More than 800,000 people reside in one of America’s nearly 29,000 assisted living communities, according to the National Center for Assisted Living (kNCAL). These communities provide around-the-clock supervision and healthcare, as well as medication management, transportation, meals and dining services, and exercise and wellness programs.
If you think your parent or loved one could benefit from an assisted living community environment, there are several things to consider when picking the perfect location.
Where does your loved one want to be? Is the goal for them to be close to family or does he or she want to look at facilities that are near the beach or in the place where they grew up? The location of the assisted living facility will be a determining factor in how the community operates. For example, in some states, you can only provide so much medical assistance to the residents.
Where would your loved one feel the most comfortable — a large community that has more amenities or services, or a smaller community with fewer patients. Size may ultimately come down to how social your loved one still is or what kind of medical attention they need.
Most assisted living communities will offer the same foundational services, including 24-hour care, transportation, meals, and medication management. From there, however, these communities can differ. For example, some facilities such as the Villas at San Bernardino, offer memory care, which is an environment planned specifically to provide comfort and security to those residents who are dealing with memory loss or dementia. Other facilities offer different amenities that may appeal to some residents, including movie theaters, pools, and recreational activities.
Does your loved one have a beloved cat or dog? Don’t forget to ask potential assisted living facilities whether or not they allow pets before you get too far in the process. On the flip side of that, if your loved one is allergic to cats or dogs, you may want to seek a place that doesn’t allow any sort of animal.
- Visitation Rules
If your loved one plans to live in a facility that is close to family and friends, you may want to get a thorough understanding of the community’s visitation policy. Some facilities limit visitation hours, the number of visitations, and even how long a visitor can hang around. You’ll want to make sure the parameters around visitors at any potential facility meet your needs.
Cost can be one of the most important factors when selecting an assisted living facility. According to NCAL, the national median rates for assisted living services are $4,000 monthly and $48,000 annually. The cost can vary widely by state. At the same time, some facilities will allow low-income individuals to use Medicaid to help cover the cost of services. In fact, according to NCAL, 16.5% of residents rely on Medicaid to pay for daily services.
Selecting the right assisted living facility for your loved one is an important undertaking. But if you know what to look for, however, you can make the process easier for everyone involved.