Health

Choosing An Assisted Living Home

Over a million people live in assisted living homes in the US, and the vast majority are well run and expertly staffed. It’s nearly always a difficult decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility, making choosing the right one essential – one like this assisted living Colorado Springs option.

Cost is probably one of your biggest concerns, and costs can vary widely. Many assisted living homes offer shared rooms; for the luxury of a single room or apartment, you’ll pay more. Many of the better assisted living places have long waitlists, meaning putting your name down on that list as soon as possible is recommended. And of course, location is important; your family member will want to have access to shops, restaurants, places of worship and medical facilities, which can help to make the transition to assisted living easier. You’ll want to visit your loved one regularly too, making it important to choose somewhere convenient and easy to reach and somewhere that doesn’t limit visiting hours too much.

Most assisted living facilities welcome visitors and are only too happy to provide a guided tour. When visiting an assisted living home, try to talk to as many of the staff and residents as possible; that can give you a good feel for whether it’s a good place to live and work, and whether people are happy there. Look for staff who seem attentive and interested, and residents who don’t appear to be bored, depressed or distant. If possible, try to eat a meal in the cafeteria and take a look at the residents’ menu for that week. Ask the staff or director about the opportunities to socialize, what sort of outings are available, whether games and activities are organized regularly. Some facilities have their own salon, pool or fitness center.

And look for clues that the home is well run, such as clean and inviting rooms and communal areas, helpful staff, a lower staff to resident ratio, and a facility that’s current in its licensing, permits and any other requirements, including staff training. Look for appropriate safety and security measures, including overhead sprinklers, smoke alarms, resident call buttons, grab bars and clearly marked emergency exit routes and doors. Look for dirt, odors or stains; while some accidents or messes are inevitable, the facility should be odor free and clean.

Having access to medical care is a big factor when it comes to choosing the right assisted living home. Find out where the nearest hospital, doctor’s office and dentist are located; you should also ask whether your family member can still use their own physician, and whether a medical professional is available at all times. Some questions to ask might include: How does the facility handle a medical emergency? Does the facility participate in any payment program, such as Medicaid or Medicare? And would a higher level of care be available at the facility if needed at some point in the future?

All assisted living homes are not the same, and it’s well worth taking the time to find one everyone is comfortable with.

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