Making an in-person visit is essential when it comes to selecting an assisted living community. Not only is it fun to take a tour and see what each campus has to offer, it also gives you the opportunity to assess the environment and gather information that will help determine if this is a good fit. Nothing can replace seeing a community firsthand, talking with team members, meeting residents and asking the right questions.
As you research and learn more about assisted living, youll want to start a list of communities to visit. Keep these tips in mind once you start scheduling appointments.
5 Tips to Make the Most of an Assisted Living Community Tour
1. Ask about staff training and turnover rates.
Nothing is more important than a community employing compassionate, well-trained caregivers and support staff. Thats why its essential to ask questions that will help you learn more about team members. Longevity is a good sign of a well-managed assisted living community, as is a solid staff development program.
Ask the staff member who conducts your tour how team members are recruited, screened and trained. Also inquire about how many hours of continued training staff members undergo each year. Finally, ask how long the average tenure is. While the role of caregiver can be stressful, resulting in higher turnover than other industries, the best assisted living communities are able to find ways to manage it.
2. Watch the interactions between residents and staff.
Team members and their dedication and compassion are a key determinant in the quality of the community. As you visit and tour each assisted living community, pay close attention to the staff. Do they seem knowledgeable and interested in residents? Are relationships and interactions between residents and caregivers warm and friendly? Do team members and residents greet one another by name?
Nonverbal cues can tell a tale, too. Watch body language and facial expressions when residents and staff are interacting. Do both groups seem relaxed with one another? When residents feel comfortable with their caregivers, they are more likely to share concerns with them.
3. Evaluate the community for maintenance and cleanliness.
While its easy to be dazzled by a beautiful lobby or spectacular grounds, what lies below the surface matters more. How well a community is maintained is a better indicator of the true quality of an assisted living community.From the time you drive into the parking lot until the time you leave, make notes about the condition of the community. Are resident common areas, such as the activities center and dining room, well cared for? Do they look and smell clean? Is the building itself in good repair inside and out?
4. Be certain you understand how fees are structured.
One thing you will quickly notice after visiting a few assisted living communities is how varied the fee structures can be. Every company has their own unique way of assessing fees, so youll need to do a little research in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
Before you leave each community, be certain you understand how monthly fees are structured and whether there are any additional expenses. Also remember to ask about entrance fees, rate increase frequency and how much notice youll receive if monthly rates go up.
5. Ask what happens if your loved ones needs change.
While the lifestyle, friendships, dining options, housekeeping service and security of an assisted living community might be most important initially, its also essential to look to the future. Find out what happens if your senior loved one needs more care down the road.
For example, how would the community support a resident who requires short-term rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery? Or if they develop dementia and need a different type of care? Making an informed decision for a family member means planning for today and tomorrow.
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Learn more about Assisted Living at American Senior Communities by visiting our website at ASCCare.com/AL.
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