If it's time to move your parent into an assisted-living facility, you want to take your time while you're choosing the facility. Coming to a decision too quickly could cause you to choose a facility that will not be the right fit for your parent. Here are four tips that will help you choose the facility that's right for your parent—and for you.
Talk to Other Families
When choosing an assisted-living facility for your parent, you need to talk to other families. During your initial tour of the facility, make contact with some of the families who may be visiting. Ask them how they feel about the care their loved ones receive and whether they would recommend the facility. It's also important to find out if they would choose the facility again if they had it to do over. Talking to other families will help you get a real feel for the facility.
Observe Other Residents
You want to make sure that your parent is going to be well-cared for once you leave. One way to find out about the level of care your parent will receive is to observe other residents while you're touring the facility. Look at their clothes to see if they're clean and properly dressed. You should also look to see if the residents have their hair combed and are properly groomed—hair brushed, nails clean, etc. By observing the current residents, you'll know how your own parent will be cared for.
Ask About Medical Staff
If your parent has medical needs, you want to make sure that the facility has access to appropriate medical staff. Before you choose a facility, be sure that your parent will have access to the 24-hour medical care they may require. It's also a good idea to ensure that the staff has experience with any medical conditions your parent may suffer from. For example, if your parent is suffering from dementia, ensure that they have appropriate care available for their needs.
Visit More Than Once
When it comes to touring an assisted-living facility, once is not enough. To get a real feel of the facility, you should visit at least twice before you make a decision. The first visit should be scheduled in advance. This will ensure that the staff is available to answer any questions you may have. The second visit to should be unannounced—preferably during a mealtime or other activity. This will allow you to see how the staff interacts with the residents when they're not expecting a tour.