Assisted living facilities are a bridge between home and the nursing home setting. They let residents live on their own and enjoy their independence, while providing access to meals, activities, and transportation in a home-like setting. Some even provide medical services.
It is important to understand that unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities often do not have licensed staff, so they may not give medication or provide medical services. They may not be regularly inspected by the state, and they may not have rules about how much staff they should have. The services they offer vary.
What are some tips to finding the right assisted living facility?
- Find a facility that is close to your loved one’s family, friends, and medical providers.
- Ask about what services are included in the monthly or annual fee, and what will cost extra.
- Ask about staffing. Is there licensed staff on site 24/7?
- Ask if the facility will administer medication. What kinds of training does staff have for giving medications?
- Talk to staff, residents who live in the setting, and family members of residents to find out their opinions of the facility.
- Ask about what will happen if your loved one gets sicker and is no longer safe to live in the assisted living facility.
- Ask about what will happen if your loved one can no longer afford assisted living or other needed services.
Questions to ask your loved one’s healthcare provider before considering an assisted living facility:
- Do you believe my loved one is safe to live in an assisted living facility?
- Does he or she have any conditions that will increase the risk for falls or other accidents?
- What special needs does my loved one have to keep him or her safe?
- How will my loved one receive physician visits while in the assisted living facility?
- Will you continue to care for my loved one when he or she moves into the assisted living facility?
- Does my loved one have any illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that will worsen and result in a growing need for help with self-care activities in the near future which would make nursing home placement a better option?