Your Aging Parents: How To Choose The Best Assisted Living Facility

When your parents age, you find yourself more and more preoccupied with their health and well-being. While they were once responsible for your health and safety, now the tables have turned and you find yourself responsible for them. As per your parents' wishes, you have helped them to stay in their home for as long as possible. However, the time eventually comes where in home care is just no longer feasible. Perhaps they need extensive medical supervision, or they tend to wander off on their caregivers. Whatever the case may be, when selecting an assisted living facility for your parents, just keep a few key factors in mind to make sure your decision is the best possible.

How Are The Meals?

When you go on your tour of the facility, request to be allowed to eat a meal from their dining services. The quality of the food is a sure sign of the overall quality of life at the facility. Make sure the food is healthy, fresh, and appetizing.

If your parents have special dietary restrictions, talk to the dining services staff directly to ensure that these need can and will be met in the facility.

How Is Staff Trained?

Assisted living staff will soon be the primary caregivers for your parents. As such, you have a right to know how staff are trained and what certifications they possess. Ask pertinent questions while on your tour. Are all caregivers at the very least certified nursing assistants? Certified nursing assistants are trained to monitor vitals, assist with daily living tasks, to move and lift residents who cannot do so themselves, and are CPR certified. 

Medically trained staff cannot have criminal records, have been accused or convicted of abuse or neglect, and will be best able to properly care for your parents. Because of the stringent requirements to attain medical certifications, you will rest assured your parents are in responsible hands if all staff are required to maintain licenses. Additionally, assisted living facilities themselves must be licensed with the Department of Health and Human Services. Be sure to verify that the facility has a current license in good standing with the state.

What Are The Social Amenities?

Almost as important as the medical care provided in an assisted living facility are the social amenities. When living at home, your parents had opportunities to visit with friends, go to the store, the hair salon, and anywhere else the wished. The best assisted living facilities offer social amenities that are similar to the "real world."

Some facilities are basically like their own little town. They have stores, libraries, banks, and even art galleries all housed within the assisted living facility. Others offer residents transportation services to shop, go to restaurants, and the like. Make sure you get to know the social amenities available before choosing a facility for your parents. Their social well-being is equally as important as their medical care.

While you will base your choice of assisted living facility on several additional factors including cost, location, and services offered, the quality of life of facility residents is a key factor you need to consider in your final decision. Make sure to pay attention to these three factors while you tour facilities and you will be able to easily make the best decision for your parents' transition to assisted living.