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As you begin the process of searching for an assisted living and memory care community for your loved one, you’re more than likely experiencing an array of emotions, not to mention an endless list of questions running through your mind. After all, looking for your elder’s next home is a big decision.
Knowing what to look for and what to ask when visiting a senior living community can help you feel empowered. To help, we’ve created a list of questions that you can reference during your search.
The environment plays a critical role in assisted living and memory care communities. If you don’t feel comfortable in a building, your loved one won’t either. Questions to consider:
An unusual odor around the community can indicate that residents are not adequately cared for, and housekeeping is subpar. Ask questions such as:
While your senior will spend a large portion of their time out in the community engaging with others, they will also spend time in their apartment. Things to observe:
It’s imperative that the assisted living communities you’re considering are properly licensed through the Department of Health and Senior Services. Questions to ask:
A robust activity program is critical for the wellbeing of seniors. It’s not unusual to find seniors becoming isolated or inactive as they age. A well-rounded activity program will ensure each residents’ physical, spiritual, social, and mental needs are met. Questions to ask:
The safety of residents is the first priority of any assisted living community—,, especially in memory care. Each community should have specific safety features, such as keypads for entrances and exits, alarmed exits, pendant alerts or pull chords, and 24-hour staff monitoring. Questions to ask:
Communication with the community about your loved one is vital to building trust and providing peace of mind. Questions to ask:
As our loved ones age, their dietary needs and personal preferences change, and it’s essential that a community is able to accommodate those needs and changes.
Questions to ask:
There are many ways to finance assisted living and memory care. These options include Veteran’s Benefits, long-term care policies, whole life insurance, savings, pension, and family contribution. Questions to ask:
Care plans provide direction for the individualized care of each resident and should be organized by the resident’s specific needs. When visiting an assisted living and memory care community, consider asking the following questions:
Assisted living and memory care communities should have a partnership with the local medical community in case of emergency and for routine care. Questions to ask:
While this list provides excellent options for questions, there is an additional area you should pay attention to when visiting assisted living and memory care communities—your instinct. You know your loved one better than anyone else and what’s best for them. How did you feel when you pulled into the parking lot and walked into the building? How did you feel when you completed the tour?
Coupling your instinct with the questions provided will help you make the best decision for your family members. If you have any questions about the process of searching for an assisted living and memory care community for your loved one, we encourage you to speak with one of our care consultants today.
As you begin the process of transitioning to an assisted living community, you may experience an influx of emotions, especially when it comes time to decide what to take with you.
The process of moving from your previous home to your new one may require that some items are stored, given away, or kept with a loved one (this process is known as “right-sizing”). One of the benefits of moving to an assisted living community is that you can shift your focus from worrying about materials items to living a thriving life.
To give you a hand, we’ve compiled a list of items to consider bringing when moving to an assisted living community.
When moving to an assisted living community, you’ll be asked to produce essential documents, such as medical authorization forms, prescription formulas, copies of power of attorney paperwork, and insurance cards. These documents are added to your resident profile to ensure that everyone on staff is aware of your background so they can serve you accordingly.
It’s important to remember that you aren’t moving to an assisted living apartment temporarily, you’re moving into a new home. An essential piece of making a new home are personal mementos, such as photographs. Since you may not have as much space as you did previously, think about which photographs or memorabilia you would like to keep or which items can stay with a loved one.
Your apartment may not be fully furnished when you transition to an assisted living community, so you’ll want to discuss with a care provider what you may need to bring with you. For example, at Provision Living, we provide kitchen appliances such as a refrigerator and microwave, but you will need to bring a few standard items, such as a bed, sofa, and chairs. You can even bring a kitchenette set or a small desk. To ensure that your furniture is a perfect fit, measure the furniture and apartment. You don’t want to make the mistake of bringing furniture that is too big.
You are highly encouraged to decorate your apartment. You may want to replicate the décor of your previous home or start completely fresh. Check with the executive director of your community about the decorating policy. Some communities advise against residents painting the interior of their apartments or hanging items on the wall with nails. Instead, they may recommend using items that won’t damage the walls, such as Command Strips.
One of the benefits of moving to an assisted living community is not having to cook. At Provision Living, we provide three restaurant-style meals per day, or our residents may choose open dining, which gives you or your loved one the option to eat at a different time. However, for those moments where you may want to enjoy a snack in the comfort of your apartment, you may want to bring a set of kitchenware, including a few glasses, plates, and silverware.
Remember to bring essential hygienic items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, lotions, and more. In our communities, if you ever get low on supplies, our staff is happy to transport you to a local store to purchase additional items.
If you think moving to an assisted living community means reducing your closet space, think again. In the senior apartments at Provision Living, each unit is designed with spacious closet space to house your clothing items. We also recommend bringing a couple of storage bins or a drawer to keep in your closet in case you need more storage.
Pets are often a big part of the lives of elders. If you wish to have your pet live with you, talk to your executive director. They will provide you with a copy of the pet policy.
When moving to an assisted living community, there should be medical professionals that manage the medication process. In our communities, clinical professionals oversee and administer the medications of all of our residents. In our experience, this allows us to serve residents better and manage situations that may arise.
Be mindful of bringing credit cards, large amounts of cash, jewelry, or valuables (of more than nominal value) because they may become lost.
The safety and wellbeing of residents is the top priority for all assisted living communities. At Provision Living, we ask that members of our community refrain from bringing heating pads, electric blankets, and coffee makers because they are prone to cause burns and fires.
What do extension cords and throw rugs have in common? They’re both trip hazards. It’s essential to make sure that your new home is free from these obstructions to prevent falls and other accidents.
We hope this list provides you some great insights on the types of items you should bring to an assisted living community. If you have any questions about the transition process, we encourage you to connect with one of our care consultants.
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