Read these 6 Assisted Living Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Senior tips and hundreds of other topics.
If the assisted living facility requires a contract, then read it carefully. Show it to your lawyer. Some assisted living facilities reserve the right to discharge patients whose condition has deteriorated, even if a lump-sum payment was made upon admittance. It's best to have an agreement that allows payment by the month or permits refunds on advance payment if circumstances change.
Evaluate potential assisted living facilities and assisted living homes by checking/asking if they are currently accredited, licensed and certified for Medicare and Medicaid. They should have a written certification for the home for you to see, and all paperwork should be current and in force.
It is important to know what services and supplies the assisted living facility provides and what might be hidden extra costs. Private duty nurses are very seldom included in the cost of assisted living homes. Cost for extras, such as hair shampoo or conditioner, can be exorbitant. Make a list of the 'extra' necessities and supply them yourself. Talk with the administrator and find out 'who is in charge of what' and who to contact if any problems arise. Ask questions and be informed in advance.
One of the hardest things Seniors do is to move out of their homes into an apartment or assisted living facilities. But there are good reasons for moving to an assisted living facility: your health problems, your disability, too big a house, upkeep of home becoming too expensive, and many more. There are now so many wonderful Senior facilities in many locations; check with a reliable realtor (the one selling your home for you) to locate your wants and needs.
Find out if the assisted living facility staff is professionally trained, certified and large enough to provide adequate care for all assisted living residents at all times. Either you or your family should check on this periodically (every couple of months, at least)
To check out the qualifications of an assisted living facility, it's best to arrive without an appointment. Inspect everything that you possible can. The building and rooms should be clean, attractive, safe and meet all fire codes. Assisted living home residents should not be crowded, nor should hallways be cluttered. Ask about availability of private rooms. Most often they can be obtained at an extra, but reasonable cost. Visit the dining room and kitchen at mealtime to check the sanitary conditions. Visit activity rooms when in session to verify controlled, safe, and well directed activities. Talk to the residents -- ask how they feel about their home. This inspection will put you and your loved one more at ease about the qualifications of the home and care to be received.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|