Homes for Seniors: Is Assisted Living for You?

Looking at homes for the elderly  in an assisted living community can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining for all parties involved. The task of searching for housing for the elderly —especially when that home will be for someone we love—is one that should not be taken lightly. This is why it's so important that you know exactly what you are looking for when searching for the right community for your family member.

Assisted Living Community: Is it for You?

As you and your loved ones make the difficult decision of whether looking at homes for the elderly in an assisted living community is for you, your family will no doubt have questions about what the ideal community should be like. Fortunately, as more baby boomers reach retirement age and beyond, more options on housing for the elderly that include assisted living are emerging, and with them more opportunities to find the right home for your loved one.

Questions to Ask Yourself

When you begin the process of looking at assisted living communities with homes for the elderly, you will quickly discover that there are many factors that come into play. Having a checklist can be invaluable in helping families make informed and educated decisions. The items below are just a few of the questions you should keep in mind when searching for the right place. These items are a good guide for families to use when they are first gathering information about a facility.

  1. About the atmosphere. When first entering a facility, ask yourselves several questions about the atmosphere. Is the staff friendly with family members and elderly alike? Do the residents seem happy with themselves and each other? Is the staff professional and attentive?
  2. About the physical appearance. Take a closer look at the physical characteristics of the building. Are the common areas clean and inviting? Are there non-slip carpets, handrails and other provisions for safe walking? Are elevators and automatic doors in working order?
  3. About health care and medication. To what extent are medical services available and how are these services provided? Is the community properly staffed with people designated for various tasks, such as administering medication? Does medical personnel conduct physical checks regularly and if so, how often?
  4. About the features of an individual unit. Are there both semi-private and private rooms available? How is billing handled for units? Do residents have cable TV in their rooms? Are dining room meals different from day to day?
  5. About assessments, contracts, costs and finance. Is a contract available that discloses healthcare and other supportive services, fees, and admission and discharge provisions? Are there any government programs, subsidies or financial programs available, privately or public, that may help cover costs? Are there different charges for various services? When can a contract be terminated?
  6. About services. Does the facility have a list of current services they offer? Are services such as housekeeping and transportation included in the cost of the unit? What about other services, such as hair salon services, and barber shop services?
  7. About activities. Does the community have a monthly calendar with activities already in place? Do residents participate in activities in neighboring communities as well as within their own community? Are residents encouraged to socialize and participate in activities?
  8. About food. Does the residence provide three nutritional meals a day? Do they also provide snacks? Are there set times for meals in the community? Can residents eat in their rooms?

Alternatives For Seniors: Helping You Choose the Best

Alternatives for Seniors has a more comprehensive and detailed list available. Find assisted living at Alternatives for Seniors, which offers a directory (in print and online) that specifically caters to the senior housing and senior care concerns of senior citizens and their families. Gain access to information from thousands of nationwide health and care facilities, including independent living, assisted living, nursing care, and more, without ever leaving your computer. Be social, too! Join our Facebook and Twitter community for the latest news and information on housing for the elderly.