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How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility

May 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM

As seniors age, they tend to need a little more help getting around and taking care of business at home. That doesn’t necessarily mean they need a medical aide, but they might need some extra assistance. For this reason, many seniors move to independent living communities or assisted living facilities where they can get the help they need, but still enjoy some sense of independence. As their health continues to decline though, they may need to move on to nursing homes or senior living facilities with more intensive assistance. There are a few factors to consider when making the choice, including costs, amenities, and flexibility.

Assisted Living Facilities Should Match the Personality of the Senior

Most senior living residents make their decisions based on their personal preferences for the amenities offered at a facility.  If they are outgoing, they will probably enjoy a facility that includes social events that allow them to interact with other seniors.  They might also enjoy activities that involve them and their friends or family, such as a billiards parlor, cafés, and group exercise.  Others enjoy assisted living facilities that offer quiet activities like those found in a library, garden, or patio area.  In addition to these resources, many seniors will want to know that the facility is close by family members who can come and visit as often as they like.  You can find out what kinds of activities a facility offers by attending a senior day program.  At these events, they allow visiting seniors to test out the community and its offerings before committing to a residency there.

Senior Living Needs to Be Within their Budget

It is also important to consider costs when signing up at an assisted living facility.  This will take some serious discussion between the senior, their family, and perhaps a financial planning advisor to figure out what can actually be afforded.  There are many financial assistance options available through nonprofit organizations and government agencies that can help with these costs, so it’s a good idea to research these before making a decision as well.  In fact, some facilities have staff members who can assist with the financial assistance search.  All you have to do is ask.

From Independent Living to Nursing Home Needs

One characteristic that some fail to consider is the fact that the needs of a senior will change over time.  Although they may be perfectly capable of taking care of themselves at an independent living facility now, in a few years, they may need the more expert care of a It’s a good idea to look for facilities that offer both, so that as the senior’s needs change, so to can their residency plan.  This way, the senior does not need to move in order to find the care they need.  If you need help looking for the right kind of facility for your loved one, use our free service to get information on the facilities in your area and what they offer.