What to consider when looking for an Assisted Living Facility
Deciding that you need more help is a difficult decision. But once that decision is made, navigating all the possibilities for senior living can seem insurmountable. Assisted Living communities can vary in size, in location, in services offered, and in many other ways. You may be deciding between assisted living and skilled nursing, so figuring out what is most important to you and/or your loved one will help you make that choice.
What is an Assisted Living Facility?
Assisted Living is a segment of the continuum of senior care that provides living essentials such as housing, personal care services, health care services, and other services for seniors that need more assistance with the activities of daily living than they can provide themselves. A community that can provide those services is an Assisted Living Facility. “Residents may require medication assistance and/or aid with activities of daily living, which all facilities must be equipped to provide,” (Assisted Living in Nevada | AssistedLiving.org). Some Assisted Living Facilities specialize their offering to offer light care and promote more independent residents, while others may choose to offer support for those with Memory Care needs.
Choosing an Assisted Living Facility that is right for you.
There are numerous variables to consider when you are choosing an Assisted Living Facility for yourself or a loved one. You may have a preference on location, or the size of your room. You may decide that you prefer a private suite, or you may desire to have a roommate. You may want a community that has a busy and vibrant activity calendar, or a community that has an amazing chef. All these options are possible, but you will want to determine what is most important to you. Make a list of what amenities are required for you, and which are not important, and then specifically ask about these features or programs when you tour.
Is the Location of the Assisted Living Facility important?
An Assisted Living Facility can be located in a city or metropolitan environment, close to the hustle and bustle of a busy city street. Another community could be situated on several acres, at the base of a mountain with views of mountain vistas and not a building in sight. You could choose a community that is in the town you grew up in, or one that is close to family and friends. The location of the community only matters as much as it matters to you.
Is the Size of the Assisted Living Facility important?
Every Assisted Living Facility you look at will have several similar features. You will have a bedroom with some living space included. There will be meals provided and activities available to you. If a community is larger, there is a better chance there will be amenities such as a pool or large external grounds for you to enjoy. With a smaller community you may find that you know every resident by name, and every employee knows your preferred flavor of ice cream. The size of the community will not affect your quality of care or lifestyle. It just depends on what size you are most comfortable with.
What services are available at an Assisted Living Facility?
Each community is different, but there are a few services that you should be able to expect at every community. According to national statistics, seniors use Assisted Living communities for a myriad of different reasons.
- 83.6% pharmacy/pharmacist
- 82.8% dietary and nutritional
- 71.4% therapy (physical, occupational or speech)
- 67.7% hospice
- 66.1% skilled nursing
- 55.0% mental health or counseling
- 51.1% social work services
A resident should have a room with a bed, some storage space (such as a dresser and/or closet) and access to a bathroom. Food and snacks should be available, as well as common areas to spend time. Activities are a great way to spend time and get to know your neighbors. You will also have access to assistance with those activities of daily living that it has been determined that you have the need for. A resident will have access to mail, a telephone, and entertainment. If there is something that you are looking for, but are unsure of, just ask!
What does it cost to live in an Assisted Living Facility?
Every Assisted Living Facility has its own pricing format, but it is generally determined by two things: Rent, and cost of care. Rent is the cost of your housing, i.e., the cost of your room, your utilities, and your food. Everyone at a community pays rent and it is typically a fixed cost based on room size. The cost of care is usually determined by an assessment performed by a nurse, to determine what assistance a resident will need in day-to-day life. This assistance could be with walking or eating, assistance in taking medication, assistance bathing and dressing, and other things.
Assisted Living Community Reputation
Every website, brochure, and newspaper ad can show pictures of models lounging by a pool, sipping Mai Tais in the sun, but what does that actually tell you about the community you are researching? There are several ways to check on a prospective community’s reputation:
- Local Health Professional – Start with your Primary Care Physician. Do they have any insight on the community? Can they provide a recommendation or a referral? Professionals rarely refer to businesses that they do not have specific knowledge of.
- Read Reviews – Local businesses live on reviews. These reviews can be found on Google, on their website, and other referral agencies such as SeniorHousing.Net. Customers will often give you the good, and the bad, of a community and can guide you to ask better questions.
- Ask to speak to community residents – Every community should have an Ambassador or Welcome Committee that would be willing to sit down with you and tell you what day to day life is really like at the community. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- Google the community on the News tab – When you Google the community, click the News filter and see what has been written about the community. You may find articles about an incident that you can ask for clarification on, or you might find videos of big, fun events that might interest you more.
Name recognition and reputation are two factors that every community wants to push, in a positive way. The information is out there, you just must look for it!
Does Ridgeline have the right Assisted Living Facility for me?
From the second you arrive and see the smiling faces of our residents and team members, we hope that you will feel welcome. At Ridgeline our staff spend every day trying to make sure your day is filled with Joy, Independence, and Wellness. Ridgeline offers spacious living options and an array of supportive services in a safe, secure environment. We are a close intimate assisted living community, located in a small, medium, and large cities all over the United States. Our mission guides our philosophy in creating a senior services environment where seniors are in charge of their care; where we support each individual’s choices and desires to experience senior living to its fullest. Contact us today or come and see us, and decide for yourself!
- “Assisted Living In Nevada”, AssistedLiving.org, Accessed February 2021, https://www.assistedliving.org/
- “Facts & Figures”, AHCA & NCAL, Accessed February 2021, https://www.ahcancal.org/Assisted-Living/Facts-and-Figures/Pages/default.aspx