Know Before You Go! Choosing an Assisted Living Community

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Assisted living communities should provide each resident with the help one needs to sustain a happy and healthy lifestyle. The community should meet a person’s needs and wants, to help the resident make good decisions about their lives on an ongoing basis.

Create an assisted living residence checklist of questions when you interview communities

Prepare questions to ask the sales director about how the community accommodates the changing needs of residents. From written material, including copies of the residency agreement, to move-in and move-out criteria and house rules an assisted living checklist can be a helpful resource. Ask if the community is a continuing care community where the level of care includes memory or skilled nursing.

Determine if you can stay for the long term

Most assisted living communities you visit will offer residents the promise of a forever home. Remember, assisted living care needs can change over time, especially as residents age. The average stay in assisted living communities is a little over 2 years, and the most common reason for leaving is that the person needs more care.

Look Beyond…What are the levels of care in the community and the different costs for those levels?

Long term care in communities usually require a big financial buy-in, and the resident is still under a hefty monthly rent obligation. When choosing an assisted living community keep in mind that a less expensive monthly rent commitment usually results in an alternative care plan that may need to be met later on down the road. This could result in care givers scrambling for long-term care options in less than desired locations. Long-term assisted living care is very costly and should be added into the mix when looking at any assisted living community.

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