Considerations When Choosing a Senior Living Community
By Megan Martin • The Palmettos Assisted Living of Charleston
Choosing a senior living community is a very important decision for our elderly loved ones. Here are several important factors to consider when searching for the best one…
Continuum of Care: Does the company have a Continuum of Care? Do they own a Health and Rehab facility, an Assisted Living, Memory Care, Home Healthcare and a Hospice or do they contract out all those services? The ability to access all those services within the same company will be much more convenient for you and your loved ones.
Longevity of Staff: Ask how long the staff has been employed there. How many people have been there more than 10 years? How many people have been there more than 5 years? This is a good indicator of how the company treats their employees which will also tell you how you or your loved one will be treated.
Consistency of Care: Ask if the same staff will be caring for your loved one on a consistent basis. It is difficult to become familiar and comfortable with your caregiver if that person changes daily. We all like consistency in our lives.
Medication Management: Is Medication Management included in the monthly rent? Many places charge between $20 and $60 a day extra to give you or your loved one medication. This adds up to a lot of money.
Memory Care: Will your loved one be able to transition to the Memory Care unit if necessary or will they make you find another facility? Do the residents of the Memory Care have their own activities? Are they included in the Assisted Living activities?
Activities: What kind of activities are offered and how often? Do they go shopping offsite? Do they go out to restaurants? Do they have exercise classes?
Capacity and Size of the Community: Consider if you or your loved one is going to be able to walk to the dining room, beauty shop, and activities without having to take rest breaks. It is also difficult to form friendships and become familiar with the caregivers if the building is too large.
Dining: Are there food choices? Is it restaurant style dining or is it more of a buffet style? Can they accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences?
Buy-In’s and Leases: Ask if there is a “buy-in” cost. Many companies charge a nonrefundable $5,000 to move into their community. Also, is there a long-term lease or is it month-to-month?
Choose what considerations are most important to you and keep them top of mind as you investigate potential communities.
Megan Martin is the Executive Director of The Palmettos Assisted Living of Charleston