What Are the Important Questions to Ask Assisted Living Facilities?

No one can care for your loved one like you. But sometimes, you need help.  Choosing between an assisted living community and a nursing home can be difficult, especially when you are not aware of the critical differences.

Are you an energetic senior who needs assistance while still maintaining your active lifestyle? Or does your aging parent require medical attention but wants to remain independent?

An assisted living facility might be the perfect solution. It offers you peace of mind and your aging parent the nurturing environment they need.

Unsure of how to choose the right community?

Here we’ll cover the most common questions to ask assisted living facilities so you can find the perfect fit.

What Medical Services Do You Offer?

Elder receiving physical therapy at assisted living facility

One reason men and women over 55 consider assisted living is that they require assistance at some level, whether medical or physical. While nursing homes provide around-the-clock care, assisted living facilities offer certain specialized services.

Medication assistance, physical therapy, help with bathing and dressing, and blood tests are just a few of these services. Before choosing a facility, consider asking what medical staff they have. Even ask what emergency hospital is near in case.

Many assisted living communities to have podiatrists, optometrists, massage therapists, and general practitioners available. If you prefer to use your doctor, ask if they’re permitted to see and examine you on-premises.

If not, make sure the facility offers transportation to and from your doctor’s office so that you continue to receive the consistent, quality care you deserve.

If you think you may eventually need long-term care, ask the facility if they can support this or if you’ll need to move to a new location.

For those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, ask about memory care services.

What Types of Activities Are Available?

Medical care is only one aspect of joining an assisted living community. Quality facilities encourage residents to maintain an active, independent lifestyle.

Ask about what activities and events the community has. The last thing residents want is to feel isolated or bored.

Check the facility’s activity calendar and see what variety of activities they offer. Many facilities provide both on-site and off-site events.

Physical activities might include water aerobics and shuffleboard. Games like Bingo, poker, and Bridge help keep your mind sharp as you socialize and make new friends.

Many facilities provide off-site transportation to local museums, concerts, and shopping malls.  Make sure that the events they support fit your needs, interests, and even personality.

What Type of Meal Plans Do You Have?

Cape Albeon's Chef Matt Hopper

With all that activity, you’re sure to work up an appetite! When choosing assisted living care, it’s essential to ask what type of meal options the facility offers.

Most dining rooms offer a pre-selected menu of items. Some like Cape Albeon have their own chef like Chef Matt Hopper to provide the best in daily nutritional meals.

If you have a particular need, request substitutions to help you achieve the balanced daily diet your body needs to stay healthy and thrive.

If you schedule an onsite tour, even ask for a taste-test. Some facilities will include a meal to give you an idea of whether the cooking style fits your taste and nutritional needs.

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What Do the Monthly Fees Cover?

One of the most important questions to ask assisted living communities is what services and amenities they include in the monthly fees.

Like renting an apartment, some utilities like Internet and cable may or may not be inclusive. Weekly housekeeping is a necessity for some seniors who struggle with mobility. Ask if this is included or available for an additional fee.

Most meal plans include a certain number of meals per day. Ask if the community offers a comprehensive bundle of services or if you have to purchase each one individually.

In many cases, entering an assisted living facility is less expensive than owning your own home.

You can also check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers assisted living expenses.

What Are Your Transportation Options?

Transportation services are an essential feature of the assisted living community you choose, particularly if you plan to see your doctors outside of the facility.

Independent seniors should have the opportunity to explore and enjoy the world outside of the community. Most facilities offer a shuttle service to specific locations or within a certain radius. The shuttle takes residents to appointments and to run necessary errands.

Locations include the bank, grocery store, shopping mall, and other local attractions. Some facilities also provide transportation to local events, restaurants, and museums.

Ask the facility how much these transportation services cost and if you can request transportation to non-specified places.

Ask About The Accommodations.

When you’re staying inside the community and your home, you want to make sure it’s clean and comfortable. Ask the assisted living facility what rooms are available. Inquire about the size, floor plans, furniture, and accessibility.

Most facilities offer studio apartments, one-bedroom varieties, and in some cases, master suites, deluxe accommodations, or even two-bedroom models.

Ask how far each living area is from the community’s hub, including the dining area, meeting rooms, and other amenities.

You may also want to ask about privacy. Individual rooms may be close to neighbors, while others are more secluded.

What Training and Experience Does Your Staff Have?

Loving staff at Cape Albeon Assisted Living

The staff and employees at the assisted living facility you choose will quickly feel like family.

You want to know that your loved one is being cared for properly.

Ask about the employees’ training, work experience, and credentials.

Consistency is incredibly essential, especially when dealing with Dementia or other cognitive disabilities.

A familiar face goes a long way.

Don’t be afraid to ask what certifications the staff members have and if continued education and training are required.

Can I Visit the Facility for a Tour?

Any reputable assisted living facility will be more than happy to schedule a tour for you and your loved one. You’ll want to see the facility before signing any agreements.

Visiting the community allows you to see the grounds, rooms, facilities, and meet the staff. You can also ask any additional questions you have and get an overall feel for the facility.

When on location, does the environment feel warm and welcoming or cold and unfriendly? You can also tell a lot by the expressions and demeanor of the current residents. Do they seem happy and engaged or withdrawn and isolated?

If the facility doesn’t permit you to visit, this is a red flag!

There Are No Wrong Questions to Ask Assisted Living Facilities

Are you or your loved one interested in entering an assisted living community? For many aging seniors, this is the perfect solution for meeting medical needs while also fostering a healthy, active lifestyle.

Choosing the right community can be challenging. You may not know what features to look for or what questions to ask assisted living staff.

We hope this comprehensive list helps you get started. Visit our FAQs page for more information.

At Cape Albeon Lakeside Retirement Community, our passion is to provide quality care based on our resident’s individual needs and interests.

Send us a message or give us a call at 314-861-3200 and experience the Cape Albeon difference!