How to Choose Assisted Living
Assisted Living Care: Page 3
Once you've narrowed down your choices, you and the person you're caring for should ask to visit the community several times, share a meal, and meet staff and residents.
If either of you, or a family member, has friends or acquaintances who have moved into assisted-living communities, try to arrange visits with them, ideally at mealtimes, and find out what their experiences have been.
Ask to look at the weekly menu, the list of activities, and the residents' agreement, which should outline both services and costs.
Look for emergency call systems in each room, and make sure staff are available to support residents around the clock.
ALFA has created a consumer checklist that can help guide you through the process of checking out various assisted living communities. ALFA also provides a list of state agencies that oversee assisted living, which you can contact to see whether there have been any complaints about a community you're considering.
In the end, there's no substitute for going with your gut. "Talk to residents," suggests Robbins, "and look at how they are. Is it a place where people are sitting around with their heads hanging down, or is there activity? How does it feel? Walking into a community will tell you whether you'd want to live there."