When you hear the words “assisted living facilities,” the picture that comes to your mind may be a little fuzzy. Assisted living facilities vary widely from each other in the level of care and expectations provided. When you are choosing between assisted living facilities, it is important to clarify exactly what to expect from each facility first.
The best way to do that is to visit your possible facilities and ask questions about:
- Cleaning: Find out what is cleaned by staff and how often it is cleaned.
- Activities: What activities are planned by the staff on a regular basis?
- Level of choice: How rigid are the rules for residents? What decisions can a resident make independently?
- Food: Try the food and ask for a menu. Do you have choices at each meal?
- Visitation rules: What are the limits on visitors?
- Pets: Can you bring a pet? Are there pets in the facility?
- Transportation: What transport services will be available to you?
- Privacy: How will you maintain your privacy?
- Decoration: Can you decorate your own room with furniture and mementos?
- Temperature and lighting: Can you control your own temperature and lighting? How much natural light is available?
- Access to phone, TV and other devices: Will you have your own phone, TV or other devices as wanted?
It will also be important to discuss the level of assisted care you are looking for. Generally, you can get personalized assistance with medicine management, bathing needs, dressing needs, grooming needs, toileting needs and laundry. Also, if you need assistance transferring between a bed and a wheelchair or other transfer assistance, some assisted living facilities can accommodate these needs.