As members of the baby boomer generation reach their senior years, many families are finding that they need help in caring for a loved one. While family members often try to meet basic care needs for their elderly loved one, it often becomes necessary to find more supportive care options as time passes and the level of help required increases.
Assisted living placements can be a good choice to explore for patients who can no longer function safely in a home setting but are still mobile. If you are tasked with helping a loved one look for a suitable assisted living placement, here are some important questions to ask when touring each facility.
What is the staffing situation for the facility?
Before placing a loved one in an assisted living facility, it is important to gather detailed information about the facility. While taking a physical tour of the facility and grounds will provide general answers about patient rooms, dining facilities, and other daily needs, you may need to ask specific questions to fully understand the staffing of each facility. Some important questions to ask regarding the staffing situation of the facility include:
- the number of full and part-time staff and the ratio of staff per patient
- the training, qualifications, and certifications required for staff members and the accessibility of nurses and on-call physicians
- the management of medications
While no assisted living facility can accurately predict how their staffing may change over a period of time, each facility should be able to provide basic information showing their current and past staffing levels and how they have handled staffing shortages in the past.
Are memory care services available?
While the initial placement for assisted living may not require memory care services, it is wise to explore the availability of such options for later needs. Opting to utilize an assisted living facility that offers memory care services can help families avoid having to move their loved one later, should they experience memory loss after becoming familiar with their assisted living facility.
What security and safety measures does the facility offer?
Security and safety for your loved one is a prime concern when interviewing assisted living facilities. In addition to information about fire safety and steps taken to secure entry and exit points, remember to also ask location-specific questions, such as how storm warnings and power outages are handled.
The need for assisted living care is a problem that most families struggle with. Taking the time to meet with the administrator of each assisted living facility you are considering will provide you with an opportunity to gather the information you need to make a more informed decision.
For more information on an assisted living community, contact a professional near you.