurses and physicians?
- What are the visitation rules, hours, and regulations?
- What are your safety and security measures in the event of severe weather or another event?
- What is included in the meal plan? Can we customize their meals?
- Can residents prepare their own food in their apartments? What restrictions are there?
- What activities do you offer?
- What amenities are there, and are they open all day?
- Are there extra fees for special classes or extracurricular activities?
- Do you offer transportation services to doctor appointments?
- What other on-site services do you offer?
- Which local hospital do you use for emergencies?
- Do you offer long-term hospice and end-of-life care?
- What is your senior care philosophy?
- Do you offer custom care based on specific needs per patient?
- Would I be able to meet some of the residents/families who currently live here?
If you are unsure or hesitant as you begin your search, print out this list of questions and leave room to makes notes so you can compare each location after you’ve visited. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of everything you may or may not want to ask, but a guide to making it a little easier. It can be very overwhelming to find just the right place, so these questions can help alleviate the burden slightly.
When interviewing and visiting the location, some other tips include taking photos and jotting down square-footage of available units you visit. Tour as many amenities as you can. Note entrances and hallways to see that they have easily accessible elevators, railings, and emergency alert stations. Speak to staff members if you can and get a vibe of how they run the assisted living facility. A happy, friendly staff is a definite plus to finding the right place.
The reason we mention asking about what their philosophy is is that having a company goal or mission is critical to success. An assisted living facility understands that this time of people’s lives can be challenging. Hence, it’s important to have a good philosophy that creates a positive outlook on their lives. And a philosophy also makes a solid base which they can build off of and inspire each branch of the business.
For example, our philosophy at Sunflower Communities is that life should be shared in a community. So we focus on shared spaces, social activities, and community dining experiences to facilitate a place that feels like home and where our residents can thrive. If that sounds like something that suits your parent or family members, please reach out, and we would be happy to give you a tour of our community living spaces.