Maybe your mom or dad realizes it’s time to move into an assisted living facility. Maybe they’ve been struggling for a while and your family’s looking for help.
It can be hard to go from living independently to relying more on caregivers at home or in a facility, both for a prospective resident and for the rest of the family.
But the right care team can work with you all to make this shift as smooth as possible.
If you’re interviewing facilities and trying to figure out the best choice for your family, here are 10 sets of questions to ask and answer before you sign a contract.
What kind of care does your relative need?
- Mobility: How active are they? Do they walk alone, with a mobility device like a walker or wheelchair, or with the assistance of another person? How well do they transfer, for example, from a bed to a chair or a wheelchair to a toilet or shower bench?
- Communication: How verbal are they? Are they able to remember instructions as you or their doctor give them, or becoming forgetful? Do they like storytelling or mealtime conversations? What kind of humor do they enjoy?
- Sleeping and nighttime: How well do they sleep? (Residents and their caregivers often have different assessments of this!) Can a caregiver or their previous facility provide background on their nighttime habits? Do they wear diapers overnight, take themselves to the bathroom, or require nighttime assistance?
- Social preferences: How sociable are they? Have they lived alone for a long time? Would they do well with a roommate for conversation and companionship? Do they enjoy activities outside of the home, like at a senior center or religious group? Do they have any religious or other lifestyle requirements that a facility should be aware of (e.g. receiving Catholic mass regularly, or ritual vegetarianism)?
- Financial situation: Some facilities offer Medicare waivers or insurance reimbursements; others only serve private-paying residents. Some counties, like Howard County, offer seniors a direct subsidy based on their financial situation. What resources does your relative or family have to support their care?
What’s it like at the assisted living facility?
- Layout: Is it a multi-floor building? If there’s more than one floor, is there an elevator? What’s the configuration of beds and showers? Where are the residents’ bathrooms and showers in relation to their rooms?
- Staffing: How many staff do you have? When did the newest one join the team? How long have you been in senior care and how did you get into it?
- Residents: What’s the demographic mix of the residents you have now—gender, age range, background, and ability? What kind of entertainment or other social activities do they do individually or together?
- House culture: How would you describe the culture or atmosphere of the facility? When’s the best time for visitors to come by? Is there a dedicated area for care, like doctor’s visits, physical therapy sessions, vaccinations, or hair stylist service?
- Move-in/move-out process: How long does it take to move in or move out? Do you have a probationary period for new residents? How often does your team perform medical assessments for residents? How much vacancy notice do you require?
If you need more help, call.
Yolanda’s Home offers both experienced caregivers and a relaxed, comfortable setting.
We’ve been doing this for decades, and we love helping families through this stage of their lives.
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