Deciding to move your parent into an assisted living facility can be a stressful event. It may have happened rather suddenly or been something that has become increasingly necessary over time. Either way, this new stage of life can be difficult for your parent and family members, sparking all kinds of emotions. This is exactly why it’s so important you pick the right facility for their physical and mental well-being.
To help narrow down the options, here are a few things to look for as you tour various assisted living facilities looking for the best one for your parent.
How Will Your Parent’s Health Needs Be Met?
Arguably the most important question to ask during the tour will be how your parent’s health needs will be met. What is included in “assisted living”? Typically, these communities try to offer as much privacy and independence as possible to their residents, but there will be some hands-on support. That can include such things as medication management, personal care, meals being made, housekeeping, and so forth.
What Would Their Unit Look Like?
You’ll want to ensure you get a room tour so that your parent can try to envision themselves in the space. It’s common for residents to have a private apartment, rather than just a room. It will feel much more spacious and ensures their sense of independence continues.
This is a great time to also ask what they can bring with them, if the facility has any restrictions, and if the apartment comes fully furnished.
Take a Look at the Meal Plan and Menu
Meals are a very important part of picking an assisted living facility, so be sure to also ask about the meal plan and menus. The meals need to be nutritious, balanced, and appetizing. Ideally, you’ll be able to tour the on-site restaurant(s) and take a look at what they offer. It’s common for residents to have the option to eat in the dining room or in their apartment.
Does It Have a Community Vibe?
Because you want your parent’s mental well-being to also be a priority, it’s important to find an assisted living facility that has a community and social vibe. It shouldn’t feel like they are trapped; rather, they now have the luxury of having activities, entertainment, and social opportunities at their fingertips. Be sure to ask what the facility offers and ask to see any specific venues/meeting rooms.
Some of the amenities that may be offered include:
- On-site gym
- On-site spa/salon
- Multiple restaurants
- Tech center
- Games room
- Art center
- Learning center
- Outdoor facilities and amenities
You can also encourage your parent to speak to residents during the tour and ask how they like living in the facility.
Touring the facility, having a list of questions, and knowing exactly what your parent needs and wants will help the family to make an informed decision on what place is right. It’s not a decision you want to be rushed into making, as you want to feel confident in your choice.