How to Evaluate an Assisted Living Community
When you’re looking at assisted living communities, it helps to have a list of specific points to consider. It’s a good idea to take notes about each place you visit, and if permitted, snap a few photos so you can remember important points. Collect any brochures or informational pamphlets that are available. If possible, take your loved one with you to see the community. Some of the most vital information you obtain will be through personal observation. What was your immediate first impression? Did you feel welcome when you walked in? Did the residents seem happy? Were you struck by any smells or cleanliness issues?
We welcome visits from prospective new residents and their families. Schedule a tour with us to see one of our homes and experience the inviting, caring atmosphere at Arizona Homestead.
Is the Community Clean and Well-Appointed?
One of the first things to examine in an assisted living community is the overall state of the building, rooms, and grounds. Does the community appear clean and well kept? Are furniture and fixtures in good repair? Do you see plenty of features designed to accommodate elderly or disabled persons, like grab bars, handrails, call buttons, and widened hallways and doors? Evaluate the community’s aesthetic appeal and functionality in the common areas and individual rooms. What kinds of amenities are available? Does the community provide things like a library, chapel, or picnic area?
What Are the Staffing Levels and Qualifications?
When someone needs the additional help offered by an assisted living community, one of the most important considerations is the staff. Ask about the resident-to-staff ratio on all shifts, as well as what type of caregivers the community employs. Are they registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, or something else? Is there someone on staff qualified to render medical assistance at all times?
At Arizona Homestead, our caregivers go through a thorough check before coming onboard with us. They have first aid and CPR certification and are required to participate in on-going education to stay current in elder care.
How Is the Food?
If you can sit down for one of the community’s regular meals, take the opportunity to sample the food. Ask the staff about things like whether or not the facility can accommodate special diets, such as kosher or gluten-free. Is the food prepared fresh daily or is it processed, packaged, or frozen fare? How often does the menu change? You’ll want to check on how many meals a day are served, along with what provisions can be made if someone can’t come to the communal space for a meal. Will the staff bring food to them? Can they keep food in their apartment?
What’s the Actual Cost of the Assisted Living Community?
When checking into an assisted living community, it’s important to know not only the monthly cost, but also what’s included in that cost. Are individual apartments and bathrooms provided, or does it cost extra if a resident doesn’t want to share a room? What about things like transportation or medication reminders? Make sure that you understand all the potential costs before moving forward.
Contact Arizona Homestead to learn more about our assisted living communities in Tucson, Arizona. We offer three levels of care for older adults.