What You Need to Know About Assisted Living
What Should I Look For in an Assisted Living Community? continued...
- Do you like the appearance of the building and its surroundings?
- Is the decor attractive and home-like?
- Is the floor plan easy to follow?
- Do doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
- Are elevators available?
- Are handrails available to aid in walking?
- Are cupboards and shelves easy to reach?
- Are carpets secured and floors made of a non-skid material?
- Is there good natural and artificial lighting?
- Is the residence clean, odor free, and appropriately heated/cooled?
Medication and Health care
- What is the residence policy regarding storage of medication, assistance with medications, and medication record keeping?
- Is self-administration of medication allowed?
- Who coordinates visits from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or other specialist, if needed?
- Does a physician or nurse visit the resident regularly to provide medical checkups?
- Do they use a certain pharmacy? Can medications be delivered?
- Are staff members available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living, if needed? Daily activities include:
- Getting around
- Hygiene and grooming
- Bathing, toileting, and incontinence
- Using the telephone
- Housekeeping in unit
- Transportation to doctor, hairdresser, or other activities
- Pharmacy medication delivery
Features of Individual Units
- Are different sizes and types of units available?
- Are units for single and double occupancy available?
- Do residents have their own lockable doors?
- Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the unit?
- Are bathrooms private? Do they accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
- Can residents bring their own furnishings? What may they bring?
- Do all units have a telephone and cable television? How is billing handled for these services?
- Is a kitchen area/unit provided with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking element?
- May residents keep food in their units?
- May residents smoke in their units? May they smoke in public areas?
Social and Recreational Activities
- Is there an activities program?
- Do residents participate in the neighboring community's activities?
- Do volunteers, including family members, come into the residence to conduct or help with programs?
- Does the facility require residents to undertake any chores or perform specific activities that benefit all residents?
- Are residents' pets allowed in the unit? Who is responsible for pet care?
- Does the residence have its own pets?
- Does the residence provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week?
- Are snacks available?
- May a resident request special foods or diets?
- Are common dining areas available?
- May residents eat meals in their units?
- May meals be provided at times the resident prefers or are there set meal times?
- Will they accommodate physician nutrition orders?
- Is there a written plan for the care of each resident?
- What is the procedure for assessing a potential resident's need for service? Are those needs reassessed periodically?
- Can a resident be discharged for refusing to comply with a care plan?