Comparing and contrasting senior living communities can be an overwhelming process. What questions do you ask? What should you look out for? As a Senior Placement Service, we have a lot of experience walking our clients through these steps. Our job is to help our clients through the process to make sure they are comparing “apples to apples” so to speak, and that all questions are answered. This allows families to make the best decision for their loved one.
Whether we are helping you along in your journey or not, below is a checklist of questions and topics to discuss when exploring a senior living community. Especially in the current COVID era where you can’t physically go into the community, covering all these topics will give you a much better understanding of the care and what to expect.
- Ask to tour common areas and see an apartment. Communities will be able to do live virtual tours to give you a real-time look in.
- Understand apartment sizes and costs. What services are included? Ask for a price sheet and room dimensions, as well as list of services/amenities included in base cost.
- What are the care levels? What do they include & cost? Is care a la carte or all inclusive?
- Is there a one-time community fee?
- What license(s) do they hold? The three licenses are Standard, LNS and ECC. All allow different levels of care. It’s important the community’s license is appropriate for the care your loved one requires.
- Is there a nurse onsite 24/7, or just on-call?
- Who is your point of contact when you have questions or concerns?
- Are Caregivers and staff trained to care for your loved one’s specific needs? This is especially important for Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and other higher needs residents.
- Does the community administer medications? Any restrictions? Especially important if a resident is prescribed certain psychiatric drugs, insulin, etc.
- Speak to Director of Nursing. The Director of Nursing will be responsible for creating and managing your loved one’s care plan, so make sure you speak to him/her and feel confident about the discussion.
- Speak to Executive Director. The Executive Director oversees the entire staff at the community. Their management and communication style usually “trickles down”, so speaking to him/her is important.
- What’s the communication protocol during an emergency? What is their protocol to communicate with family/Caregiver during an emergency such as if your loved one has to go to the hospital, during a hurricane, etc.?
- Resident to Caregiver ratio: This will give you an idea of how much one-on-one care they will get.
- Current visitation policies and procedures?
- COVID policies and procedures: How are they protecting their residents and staff?
- Dining: Is there all day dining or set meal times? Ask to look at a menu. Is there in-room dining available? Do they accommodate special diets (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.)
- Activities: What activities do they offer to residents? Ask to a see calendar. What are current protocols for residents to do activities or trips out of the community?
- Do they have an in-house physician?
- Do they offer in-house Physical and/or Occupational therapy?
- Are there transportation services?
- What is the current move-in process/protocol?
- Do they offer Hospice or end of life care?
If you are in the process of looking for a senior living community, or maybe in the early stages and just wondering where to start, reach out to us directly so we can give you insight and support. We’re always a free service for families!
941)343-7747 – email@example.com