Quality Assisted Living

5 Things You Should Never See, and 5 Things You Should

Choosing assisted living for your loved one? Here are some things to look for when trying to decide between multiple communities.

In an assisted living community, you should not:

  1. See negative reviews that have no response in the Caring.com Assisted Living Directory or in other local review sites.

    Bear in mind: Every story has two sides. When you see a negative review, look for the community's response. How do you like their customer service? How will staff respond to you if you ever have a problem?

  2. See a resident sitting alone in a wheelchair, with no one nearby, because staff members are too busy to help them.

    It's fine to see residents sitting by themselves, enjoying a book or looking out the window. It's not fine if a resident is sitting facing a wall or is calling for help without being answered.

  3. See empty common areas.

    Unless it's late at night, at least some of the residents should be interacting with each other, not sitting alone in their rooms.

  4. Hear staff bickering with each other or with residents.

    Staff members should always behave professionally on the job, whether they're interacting with residents, other staff members, or visitors. Other negative indicators include staff members on personal calls while helping residents, or an obvious disagreement between staff and management.

  5. Smell urine or other unpleasant odors.

    Safety and basic hygiene should be the staff's number-one priority. If the staff can't keep the community clean enough to smell good, how can they keep each resident healthy and safe?

In an assisted living community, you should:

  1. Be greeted warmly by someone at the front desk.

    The front desk is the main point of interaction between visitors and the staff. If there's no one at the front desk, it may mean that the community is understaffed -- or, worse, that staff don't find it necessary to monitor who's coming into and going out of the community. If someone's at the front desk but is unfriendly, it's hard to imagine the staff being friendly to residents.

  2. See a state license and Resident Bill of Rights displayed prominently in the lobby.

    All assisted living communities are regulated by the state. If there is no state license or Resident Bill of Rights displayed in the lobby, be sure to ask why.

  3. Hear staff members interacting with residents warmly.

    If staff members are short-tempered with residents, or are polite but seem not to know residents' names, consider looking elsewhere.

  4. See residents doing activities, socializing with each other, and talking to staff members.

    Communities should make sure that all residents are able to participate in the social life of the community, no matter how mobile they are (or aren't).

  5. Sense a generally peaceful atmosphere.

    Communities don't need to be absolutely quiet and completely spotless -- they're homes, after all -- but they shouldn't feel crowded, chaotic, or anxiety-provoking either.

2 months ago, said...

Why do you have to be 65 ? I am married and want to get OUT of New Focus !!!!

5 months ago, said...

While this is a decent starting point there are many other factors. What time of day matters and whether there are also independent residences in the same building. Ask about nursing staffing and aide staffing and make sure they can provide the care you expect. Remember its 'Assisted Living' and not a skilled nursing facility so family involvement in health and activities of residents is important too. Are employees smiling? Ask about the services you desire. If you visit in the evening after work keep in mind how many staff members are working. Ask about hours of housekeeping, maintenance, nursing, activities as these are often run like a business that 'closes' at 5 or 6 or sometimes earlier.

about 1 year ago, said...

Lalitha Need help?

almost 3 years ago, said...

Late to the conversation, but to be frank, this an extremely unrealistic list if you have to have state help with assisted living. My Mother's home is clean, pleasant, and the staff is great. The worst I've ever encountered is some litter in her room. However, there are "funny smells in the halls" because it's cleaned daily with strong cleaners. People are left alone, because there isn't enough staff to attend to everyone's bodily needs and entertain them, too. It's not from lack of want, it's from lack of money because it's a no frills operation. If you're paying privately for assisted care, by all means, bring this as a shopping list. If you have to have state assistance, I would humbly suggest setting your sights on clean, thrifty, and friendly. They don't have time to hold everyone's hand.

about 4 years ago, said...

The list of items to look for and to consider the two sides. I like to sit quietly and read and would consider it an insult if it was thought I was neglected. Thank You

over 4 years ago, said...

information on what to ask and what to look for making sure staff members interact with residence, hot food is a must before we pick out a residence.

over 4 years ago, said...

advise on what to look for both pro and con in choosing a facility

over 4 years ago, said...

i know what to expect ,,,i suppose

over 4 years ago, said...

Simply put, no facility discloses the costs associated with accommodations. That is the determining factor in choosing such a facility and should be included in the information provided. I would never use a facility that bases care of the patients on their financial situation.

almost 5 years ago, said...

Just beginning to seek best facility for myself and my small dog. Any and all info helps11

almost 5 years ago, said...

Good to know WHAT to look for. Shame that I have not found any places yet that are affordable, that have the SHOULD list.

almost 5 years ago, said...

It was a great guide line so pelope can understand it alot more!!!!!!!!!!

about 5 years ago, said...

Yes indeed are very useful tips ... No doubt that the last one is on top of all of them ............. which is Sense a generally peaceful atmosphere.

about 5 years ago, said...

very great tips on what to look for....thanks!