Assisted Living: How Determine the Quality of a Facility

February 27, 2015

Assisted Living Facilities are designed for those who don’t have medical conditions needing constant care, but do need help with activities of daily living. According to the Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living, the estimated number of people living in an Assisted Living Facility is 1 million, and the average age is 83.

Assisted Living Facilities provide a range of assistance, such as helping the residents participate in activities of daily living where help is needed. Most Assisted Living Facilities offer assistance such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Help with meal preparation,
  • Laundry
  • Light housework
  • Medication management.

6 Key Questions

Determining the quality of an Assisted Living Facility can be difficult without experiencing the atmosphere first hand. There are a several questions you can ask in order to gauge the quality of the facility:

  1. Is there an initial assessment before admission?
  2. Do they have any experience with the specific condition and issues?
  3. Can staff administer medications?
  4. What services are available if the resident’s needs change?
  5. Is there a Registered Nurse or equivalent healthcare professional available 24/7?
  6. How do they handle a medical emergency?

Facility Considerations

Most elders have numerous medications to manage. Ask about their policies on medication storage, administration, record keeping, and safety.

  • Assess safety, cleanliness and accessible design. Are doorways, thresholds and walkways easy for walkers, wheelchairs and scooters
  • Are kitchens and bathrooms designed for safety and mobility?
  • Is lighting appropriate and sufficient?
  • Do residents have their own control of the thermostat?
  • Is there an appeals process for dissatisfied residents?

Decision Making

It’s important that the senior moving into the Assisted Living Facility be involved in the decision making process. For instance, they should always visit the shortlist of possible facilities at least once before choosing one.

Good to Consider

Feeling comfortable and content in an Assisted Living Facility is important, and very individual. This can depend on the overall spirit, atmosphere, staff attitude, and fellow residents. Be sure to carefully consider your elder care options and choose the best one for your needs.

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