Evaluation and information collection go hand-in-hand. If you already have experience in evaluating assisted living communities, you may already have some vetting strategies that have helped you in the past. If you are just starting your search for an assisted living community or are looking to further refine your approach, the following can help you prepare for the due diligence process and conduct a thorough evaluation of potential assisted living communities.
How Can I Prepare To Evaluate Assisted Living Communities?
The information below invites you to understand about each of the available senior living experiences, to get organized, and to learn which resources can help you in your search.
- Be informed about your living options. With so many choices available to senior adults, explore all of your options, even if you already have a community in mind. For example, people considering assisted living often explore the group home and independent living experiences. They also investigate continuing care retirement communities, because their integrated levels of available care can adapt to evolving health and support needs.
- Create your own evaluation portfolio, document, or set of pro/con lists. As you learn about each assisted living community, collecting your findings into a central location will help you with your evaluation. Instead of having to remember the small distinctions in offerings, you’ll be able to see them clearly and visually in relation to each other. Also, you won’t have to try to navigate through multiple print-outs or pamphlets. Additionally, a main shared resource can make it easier for multiple parties to stay informed about each assisted living community.
- Use resources specific to your preferred area. For example, senior living communities may vary in services and experiences depending on location, even though they share the same community name from one state to another. Be sure to explore the specific location and community offerings that you want to live in, as well as the shared offerings of any community associated with a particular senior living name. Here are some resources to help you find the right assisted living community in CT.
How Should I Evaluate Each Assisted Living Community?
As part of your evaluation, try to obtain as much information from as many different sources as you can. Using multiple resources best supports a comprehensive understanding of what each assisted living community has to offer.
- Examine the community’s offerings. Remember: If looking at multiple communities, enter the information into your comparison document. Some of the top 15 things to think about when looking at assisted living communities are listed below:
- Accommodation specifics from details like layout, size, cleanliness to services like laundry, maintenance, and dining options (View any available virtual tours and floor plans.)
- Staff qualifications, availability, and experience of on-site care personnel and trained medical professionals, as well as off-site services (such as transportation to doctor’s appointments or emergency care)
- Options for rehabilitation services or comprehensive care, as well as ability to shift between care levels or change residences if needed
- Security both in terms of health and community facilities, such as available security personnel and protocols for handling medical emergencies
- Transportation availability to nearby towns, health facilities, and other desired locations
- Community offerings, such as ice cream socials, movie nights, beauty salons, exercise programs, or outings (Be sure to check out resources like community calendars or newsletters!)
- Preferred environmental features like access to gardens or pet-friendly properties
- Contracts including pricing structure, separate fees for add-on services or events, and cancellation or transfer availability. (Here are some recommendations for finding the most affordable assisted living near you.)
- Consider how to ease the transition to assisted living. In deciding to move into assisted living, there is understandably an adjustment period. Reflect on how the community may make this change easier. Love to garden? See if a similar space is available to you. Want to keep hosting the weekly friend lunches or game nights? Ask about communal spaces and protocols for guest access.
- Prepare additional questions. The information provided in handouts or online often serves as an overview of the assisted living community. Before choosing that location, you will likely need greater personalized care specifics than are provided on the website. For example, if medication distribution needs monitoring, clarify the availability of that service as part of the published daily nurse checks. As you consider the kind of questions you may want to ask, these helpful checklists from AARP may be of additional assistance.
- Seek out feedback and professional guidance. From senior living advisors to shared experiences from friends or acquaintances to online reviews, take this information into consideration.
- Experience the assisted living community. If at all feasible, visit and experience the community. Chat with residents during meal times if you can. Participate in community events or activities to see if you like the social atmosphere. Talk with other family members who have loved ones in the community. See the rooms and envision making a home there. Such opportunities will provide a better idea of what daily life may truly be like in that location.
Thorough research and careful evaluation will help ensure that you choose a desirable assisted living community for you or for a loved one. To talk more about our assisted living community at Arbors of Hop Brook or to schedule a tour, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting with you in person or over the phone!