There are more choices than ever for seniors seeking a quality assisted living community. The options can range from nursing homes to memory care facilities that are better able to accommodate to needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease.
So how should you go about researching and choosing an assisted living community for yourself or a loved one?
Types of Senior Living Communities
Senior living communities generally fall into one of three categories: independent living, nursing home, and assisted living.
Unlike an assisted living community, an independent living community may or may not provide its residents with amenities or personal care services. Seniors in such an environment are typically able to live on their own with little or no assistance. Independent living communities include rent-assisted or market-rate apartments where residents can elect to choose whether or not to take part in the community services and programs.
A nursing home provides medical care to its residents, including chronic conditions as well as convalescent and rehabilitative attention. Nursing homes must be licensed and certified in accordance with federal law in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Nursing homes are also required to honor their respective states’ Resident Bill of Rights.
Assisted living communities provide seniors with housing, personal and medical care services, and amenities including dining, housekeeping, and transportation services, as well as recreational activities designed to promote wellness. Although assisted living communities are usually able to provide assistance to residents with memory loss, memory care facilities provide long-term nursing care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other types of severe memory loss.
Questions to Ask When Visiting an Assisted Living Community
Assisted living communities are regulated in all 50 states. These communities must be in compliance with all local building codes and fire safety regulations, and are inspected by a state regulatory agency. That said, each assisted living community has its own unique characteristics. In addition to determining whether or not a community is capable of taking care of your needs or the needs of a loved one, the overall atmosphere and quality of life should be assessed in person.
Some important questions to ask the residents and staff when you visit a potential assisted living facility include:
- Is there a complete list of care services available?
- What are the training requirements for the community’s staff?
- Does the staff provide assistance with dressing, eating, personal hygiene and toileting?
- Is a nurse on staff and available 24-hours?
- What is the response procedure in the event of a medical emergency?
- What is the policy for reporting suspected abuse of the community residents by the staff?
To determine the cost value of an assisted living community, you should consider both the quality of life and standard of care the facility is offering. A comprehensive checklist of questions to ask yourself and the residents and staff of an assisted living community you are considering is available from the ALFA website. Remember, moving into an assisted living facility is not the same as moving into a house or an apartment. Your decisions will be based on a different set of criteria, with the health and happiness of you or your loved one as your primary concern.
Building Great Senior Living Communities
PinPoint Commercial has helped to create and build several outstanding, highly regarded assisted living and memory care facilities in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida. These facilities feature both leading edge technology and design, and highly skilled, caring staffs to provide personalized care and comfort to residents. Visit our website to learn more about our senior housing developments, including Legacy at Falcon Point (Katy, TX) or Legacy at Crystal Falls (Leander, TX).