Choosing an assisted living facility can be difficult. You want to make sure you are getting the place that best suits the needs of you or your loved one. There are a number of steps you can take to evaluate assisted living facilities and choose the one that is right for you:
1. Assess your needs.
Before you can choose the right facility, you need to determine your physical, monetary, and everyday life needs. What is going to be important to you in an assisted living home? Separate the “must haves” from “wants” and prioritize your list of requirements.
2. Do your research.
Once you know what you are looking for, you can begin to research different assisted living facilities. Ask friends and family for recommendations, read online reviews, and compare pricing.
3. Tour the facility.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, schedule a tour of the facility. This will give you a chance to see the space, meet the staff, and get a feel for the overall atmosphere.
4. Ask questions.
During your tour, be sure to ask any questions you may have about the facility. Find out what services are included in the price, what the policies are regarding visitors and guests, and how the staff is trained to handle residents with special needs.
5. Trust your gut.
After touring the facility and meeting the staff, you should have a good sense of whether or not the assisted living facility is a good fit for you. Trust your instincts and choose the option that feels right for you.
6. Determine what the facility offers in terms of activities.
Consult their activity schedule to see if there are things that you or your loved one would be interested in partaking in. Are there offsite excursions? What about onsite activities? Are families welcome to join too? If religious services hold importance, inquire as to whether they have access on location or nearby.
7. Observe the team in action, and stay for mealtime or an activity to see how they interact with residents.
To assess a facility, ask to stay overnight; some places allow prospective residents and/or their families to do so.
Assisted living is not free and costs vary by state. Most residents use some form of private pay—like long-term care insurance or their personal savings—to cover assisted living expenses. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care services like assisted living.
If you’re wondering how to pay for assisted living services, talk to your financial adviser and visit this page to explore options. Assisted living tour guides can also provide information on making good decisions. You’ll find a helpful expense comparison worksheet right here.