General Frequently Asked Questions on Senior Living

Last updated on: Friday, 21 July 2023
  • What You'll Learn
  • Are All Assisted Living Facilities the Same?

    No, assisted living facilities vary tremendously. Not only does each state have different guidelines on what constitutes an assisted living facility, within each state you’ll find a wide array of different assisted living options. You see, each state has minimal requirements on what makes a center qualify to be an assisted living facility. Some centers meet the minimal demands necessary while others go above and beyond to provide the best experience for their residents. There are others that fall in the middle. The amenities and services provided by a center can definitely be a plus, but do not base your decision on what center has the most; base it on what center is the best. Some centers that only meet the minimum requirements to be an assisted living facility can actually provide better care and be more attentive than a center with countless services and amenities. Do your due diligence to explore all your options and make your decision after experiencing the facilities for yourself.

  • Can a Terminally Ill Patient Stay in an Assisted Living Facility?

    When an individual is terminally ill, they have an illness that is incurable, and it will persist until the individual has passed away. Though not all facilities are equipped to handle such illnesses, if an individual is already under the care of a center that can handle their needs, they may be able to stay. Not all terminal illnesses are the same or require the same amount of care, so in some cases an individual can remain in an assisted living facility if their needs are being taken care of. That being said, if an individual’s condition puts other tenants or staff members at risk, they may be asked to seek a higher level of care. It is important to check a center’s ability to handle this because if they are ill equipped to handle certain terminal illnesses, then it can make a difficult situation even worse. Talk to prospective facilities about their guidelines regarding terminal illnesses so you are prepared if this unfortunate situation arises.

  • Do All Assisted Living Facilities Provide the Same Care?

    No, not all assisted living facilities provide the same care. Each center has the potential to be licensed for 3 levels of care. Level 1 is the lowest level of care and every facility must have this licensing to be considered an assisted living facility. Level 1 allows residents to be independent and may consist of medication reminders and light supervision. Level 2 is the next level of care and can consist of things like medical professionals administering medication instead of providing reminders. Level 3 is the highest level of care an assisted living facility can provide. This involves regular assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and usually involves a comprehensive set of tasks that need to be performed for or with an individual. Before choosing your facility, make sure you understand what level or levels of care they can provide. If your loved one’s health has been digressing regularly, it is important to find a facility that offers all three levels, so you do not have to change facilities to receive a higher level of care.

  • Do Assisted Living Facilities Offer Physical Therapy?

    Many older adults require a regimen of physical therapy to strengthen their mobility and combat certain conditions. Some assisted living facilities offer physical therapy on-site which is a huge convenience. Having to travel back and forth between different facilities can be time consuming and costly, so if you or your loved one needs physical therapy, make sure you check with prospective centers to see how they handle this.

  • Do Assisted Living Facilities Offer Respite Care?

    Respite care is short-term senior care that can aid in rehabilitation from a surgery or can be used to give the primary care giver a break. Not all senior living facilities offer respite care, but some can provide a room on a daily or weekly basis. When inquiring about potential respite care, make sure you are very detailed when discussing your loved one’s needs. Doing so ensures they receive the best care during their rehab or your absence.

  • Do Independent Living Facilities and Complexes Provide Food for Its Residents?

    Independent living facilities and complexes do not typically provide food, so meals are not included in their monthly fees. Independent living focuses more on providing an environment where older adults can live in the same area and has housing that caters to the needs of aging individuals. That being said, some independent living communities have a restaurant or club house that is easy to access, and individuals can get meals throughout the day when they need them. Some even offer food services, but they usually come at an additional cost. Those who choose to live in an independent living community tend to be more active and have little to no physical or mental health issues. If food preparation and service is absolutely necessary or you have a therapeutic diet you must adhere to, it may be a good idea to explore a higher level of care like an assisted living facility. Doing so ensures your needs are met and you can enjoy a higher quality of life.

  • Does an Assisted Living Facility Provide Food?

    Assisted Living Facilities usually provide 3 meals a day, but the way they handle their food service differ from each center. As we age food preparation can get more difficult, since certain conditions require specific diets, eating right can have a tremendous impact on your health. That’s why it important to make sure the facility you choose takes their meal planning seriously and has food you like. The best way to know if you’re going to like the food is to sample it. Every good facility will provide you with samples of their food to ensure you like them and can also go into to detail about their food service. Not every place operates the same. Some places have a dining hall where food is served, while other places allow for in room dining and can even deliver the meals to your room.

    The first thing you need understand before choosing the right facility is your own dietary needs, so ensure you talk to your physician. Once you know your needs it will be easier to make the best decision on what facility is right for you.

  • How Can I Find an Assisted Facility If I Have No Family to Help Me?

    When looking for an assisted living facility by yourself, it is best to find a place that can offer a list of quality care options in your area. The process can be a little overwhelming, so it is best to have unbiased information about potential facilities. Most facilities you contact will do their best to convince you that their facility is the best for you. Though most facilities will be able to provide you with the care you need, there are other factors that make a facility the “right choice”. There are many organizations that offer guidance in finding the right facility for you that are not affiliated with any one organization. If you find yourself unsure of your decision or running into problems finding the right fit, reach out to a professional Senior Care Advisor who can help you with your decision.

  • How Can My Loved One Handle Their Medical Issues While in an Independent Living Community?

    Though independent living communities can provide more freedom than other senior care options, they do not provide on-site medical care. That being said, sometimes individuals who live in these communities are very comfortable and do not want to leave when medical situations arise or progress in severity. When this occurs, home health care can be a solution. Home health care involves a medical professional, usually a nurse under the direction of a physician, that comes to your place of residence and administers care. Depending on your medical situation, home health care may be the best solution for you to stay at your current house or apartment. It is important to remember that most home health providers are not on site 24 hours a day, and if they do, it can be very costly. So, if your condition requires around the clock care, it may be time to consider an assisted living facility, so you or your loved are medically safe.

  • How Do I Arrange a Visit With an Assisted Living Facility?

    The best way to take a tour and visit an assisted living facility is to call them and schedule a time to do so. It is not recommended that you just show up without reaching out first, but any good facility would be able to accommodate you if you choose to do so. Calling ahead ensures there will be someone there who can answer your questions and show you around their center. Most facilities have someone dedicated on doing just that and they usually do this during certain times to ensure it fits in with the activities and events that are occurring at the center. So, for the best experience, reach out and set a time to speak with someone who can do this for you or your loved one.

  • How Do I Get My Loved One Admitted Into an Assisted Living Facility?

    The admission process into an assisted living facility involves finding the right facility for your loved one, then making sure they can provide the care that is necessary for them. Doing your research is extremely important; before you start looking into places, it is best practice to figure your budget. The last thing you want to do is to visit a variety of places that are out of your price range. This could lead to disappointment when your loved one has a connection to a facility and finds out later that they are unable to go.

    Assisted living facilities also have a screening process where they analyze the needs of your loved one. This may require a visit with a physician because a good assisted living facility will require detailed health information. Don’t let a facility rush you into choosing them. If they aren’t doing their due diligence to ensure they can care for your loved one, then they most likely will not provide the best care during your loved one’s stay.

    Remember that the decision to move into an assisted living facility can be tough for your loved one, so be supportive. It is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Remember that choosing the wrong facility and rushing the process can end up causing problems in the future, so be patient.

  • How Do I Know What Level of Care I Need When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility?

    Most facilities will require you meet with your doctor or their own physician to establish the best level of care for you during your stay. By examining your current state and medical history, the facility can recommend what they feel is necessary and then you can usually work with them to handle any additional needs you may require. As you get settled into your new home, your needs may change. You may find that once you get more active, there are certain things you do not need help with anymore. There may also be instances where you need more help then you originally thought. A good facility will work with you so you’re getting the help you need while ensuring you have the opportunity to stay independent on the things you can handle without putting yourself at risk.

  • How Do I Talk to My Loved One About Transitioning to Assisted Living?

    Approaching the topic assisted living to a loved one can be difficult. It can be even harder if the individual doesn’t think they need it or haven’t even considered it as an option. Many people relate assisted living to a tremendous loss in their independence. So, when bringing the topic up, understand that it is probably much harder for them to confront assisted living than it is for you to talk to them about it.

    Before approaching them about it, make sure you’re certain that assisted living is the right option for them. In all reality, it might not be the right choice, and if it’s not the right time, you will face even bigger challenges in the future when it is evident that a change is necessary. That being said, do not be too scared to talk about the subject because if it is the right fit, your loved one may be at risk living by themselves without access to care. The last thing you want is to put off talking to them about it and then something happens that forces the issue. This is a common occurrence and leaves families scrambling to find a facility.

    Sometimes talking about assisted living before it is needed can make things easier for everyone. Establishing plans for long-term care before it’s necessary allows for an open dialogue where the individual does not feel they are being pushed to do something they do not want to do. At the end of the day, it is your loved one, and you probably have the most experience communicating with them. Utilize this experience when approaching the topic and remember it may take some time for them to come around. It is a major decision and can be overwhelming, so do not be forceful and know when to give them space.

  • How Does Aging in Place Differ From Assisted Living?

    Aging in place in the practice of older adults staying at their current place of residence as they age. The process of aging in place differs from individual to individual depending upon their needs. Common things that occur for those who decide to age in place include but are not limited to; modifications to their current living space to assist with mobility, hiring of home health care workers, and utilization of medical alert systems. Assisted living comes into play when aging in place is not possible. Whether it’s because of health reason or lack of finances, sometimes aging in place is just not feasible. Though assisted living can provide everything an individual who desires to age in place needs and then some, it important to note that the desire to age in place can be due to sentimental reasons. So, if it’s not possible, understand that your loved one may take a loss when they have to part ways with a house they have a lot of history with.

  • How Does an Assisted Facility Ensure Residents Are Getting the Care They Need?

    There are many factors that need to be considered when caring for someone in an assisted living facility. To ensure the proper care of their residents, a good assisted living facility uses the implementation of case management. Case management tracks different factors that can help determine the well-being of an individual. Below is a list of some of the things good case management will keep track of:

    • Social Activity
    • Illnesses
    • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
    • Pain
    • General Mood
    • Behavior
    • Changes in weight
    • Changes in medication

    Though case management differs from each facility, ensure you understand how prospective centers handle their case management. A thorough case management protocol is a good indicator and can give you peace of mind that your loved will be taken care of properly.

  • How Does an Assisted Living Facility Ensure My Loved One's Safety?

    With safety and security being a main reason for individuals to move into an assisted living facility, there are many ways these centers protect the well-being of their residents. One of the most popular ways to handle this is a medical alert pendent. This is a small device that residents wear around their neck; it has a button on it so they can send an alert that help is needed. This ensures that you or your loved one can get help whenever they need it. Some of these devices can even detect falls and track individuals who may have the propensity of wondering off. Not all facilities utilize this technology so check with the center you are in contact with to see how they handle safety and security. Keep in mind that a good facility will perform regular wellness checks and make rounds with the residents to ensure everyone is doing okay. Technology can be helpful, but it is important that a facility has enough staff on hand to take care of all their residents and monitor them accordingly.

  • How Often Should I Visit My Loved One in an Assisted Living Facility?

    The transition for your loved one into an assisted living facility can be tough and a balanced visitation can make all the difference. Remember to be there in the beginning stages but do not visit so often that you prevent them from socializing and establishing themselves in their new community. Once your loved one becomes more comfortable, then an agreed upon schedule would be the best. Remember to compromise and make sure your visitation isn’t too frequent or too spread apart. It is important to stick to any schedule you agree to and ensure you communicate anytime you have to deviate from the schedule.

  • What Are Signs That My Loved One May Need Assisted Living?

    The best way to know if your loved needs assisted living is by observation. There are certain things that may indicate your loved one would benefit from getting some extra help. First, ensure your loved one has good hygiene and dresses well. If they do not, it could be a sign that bathing and doing laundry are challenging to them. Next, check around the house and yard. If the house dirty and the lawn unkept, it may be a sign that doing regular upkeep of their property has become too hard for them. Also, check the refrigerator to ensure their food is not expired and that they have enough food to eat healthy. Sometimes individuals lose weight as they age, but others find it too hard to go to the grocery store and to cook for themselves. Finally, check into your loved one’s physical and mental state. If you notice bruises, it could be an indication of falls and if you notice that they have become overly forgetful, it may be a sign that they have memory issues. Many don’t speak openly about these issues because they may be embarrassed, so it’s important to be mindful of your loved one’s feelings. They may be self-conscious about these issues or keep them from you because they do not want to be a burden. While doing your observation, do not be invasive and communicate about the things you notice in a tone that is helpful. The last thing you want to do is to accuse your loved one of something and make them defensive. This could lead to them not accepting help. If any of the above is observed, do your best to work together with your loved one to find a solution.

  • What Are Some Tips to Make the Transition Into Assisted Living Easier?

    Preparation is important when making a healthy transition. Ensure you set a date to move that allows you to get all your affairs in order. Once you move into the facility, it’s best to not have to worry about things that could have easily been handled before you moved. Make sure you packed everything you need and that you have a plan in place to handle your old house or living space. It’s also very important to visit the facility frequently. Getting acquainted with the other residents and staff will make you more comfortable once you are moved in. It can be harder to transition if you do not know anyone and make it harder for you to utilize the social dynamic of the facility you chose. Frequent visits also make sure the facility is a right fit for you. It also allows you to know what to expect, and helps you be more accustomed to the schedule and activities the facility offers. Another successful thing to do is stay busy. There is no shortage of things to do when making the transition so do your best to stay out of your head and focus on the next chapter of your life. Do your best to not overthink your choice, this will just lead to you introverting and second guessing yourself. This will turn something exciting into something scary and will put an unneeded burden on yourself and family members. Be prepared and be excited!

  • What Are the Credentials of the Staff Members of an Assisted Living Facility?

    Every facility is different, and every state has different guidelines on what kind of medical oversite is needed at an assisted living facility. The best way to know what kind of care you will be receiving and who will be administering it, is to ask. A good facility will be able to tell you the credentials of its staff and the different kinds of medical professionals they have. It is also best practice to ask for proof of these credentials. A good facility will be able to provide this information quite readily, so if you run into any issues when checking into the qualifications of a center’s staff, it may be a bad indicator. Keep in mind that some assisted living facilities are tailored to certain levels of care, so some places may have a larger medical staff than others. If a facility can meet your needs and seems like a good place, do not be discouraged if their medical staff is not extensive. So long as they can provide proof of the staff they have and are in full disclosure of what kind of care they can provide.

  • What Are the Things I Should Consider Before Making the Choice to Move to an Assisted Living Facility or Independent Living Community?

    The three main things to consider when looking into assisted or independent living is your mental and physical health, your social interactions, and your finances. When dealing with health, you need to examine your life and see if your quality of living would be better if you had help with activities of daily living (ADLs) and medical assistance. There are many things one needs to cope with as they age; most of the time, these changes do not warrant a shift in your living arrangements. That being said, sometimes you need extra help and getting it can drastically change your quality of life. Also, you may run into the issues of mobility. Sometimes people overlook how taxing the simple things are to an individual. Too many steps and trouble getting in and out of the shower or bath might bring unnecessary challenges. Even if you are completely healthy otherwise, sometimes changing to an independent living facility maybe the best thing so you’re not constantly inconvenienced by your own home. Remember that not all handicaps are physical and sometimes your mental health can play a big part in the need for transitioning to a more structured living environment. Though mental health conditions can vary, a big part of an individual’s mental health is how social they are. Social interactions keep people healthy; by avoiding isolation and remaining active with others, one can prevent the deterioration of their mental health. Though some conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia need a higher level of care, general mood and companionship are certain things that aid in a healthy mental state. Constant interaction with other and staying social is key to help with certain aspects of mental health that are preventable. Lastly, look at your financial situation. If you could benefit from downsizing your home and saving money on bills, it might not be a bad idea to explore your options. Many people worry about the cost of different senior-care options, but depending on your situation you may actually save money by moving. If this is not the case for you, there may be ways to get financial assistance to move to a living space that is more suitable to your needs. As you can see, there are a multitude of factors to consider when contemplating the change to an assisted living facility or independent living environment. Talk with your spouse or family to see what is best for you.

  • What Do I Do With My Home Once I Move Into an Assisted Living Facility?

    Once your transition to an assisted living facility is complete, you may be wondering what to do with your house. If keeping your house is an option, it is always good to do it, so you have it as an asset. Though it may be more work, if you have family wiling to help, renting out your house may also be a solution that allows you to get income from your home without having to sell it. This might not be an option, especially if you need income to pay for your assisted living facility, and renting is not possible. Though it may not be easy, try to keep your house for at least a couple months after moving out to ensure you’re happy with your new community. Doing so gives you options if you change your mind.

  • What Happens If My Needs Change While I Am at an Assisted Living Facility?

    It is not uncommon for individuals to need a higher-level care once they start living at an assisted living facility. Many medical conditions have tendency to progress over time creating more challenges for the individual and makes it necessary for more medical attention or more assistance with activities of daily living. Most facilities have licensing for 3 levels of care, with 1 being the least amount of care needed and 3 being the most amount of care needed. As needs progress with an individual, they can move up these levels of care within their current assisted living center. It is important to note that not all assisted living facilities are licensed for all three levels of care, so it may be necessary to move facilities to get the care you need. To avoid having to change centers, it is good to do research on the front, especially if you or your loved has a medical condition that has a tendency to progress. Lastly, if you or your loved one’s needs exceed the highest level of care, you may have to start looking into facilities that can provide the necessary medical attention.

  • What Is a Physical Self-Maintenance Scale?

    A Physical Self-Maintenance Scale is a tool used to measure an individual’s ability to take care of themselves by examining activities of daily living, or ADLs. It contains different categories that an individual is scored on depending on their capability of completing certain tasks. The categories for this assessment range from someone’s ability to the following:

    • Using the bathroom
    • Dressing themselves
    • Feeding themselves
    • Mobility
    • Using the telephone
    • Ability to shop and handle money
    • Ability to prepare food
    • Ability to do laundry
    • Responsibility for their medications

    An individual’s score is utilized to establish their needs and level of care. This scale can be used for personal use to help an individual establish what type of care they need. In some states, like Alabama, this scale is scored by a medical professional and is utilized to establish an individual’s eligibility to receive care at an assisted living facility. For more information, refer to this example of a Physical Self Maintenance Scale.

  • What Is a Therapeutic Diet?

    Regardless of your age, a good diet can be crucial to one’s health. As we age, eating right becomes less of a lifestyle choice and more of medical necessity. A therapeutic diet is something designed by your physician or dietician that helps handle and regulate certain health issues that arise as we age. Below are examples of what a therapeutic diet might look like:

    • Low cholesterol diet
    • Low sodium diet
    • Low calorie diet
    • High protein diet
    • Diabetic diet
  • What Is Assisted Living?

    Assisted Living is a senior care option that encourages independence while still helping in certain aspects of an individual’s life. These facilities do exactly what their name suggest and assist individuals in living independently. Assisted Living facilities provide a homelike environment, where individuals can have their own personal space. Residents of these facilities can enjoy a customized care plan that helps them with the activities of daily living that prevent the individual from being able to live alone. On top of this, they also provide a social atmosphere where individuals can connect with other people their age in a secure environment. A good assisted living facility provides all three of the above; a social setting, with medical assistance, and security.

  • What Is Independent Living?

    Independent living is a community designated for older individuals usually 55 or older. These communities have the needs of older individuals in mind, so they are built with ease of access and functionality in mind. Independent living comes in many forms, from apartment complexes to housing developments, and are designed to reduce activities that maybe too taxing for older individuals. Lawncare, laundry, and other services can be provided in these communities to make life easier on their residents. These communities also offer amenities and activities to provide a healthy social atmosphere for its residents.

  • What Is Memory Care?

    Memory care is a specific form of long-term treatment that focuses on the special needs of individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of conditions that negatively affect an individual’s ability to remember. All these above-mentioned conditions have different degrees of severity, and progress differently in each patient. This means that caring for individuals who suffer from these mental illnesses involves a very specific treatment plan. It is necessary to treat current symptoms while trying to prevent the onset of new issues. In most cases the progression of these illnesses is inevitable, but with proper care the individual can still have a high quality of life. In regard to assisted living, not all centers offer memory care options, and those that do can only do so much as there is a limit to the amount of care assisted living facilities can offer. If your loved one has memory care needs on top of preexisting medical conditions, a higher level of care may be recommended.

  • What Is the Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living?

    While both senior living options aim to make the lives of its residents easier, there is a notable difference between them. The biggest difference being that independent living does not offer assistance with medical care or help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Independent living is designed to make ADLs easier for individual and assisted living facilities will actually take an active role with helping an individual with ADLs and will also provide assistance with medical care. The level of senior-care necessary evolves over time. Independent living would be the first step of this evolution and assisted living would follow. Though it is not uncommon for those in independent living to have home health aides, as health issues get more serious, an assisted living facility that can provide 24-hour assistance becomes the more optimal environment for certain individuals.

  • What Is the Difference Between Memory Care and Assisted Living?

    While some assisted living facilities offer memory-care services, it is a higher level of care and is often provided in a separate area within an assisted living facility. If your loved needs memory care services, it is often recommended that you seek a facility that specializes in handling this specific type of assistance. Memory care involves a certain level of supervision and protocols that most individuals in an assisted living facility do not need. To ensure the safety and security of your loved one, utilizing a center that has these protocols for all residents is best.

  • What Kind of Activities Are Available for My Loved One at an Assisted Living Facility?

    Assisted living facilities have an array of different amenities. From swimming pools to shuffleboard tables, facilities tend to offer activities and games that fit their residents. Each facility is different, so it is important to check with them to see what activities they have and more importantly what activities your loved one enjoys. Besides what is provided by the facility, individuals have a big part in what their loved ones do while living at an assisted living home. This means that you provide your own activities to do with your loved one. Whether it be scrapbooking or video calling distant relatives, you do not have to rely solely on what the facility offers. Be creative and communicate with your loved one. Doing so allows you to make your loved one more comfortable in a new place and continues to build your relationship with them. These activities are extremely important during the initial transition.

  • What Kind of Living Spaces Are Available in Assisted Living Facilities?

    Assisted living facilities typically provide housing to residents that is similar to an apartment complex. Individuals can choose between what size fits them best. A good facility will usually offer different options to potential residents, and they will be able to choose what is best for them. Sizes usually range from two bedroom to studio apartments and some facilities offer the option of sharing a unit with another individual. Though sharing your living space may not be desirable for some, it can come a reduced cost that may make assisted more affordable.

  • What Should I Expect to Feel When Making the Transition to an Assisted Living Facility?

    Like any big change one experiences in their life, there are a wide array of emotions. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and you may also be a little apprehensive to move out. The best thing to do is communicate your feelings to a loved one or a member of the facility. Talking about it is one of the best ways to work through your emotions. Remember that you’re moving because you want your quality of life to improve and there are going to be people and professionals to help achieve this. Do not fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself. It is very easy to get down on yourself, but this type of thinking will only prevent you from living your best life. Get excited and do your best to make the most out of the transition. Assisted living offers an opportunity for you to be more active and social. It also allows you to be more independent, so embrace it!

  • What Should I Look for in a Facility When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility?

    When visiting a facility, take a good look at your surroundings and ensure that everything is clean and orderly. Remember that you will be relying on the facility to take care of you and handle your needs, so a lot can be said about the upkeep of their facilities. When touring a facility, try to observe the following:

    • Is the facility clean and fresh?
    • Are the bathrooms kept in good condition?
    • Does it feel safe and secure?
    • Are there measures taken to help with mobility?
    • Are the grounds well maintained?

    The above questions will give you a good indication of whether or not the facility fits your needs; remember this is going to be your home. It is also best practice to revisit a place that you’re considering, this will ensure their standards are upheld. A facility should always be clean and upkept, so if they merely do a “clean-up” to impress potential residents, it will be pretty obvious if you revisit things aren’t as pristine.

  • What Should I Look for in the Residents When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility?

    Observing the current residents can tell you a lot about a facility, so do your best to try and interact with them when you visit. When you do take notes on the following:

    • Do they seem genuinely happy?
    • Do they speak kindly of the staff?
    • Are they active?
    • Do they seem like people you would want to be surrounded by?
    • Are they hanging out in groups or do they seem isolated?

    These questions will give you good insight into two things. One, you will be able to see if the individuals are people you could socialize with and potentially befriend. You see, not all assisted living facilities house the same people and it’s possible the group in one facility may be more similar to you than other places. Even if the staff seem professional and caring, a place may not be a right fit if you cannot see yourself getting along with the current residents. Two, you will get a better feel for the staff and how they treat their guest. If guests seem genuinely unhappy and do not have anything nice to say it could be an indication that they are not well taken care of. When observing the above, use discretion and try not to assume things. Also, take into account that some people tend to be less happy than others, regardless of age or living situation. Don’t let one disgruntled person ruin an otherwise great facility.

  • What Should I Look for in the Staff When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility?

    When visiting different facilities an important thing to observe is the staff members. Remember that these are the individuals you will be relying on to provide you with the necessary care to improve your quality of life. Do your best to try and speak to as many staff members and take note of the following:

    • Are they helpful?
    • Are they interested in talking with you?
    • Do they seem “too busy”?
    • How do they interact with other residents?
    • Are there enough of them?

    These questions will give you an idea of the level of care you will receive when you live there. It is also best practice to make more than one visit, and ensure their behavior is consistent. Some individuals may put on a show to make you feel comfortable, if their demeanor seems to change the more you speak with them, it may be a bad indicator.

  • What's the Difference Between an Assisted Living Facility and a Nursing Home?

    The biggest difference between an assisted living facility and a nursing home is that an assisted living facility provides personal care in a social setting that feels more like a home. Nursing homes are in a clinical setting and focus more on providing needed medical care. Though nursing homes do provide personal care and a social atmosphere for its residence, it does not provide the independence that one can experience while living in an assisted living facility.

  • When Is an Assisted Living Facility Not a Good Choice?

    Not everyone who is getting older needs or even qualifies to be in an assisted living home. If your loved one is independent, can handle their own medical, and is only dealing with minor issues of mobility, then an independent living community may be more appropriate. Also, remember that assisted living facilities are limited in the amount of medical care they can provide. Though they can accommodate for many issues, some things are out of their scope of care. If this is the case, then a skilled nursing facility or nursing home may be a more appropriate choice.

  • When Is Assisted Living Necessary?

    A person should look into an assisted living facility when they need more help with activities of daily living than what their friends or family can provide. As we age, we do rely on the help of others for certain things, but most of the time this does not warrant moving into a senior care facility. When the help you seek is medical related, it may be a reason for looking into an assisted living home. Also, the help you need may be more personal, and you may not feel comfortable with asking someone to do it for you. That being said, your need for assisted living does not have to be a strictly medical decision.

    Many individuals look into assisted living to handle the social aspect of their life. Being active and interacting with others is an important part of aging that can be overlooked. Even though you may be physically able, sometimes lack of social interaction and activity can lead to mental and emotional issues that can eventually negatively affect a person’s physical well-being. This can be another reason to seek assisted living. These facilities provide an environment where you can interact with others and stay busy. Most places will facilitate social events and other activities that keep a person engaged socially and provide a wide array of activities to keep them active. So, while many seek assisted living to help with medical and physical ailments, it can also be a place that can help prevent certain issues from occurring.

  • Will My Loved One Still Be Independent While Living in an Assisted Living Facility?

    In an assisted living facility, your loved one’s independence is mainly determined by their physical and mental condition. That being said most assisted living facilities strive to make their residents’ life as fulfilling as possible. What this means is that a good facility will work with your loved one to ensure they can get the help they need while still making sure they are independent when they can be. Many individuals in an assisted living facility are completely independent but have the peace of mind to know that if they fall or something happens, help is not far away.