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How to Select an Assisted Living Facility: 5 Things to Look For

Making an active decision to actually select an assisted living facility can be somewhat confusion as there are so many things to look for by a family.  While not all assisted living centers are the same, some are better fits for families as they offer the things that are necessary to care for their loved one.  With over 25 years of working in a variety of assisted living facilities we have extensive experience in seeing both the good and bad.   With the help of our senior housing team, we have come up with “5 things to look for” when selecting an assisted living facility.  


Ask ones in the know:   One problem that we find with people who contact assisted living facilities before doing their due diligence is that they often first contact the sales team of a certain facility and end up getting lured in by their staff.  While this may or may not be a good thing,  it is often best to ask any family or friends that may know someone who is in an assisted living facility or inquire online via Facebook to see if you have a friend that may offer some advice on a certain facility in your area.  


Contact the Department of Social Services: Social Services should be contacted as they can not only assist families with financial assistance available, but they will have representatives who specialize in senior care.   It may be best to look at the Social Services first, as they can give you an overview of costs and possible people that you can reach out to when searching for the right home for your loved one.  


Plan Some Visits: We recommend visiting at least three different assisted living facilities after doing your initial research to speak with them and see first hand how the day to day operations are going at a facility.  It is important to use your instincts when going to visit and have a list of questions that you want to ask before arriving at the assisted living facility.  Also, make it well known that you are looking at other options, as you may get some sort of discount from the assisted living facility that you are looking at, as this is a very competitive business.   Once a salesman or administrator gets you on campus, they are looking to close the deal and have your family member as a client.  


Review the fine print:  It is often wise to take a knowledgeable family member or maybe consulting your lawyer before you sign anything at an assisted living facility.  When trying to select an assisted living facility, families will often make quick decisions that could end up costing them in the end.    We always suggest that families take all of the paperwork with them and have someone look them over with someone that is versed at reading contracts before signing anything.  


Inquire about special needs:  Depending on your relative in question, many families will need special needs that the assisted living center may or may not be able to accommodate.   For families who have a relative with Alzheimer’s or Dementia it is often wise to inquire about any specialists and experience that the facility may have in dealing with this type of patient.  


These are just a few of SeniorTV’s “Things to Look for”  before selecting an assisted living facility.  The main point that we would like to tell families is that it is important to take your time and make a decision that will best fit the needs of your family member.   Many families often jump the gun and their family member is at a place where they don’t get the best environment for their particular needs.