Sometimes the best choice for your loved one is to work with home health agency. Home Health
allows the option to keep your loved one at home and be taken care of at an agreed upon
number of hours per day. You may only need them for 4 - 6 hours. Or maybe 24 hrs. per day.
Home Health can help with bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding your loved one. Some will
administer medications also. They can be present as a companion for a portion of the day.
Maybe, the need is greater, whatever the individual need or circumstance, it’s a great option to
keep your loved one at home for as long as possible. Home Health is an option well worth
delving into before taking the next step.
However, you may have reached a point where you feel that its time to find an assisted living
community. Finding the right type of community for your loved one requires homework and
visits to the facility. But before you begin that process you need to determine what the best fit
will be for them - large community, or a smaller eight (8) bed assisted living.
Ask yourself and/or your loved one:
- Do they enjoy lots of activities or prefer to be in a quiet, calm environment?
- Do they need some - one to check in on them once or twice a day or do they need to have someone caring for them around the clock?
- Do they prefer to be alone or do they need to have company?
- Do they have dementia and need to see the familiar faces daily?
- Do they get bored easily?
- Will they be happier in a home environment or larger community?
These simple questions should give you some insight and direction towards either a large community or small community.
This doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. You may be looking at a large community and during your research, discover that a smaller one is the better fit,
and vice versa. Once you have some direction, you can start your search.
What to look for in a facility
- Is the community clean & well maintained?
- Is the community pet friendly?
- Does facility have safe features such as handrails and grab bars
- Is there an emergency and fire alert and sprinkler system?
- Is there a ramp?
- Is there an elevator?
- Is the facility alarmed and monitored?
- Is this a secured facility?
RESIDENT & STAFF INTERACTION
- What is staff-to-resident ratio?
- Does the community have awake staff overnight?
- How does community handle residents who need additional care and support?
- Do residents have access to in-home care should it be needed?
- Do residents have medical oversight?
- Do staff undergo screenings and background checks prior to employment?
- Does community have its most recent survey results posted or available for review?
- Are staff trained and retrained at regular intervals?
- Are housekeeping and laundry provided?
- Are transportation services available?
- Do other residents appear to be happy?
- Do caregivers interact with residents in positive ways?
- Do residents appear tidy and well cared for?
FEES AND COSTS
- What services are included in the monthly fee?
- Are all services included in the monthly fee?
- What services are available for an additional fee?
- How often does resident rate increase occur?
- How much notice do residents receive prior to a rate increase?
- Is there a community fee?
- Does the dining room look and smell inviting?
- Are residents allowed to invite guests for meals?
- Do residents have input into the menu’s?
- Are three meals, snacks and beverages included in the monthly rate?
- Can community accommodate special dietary needs?
ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS
- Are activities scheduled throughout the day and evening?
- Are there dedicated spaces for residents available for walking, gardening and recreation?
- Do residents appear engaged?
- Is community conveniently located for friends and families to visit?
- Is community in a safe neighborhood?
- Are there shopping, dining and entertainment options nearby?
- Is community near preferred medical providers?
- Does community look and feel like a place you could call home?
- Talk with residents and their family members.
- What do they like about the community?
- Can they recommend it?
- Did they consider other options when searching for a community?
- Why did they choose this community?
Take your loved one to the facility for a tour, ask them if they like it.
If they are unable to communicate, then watch reaction to the other residents and the community itself. (Maybe they can have lunch with the other residents).
Ask the facility for their “UNIFORM DISCLOSURE”. (This should be readily available)
Once you decide on the best facility for your loved one:
- Talk with the manger or person in charge and discuss the details of what is required for move-in to occur
- Determine a move-in date
- Complete all the required paperwork – they will need specific papers completed before move-in
Ask all the questions you can. A smooth transition makes all the difference.
Maybe take in a favorite blanket or chair. Family pictures. Anything that will make your loved one feel comfortable and at home will help with the transition.