Parkinson's Disease and Assisted Living
Assisted living is a type of housing for people who need various levels of medical and personal care. Living spaces can be individual rooms, apartments, or shared quarters. The facilities generally provide a home-like setting and are physically designed to promote the resident's independence.
What Services Do Assisted-Living Communities Provide?
The services offered by assisted-living communities vary from facility to facility. Services often include:
- One to three meals a day
- Monitoring of medication
- Personal care, including dressing and bathing
- Housekeeping and laundry
- 24-hour emergency care
- Some medical services
- Social and recreational activities
How Can I Know What Services I Need?
If you have Parkinson's disease, talk with your family and caregivers about what services you need. Take time to consider what services are important to you before you visit assisted-living communities. This step will help ease your transition. Think about these questions:
- Why do I want/need to change my living arrangements?
- What daily activities do I need help with (bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, remembering medications)?
- How often do I need help?
What Should I Look for in an Assisted-Living Community?
The following questions will help you and your family, when evaluating assisted-living facilities. Use this checklist to determine if assisted living is right for you.
- Is the residence licensed?
- What type of insurance does the facility carry on personal property?
- How do they respond to medical emergencies?
- What is the visitation policy?
Contracts, Costs, and Finance Questions
- Is a contract agreement available to include accommodations, personal care, health care, and support services? When may a contract be terminated and what is the refund policy? Are additional services available if the residents' needs change?
- How do you pay for additional services that are needed on a temporary basis (such as nursing care)?
- Are there different costs for various levels or categories of services?
- Are there any government, private, or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
- What are the billing, payment, and credit policies?
- May a resident handle his or her own finances with staff assistance (if able), or should a family member or outside party be designated to do so?
Questions About Staffing
- Is staff appropriately trained?
- Did you receive a warm greeting from staff? Is staff personable and outgoing?
- Is staff appropriately dressed?
- Do staff members greet residents by their first names and interact warmly with them?
- Is staff available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
- Is staff 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?