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    What You Need to Know About Assisted Living

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    What Should I Look For in an Assisted Living Community? continued...


    • Are staff members appropriately trained?
    • Is staff turnover rapid or slow?
    • Did you receive a warm greeting from staff? Are staff members personable and outgoing?
    • Are staff members appropriately dressed?
    • Do staff members greet residents by their first names and interact warmly with them?
    • Are staff members available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
    • Are staff members available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?

    Residents and Atmosphere

    • Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable?
    • Do residents, other visitors, and volunteers speak favorably about the facility?
    • Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for you or your loved one?
    • Are the residents at similar levels of functioning as you or your loved one?

    Facility Design

    • 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:
    • Dressing
    • Eating
    • Getting around
    • Hygiene and grooming
    • Bathing, toileting, and incontinence
    • Using the telephone
    • Shopping
    • Laundry
    • 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?

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