Questions to ask when considering Independent and Assisted Living Facilities
If their health and mobility permits, most seniors would prefer to continue living in their own homes. However, there are some who prefer to retire to a senior community. Many assisted living facilities offer desirable amenities, such as prepared meals, exercise rooms and classes, and transportation to doctors and shopping, as well as freedom from household repairs and maintenance.
The amenities and pricing of assisted living apartments varies widely as do the services provided and quality of care available. It is assumed that the residents have reasonably good health and mobility. Something to consider is: what happens if health deteriorates and care is needed?
This is where Companion Care can be of help. We can provide services for assisted living residents daily or just a few times a week. It is completely the resident’s prerogative to contract with an outside company to provide such services. Whether a client would like companionship for shopping and grocery outings, or someone to come in to play cards and talk, Companion Care’s caregivers can be scheduled for several hours or for longer periods of time.
If you are trying to decide whether assisted living is right for you, here are some questions to ask and things to consider:
Availability of Services
- Are employees available for assistance 24-hours per day?
- Is personal care available during evening hours in case of emergency?
- Where will the shuttle go? A specified grocery store? Any doctor’s appointment?
- Is there a limit on the number of trips?
- Is transportation available every day of the week? Both mornings and afternoons?
- What is the average amount of time a resident spends in the van when going to appointments? Is there assistance for entrance and exit at a doctor’s appointment?
- Are there regularly planned social, recreational, educational and cultural activities?
- What kind of security is in place?
- Who has access to the residential areas?
- Emergency call system: Is it available? Who pays?
- Is there a fire emergency plan?
- What are total fees?
- Entrance fees, monthly fees, processing fees and others?
- What are the terms of refund if you decide to leave the community?
- Is the entrance fee refundable?
- What services are included in the baseline fees?
- What services cost extra?
- Are credits given for meals or other services when you are absent from the community?
- Does the facility’s care center accept Medicare or Medicaid?
- What types of insurance does the facility require residents to carry?
- Health, long-term care, home-owners/liability or renter’s insurance, etc.
Facility & Fiscal responsibility
- What is the financial soundness of the facility?
- How often is the community inspected by an outside agency?
- What were the results of the last inspection?
- Who owns the community/facility?
- What are the owner’s financial responsibilities to the residents?
- Who are the directors and managers of the community?
- What is the physical condition of the facility?
- Is it clean and well maintained?
- Is ample parking available for residents and guests?
- Does the facility have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau?
Client rights and participation
- Under what conditions can the community terminate the resident’s agreement?
- What are the grounds for eviction?
- Is there a right to appeal?
- What are the resident’s legal rights?
- Can residents participate in facility management and decision-making?
- Do they have activity and meal planning rules?
- Is there a resident council?
- How are complaints and disputes handled?
- Ask to talk to residents of the community.
- Try out some of the activities and view available options.
- Sample the food.
- Before signing a contract, have your attorney review it.
- This should be an attorney with expertise in contract law.