Are you considering assisted living options for your aging loved one?
Touring communities, reading online reviews, and asking doctors and colleagues for recommendations can help you choose the right housing option for the senior you love.
During your tours and interviews with the staff at various communities, be prepared to ask questions. Understanding the details about each community is often the key to making an informed decision.
Here are a few of the most important questions to have answered before you decide on an assisted living community.
6 Questions to Ask Staff on an Assisted Living Tour
1. What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
This is a big one. The answer often reflects the quality-of-care residents receive.
The national median shows a four-to-one ratio of assisted living staff to residents. This ratio may be lower—with more staff members per resident—in memory care communities. It may be higher at night, when most residents are sleeping and don’t require as much attention or hands-on care.
2. On a given week, how many hours of one-on-one time will my loved one share with the staff?
The staff-to-resident ratio is one indicator that your loved one should receive the care he or she needs. But also find out how much one-on-one time staff members spend with each resident.
3. What is the staff turnover rate?
One national survey cited the staff turnover rate in assisted living as 24.2% for the year. But some are as high as 100%!
A higher staff turnover could indicate issues such as overworked and/or underpaid staff. Both can have a direct impact on the quality of care provided.
Additionally, an assisted living community with lower turnover likely means your loved one will benefit from a sense of familiarity around the staff and a continuity of care.
Look for a senior community that focuses on building relationships with residents. A community where staff has higher longevity rates usually means caregivers have time to get to know residents and their unique needs.
4. What security measures protect residents in the community?
Security is just as important as staff-to-resident ratios when it comes to keeping your loved one safe. Today’s technology enables effective security without making a community’s residents feel trapped.
State-of-the-art communities may use electronic door locks, video surveillance on the grounds of the community, and sensors within the senior apartments to ensure the safety and security of residents.
5. What social activities and amenities are available?
Just because your loved one is moving to an assisted living community doesn’t mean they don’t want to pursue hobbies and social activities. In fact, this interaction becomes even more important. Since your loved one has left their home and possibly even their friends behind, building new relationships can help ensure a smooth transition.
To help your senior loved one make new friends in assisted living, choose a community that offers social activities, classes, and amenities they will enjoy. Maybe this means options for gourmet meals or a swimming pool to stay fit.
Contrary to popular myth, senior housing communities offer much more than Bingo. Computer classes, fitness programs, and day trips can keep your loved one busy, stimulated, and more active than they ever imagined they could be.
6. How can we pay for assisted living?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover assisted living expenses. But there are other options to explore, such as the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefit. If you’re not sure how to pay for assisted living, ask the staff at the community about other possibilities.
If you live in Michigan, Ohio or Illinois, the remarkable team at Randall Residence is available to answer your questions about assisted living and help you investigate avenues to pay for your senior loved one’s stay with us. Call the community nearest you to get started!