Finding a new home for a loved one is an incredibly important undertaking. You have to consider the type of care they need, the helpfulness of staff members, and, of course, the cost. If you’re overwhelmed with the responsibility and are wondering how to choose a senior living facility that will make your loved one feel at home, please read on. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips that you can use when you visit potential retirement communities.
How to Choose a Senior Living Facility
- Talk to several members of the staff. You will probably be greeted and given a tour by a staff member trained to work with guests. Don’t assume that all of the staff members will be as friendly and helpful as this initial contact. Instead, explore a little and speak with other various employees— nurses, maids, program coordinators, etc. Pay attention to how they treat the residents. Are they respectful? Are they friendly? Do they seem to truly care about the residents?
- Dine with the residents. This is a great way to introduce your loved one to both the facility’s food and the other residents. Sample all of the food they have to offer and ask the residents how they like the dining options, the retirement community, and the staff. Also, be sure to ask what the protocol is when a resident cannot eat in the dining room.
- Stop by during an activity. When you’re scheduling your appointment, ask if you can visit during one of the residence’s activities. Then, stop by the meeting place and either watch or join in on the activity. This is a great way to see the social involvement at the senior living facility and predict how happy your loved one will be if they move in. Do they have activities that your loved one enjoys or would like to learn? Are activities scheduled frequently? Do the other residents get involved?
- Learn about the safety measures. Learning how to choose a senior living facility isn’t all food and games. When you select your loved one’s new home, you should feel confident that they will be happy, healthy, and safe there. So discuss the safety features implemented by the staff to protect the residents. You could ask about the locks on the doors, security alarms, call bells, safety locks on windows, fire emergency plans, and non-skid flooring. As you walk around, keep an eye out for these safety features.
- Discuss personal care and assistance. If your loved one is moving into a retirement home, they will likely need some help with their daily routine or home care. If not, they will almost certainly need it in the future. So during your tour, ask the staff how they will meet your loved one’s specific needs and how they will adjust as your loved one’s needs change.
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There are many factors to consider when learning how to choose a senior living facility, but these quick tips can help you make the most out of your tours of prospective retirement communities. Also, don’t be afraid to go back for a second or third visit! Arrive unannounced to find out what the staff and residents are like when they aren’t ready and waiting to greet you. Learning how to choose a senior living facility can be tricky and will require a lot of homework, but don’t give up! Your loved one will be tremendously grateful for your help. For more information on Hearthside Senior Living Place’s eight senior living facilities, click here. To take a tour of one of our facilities, click here.