Questions To Ask When Searching for Assisted Living

Finding trusted information on assisted living facilities isn’t an easy task. Reviews and statistics can be hard to find. So where do you find the information needed to make an informed decision for you or your family member? Here is a list of question that will guide you on how to search for assisted living.

  1. What Are Your Loved One’s Needs?

Does your loved one have dementia, physically handicapped, etc. It is important to know what your loved one will need on a daily basis. If they need care for multiple medical conditions you will want to look for facilities that have full-time medical personnel. Some assisted living facilities have limited medical staff while nursing homes have a full medical team.

  1. Have You Scheduled a Tour?

If you have discovered how to search for assisted living and found an assisted living community you are interested in for your loved one it is important to schedule a visit. You will want to visit more than once and at different times of the day. Start off by visiting during breakfast or lunch this will give you an opportunity to try the food. Make a point to talk to residents this will give you an idea of the culture and environment of the facility. Ask about staff turn over, what type of programming is available for residents and if the doors are locked every evening. Check out AARP’s check list before you tour.

  1. What Are the Costs?

Assisted living facilities can be expensive and they are not covered by Medicare. According to a survey by Metlife in 2012, the average monthly base rate in an assisted living facility rose to almost $4,000. In some areas monthly rates can run as high as $9,000. It is important to find out what is included in the costs. Often times there are additional fees that are not included in the monthly rate. Things like medication management, bathing and dressing assistance can cost extra so make sure to get this information on your tour.

  1. Whats in the Admissions Agreement?

These written agreements can be lengthy and complicated so experts advise taking your time to read them carefully. A lot times additional items that can effect you are buried in the fine print. Things like deadlines for ending billing services when a loved one has passed or no longer needs care. Another part of the Admissions agreement are negotiated risk agreements, which are clauses that are offered so residents can make preferred choices about their care even if they present a risk. If something goes wrong you have signed away your right to sue. If you need more clarification with the Admissions Agreement contact an Elder Lawyer to walk you through it.

  1. Where is the Facility Located?

Having the facility close to friends, family and loved ones is ideal but don’t let it be your deciding factor. Choose the facility based on the level of care they will give your loved one. Don’t trade care for being 5 to 10 minutes closer. You want the best for your loved one.

  1. What Does the Ombudsman Say?

Assisted living information can be hard to find. You can contact a long-term care ombudsmen to help you with additional checklists as well as possible citations against a particular facility. They also be able to answer most of your questions about the facility like, “is the staff well trained?”.


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