Are you wondering what questions to ask when choosing an assisted living facility? If YES, here are best question to ask before making a choice in 2021. If you have an elderly family member or someone who can’t take care of themselves, taking them to the assisted living facility is perhaps one of the ways to go. This is because assisted living facilities are designed to take care of such people.

Assisted Living Facilities essentially provide accommodation and personal care services for elderly people and individuals who are unable to fully care for themselves due to ailment or disability.

Businesses in the Assisted Living Facility industry provide a significant range of services such as independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and a combination of these, which are usually referred to as continuing care retirement communities.

The truth is that, in order to make the right choice when it comes to selecting the right assisted living facility that will be suitable for your family members, you should start by asking the right questions. The answers you get from the questions will be what should influence your decision. For the purpose of this article, we will look at 20 questions you should ask when choosing an assisted living facility, and here are the questions;

20 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

  1. Table of Content

    How Much Does It Cost To Live in The Facility

The first question you should ask when looking for an assisted living facility is to know all the costs involved in living in the facility. Come to think of it, no matter how nice and well-equipped an assisted living facility is, if you don’t have the money to pay for their services, there is no need to continue to ask further questions. It will just be a waste of time simply because you can’t afford their services.

  1. The Type of Facility and How Spacious Is The Facility

Another question that you would want to ask is to know the type of facility and the size of the rooms. You should also ask to know if common spaces are available to residents and also to know if there are any outdoor spaces as well.

You should also ask to know if the community has any special amenities or services, such as a beauty parlor, fitness room, therapy pool, et al. Also know if there is a place where residents can do their own gardening, arts and crafts, or other hobbies.

You should also know if residents have the option of a private or shared room if residents can personalize and decorate their own apartments. Does each room have a private bathroom, or are bathrooms shared? Are they designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers? Do rooms come equipped with 24-hour emergency response systems?

  1. Are Cable, Internet/Wi-Fi Included In The Rooms And If There Is A Fee, How Is The Billing Handled?

Some assisted living facilities may decide to restrict the internet and if you are someone that can’t do without the internet, you may not be able to stay in such facility hence you should ask to know if cable, internet, and Wi-Fi are included in the rooms.

  1. Ask If A Kitchen Is Provided With A Refrigerator, Sink, And Cooking Element And If Residents Are Permitted To Keep Food In Their Apartments?

The way food are prepared and stored should be part of the questions you should ask before settling for an assisted living facility.

  1. Ask To Know About The Staff Members in The Facility

Another very important question that you must not fail to ask when searching for an assisted living facility is to know about the staffing of the facility. You should know the ratio of staff to residents and also know the staff turnover rate. When asking questions as regards the staff members, don’t forget to ask to know the type of training the staff members are exposed to.

  1. Ask To Know If They Have A Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Or Certified Nursing Assistant On Duty Always

You don’t want to keep your family member in an assisted living facility that lacks qualifies nurses, hence you must make sure you ask questions that will help you know the types of nurses available in the assisted living facility.

  1. Ask To Know If Staff Members Are Available To Provide 24-Hour Assistance With Activities Such As Dressing, Eating, Bathing And Toileting

There are some assisted living facilities where caregivers are not always available 24/7 perhaps because they run shifts or lack the adequate number of staff . So you must ask to know if they have enough staff members on the ground 24/7 to take care of residents.

  1. What Are The Types of Activities Available In The Assisted Living Facility?

Another important question to ask before making a decision on an assisted living facility is to know the type of activities available to residents of the facility and how often they occur. You should also ask to know if residents interact with the surrounding community and if residents go on regular outings or if volunteers come into the community.

  1. Ask To Know If Pets Are Allowed

If you or your family member is a lover of pet, then you must make sure to know whether you can come along with your pet and to know the kind of pets that are allowed in the assisted living facility.

  1. Ask to Know About Their Feeding Plans and The Type of Food They Serve

Feeding is a very important aspect of living in an assisted living facility hence it is very important to know the clarifications as regards food. You should know how many meals are provided per day, know if the menu varies from day to day, if the food are prepared daily and if there are set times for meals.

You should also ask to know if visiting family members and guests can dine with residents and if there is going to be a charge for it. You should also ask to know if meals can be tailored to a resident’s specific needs or special requests.

12. Ask To Know If Housecleaning For Personal Living Spaces Is Included In The Price?

Another very important question that you ask before choosing an assisted living facility for your family member is to know if housecleaning for personal living spaces is included in the price they are charging you and if not, what is the fee?

  1. Ask To Know The additional services are available if the care or personal needs change while living in the Assisted Living Facility

It is not out of place for the services needed by people who live in an assisted living facility to change hence it be very important that you ask to know if additional services are available if the care or personal needs change while living in their facility.

  1. Ask To Know The Billing Policy Of The Assisted Living Facility

Another very important question you must not fail to ask when shopping for an assisted living facility for your loved one is to know the billing policy of the facility especially if you are the one responsible for paying the bills.

  1. Ask To Know About Their Medication and Health Care Policy

The fact that residents of assisted living facilities are subjected to daily medications and health care means that it is an important question you must not fail to ask. You may want to know their medication management policy and if self-administration of medication is allowed.

Another question you should ask in this regard is to know if there is a staff member who coordinates home healthcare visits from a nurse, physical therapist, etc. when needed. You should ask to know if there is a clearly-stated procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency and if transportation is offered to residents for doctor’s appointments and if the transportation is wheelchair/disabled-friendly et al.

  1. Ask To Know If Customized Services Will Be Available

The fact that some residents will require customized services means that from the outset, you should ask to know if the assisted living facility provides customized services. You should ask to know if there is a written plan of care for each resident and how often do they update it and of course what fee will such customized services attract.

  1.  Ask If the Assisted Living Facility Offer Hospice and Palliative Care

It is very important to know what you will be getting when taking your loved ones to an assisted living facility. Although some assisted living facilities may decide to offer basic services, some go the extra mile to offer hospice and palliative care hence it won’t be out of place to know if the assisted living facility you prospecting offers such services.

  1. Ask To Know If The Assisted Living Facility Permits Outside Agencies to Provide a Duty Aide or Other On-Site Caregiver

Another very important question your must ask before settling for an assisted living facility is to know if the facility permits outside agencies to provide a duty aide or other on-site caregiver, and if they do, you may want to know the financial implications of such arrangement.

  1. Ask To Know The Number of Residents That Live in The Facility and What Kinds Of Patients Are Currently Living In The Facility

It will not be out of place for you to know the number of people who live in the assisted living facility and also the kind of people in the facility. With that, it will be easier for you to make a decision whether you will be comfortable leaving your loved one in the facility or move on to search for another facility.

  1. What Type Of Security And Safety Measures Do They Have In Place?

Lastly, one of the very important questions that you must not fail to ask when shopping of an assisted living facility for your loved one is to know the type of security and safety measures the  facility has in place. In all we do, security is key hence you must make sure you ask questions that revolve around security and safety.

In Conclusion;

Please note that choosing an assisted living facility for your elderly loved one is a critical decision for your family. Hence, it is pertinent that you ask plenty of questions until you feel satisfied and comfortable that you understand the options, policies, and benefits of the assisted living facility. So feel free to use the questions above to guide your choice as you go out there to look for the ideal assisted living facility for your family member.

Joy Nwokoro