- by Dana Ehrlich
When interviewing potential assisted living facilities, it’s a good idea to have a standard list of questions to ask each facility so you can make relevant comparisons. This may include:
- What levels of care does this facility offer? What abilities and degrees of self-sufficiency are required of residents? What happens when these abilities change?
- Do you conduct an initial assessment prior to admission? How often are assessments repeated? Are they written and available for the family’s review?
- What is your staff-to-resident ratio during the day? At night?
- Is a nurse onsite around-the-clock? Does a physician regularly visit the facility? How are medical emergencies handled?
- Who administers medications? How is this information recorded? Can it be reviewed by family members at any time?
- What experience and training does your staff possess? How much ongoing training is required?
- What type of apartments and/or living units are available? Is there a waiting list? What is the estimated time before you can accept a new resident?
- What is the monthly cost? Do you have a written list of what’s included and which services cost extra? What other fees might be assessed?
- What are your billing and payment policies? What is your discharge policy?
- How often is the facility assessed? By what organizations? Are the findings made available to families as a matter of course?
• Is the facility attractive, in excellent repair and clean—inside and out?
• Is the staff friendly? Were you welcomed when you arrived? Does the staff and the executive director address residents by name? Are interactions between staff and management professional? Are members of the staff warm toward the residents? Do they greet you as you tour?
• May you visit with residents any time you like?
• Is the food attractive? Does it taste good? Are families permitted to review the menus?
• Are the residents happy? Do they appear to have excellent care from staff? Do they interact and seem to enjoy each other’s company?
• Are you comfortable here? Do the staff and residents seem comfortable? Does it seem like a good “fit”?
Visit each facility at different times—during activities and meal times, for example—and seek feedback from residents and their families on these and other considerations.