-15 MUST ASK QUESTIONS-
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN TOURING FACILITIES
When the time is right to move your aging loved one into a senior living community, there are many questions that you should ask the facility before you begin the process of relocation.
Of course, feedback and advice from friends or a reliable source can prove to be helpful. However, solely depending upon another family’s experience does not justify the unique consideration your family member deserves.
Every community provides a different level of care and service for its residents. Ensuring that your family member's needs are adequately met will require finding the most suitably fit accommodations.
That's where we can help.St. George Senior Living is a placement service that specializes in helping your family make the best residential decisions for your aging loved one. Our assistance is crucial for planning and guidance. At St. George Senior Living, we understand that - at the end of the day - you are your family member's greatest advocate. Our goal is to help educate and provide you with the tools you need for the most effective decision making.
In order to do that, we have compiled a list of 15 questions we consider "must ask" for any facility that will potentially be caring for your loved one.
1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE OWNERSHIP?
Take note of how many years’ experience he or she has in the industry. Also, the financial position of the organization, licenses, and accreditations.
Ultimately, you are looking for a solid track record for care and service and a staple company to meet your standards.
2. HOW MANY RESIDENTS CURRENTLY RESIDE IN THE COMMUNITY?
Although the number of units is important information, your goal is to discover how many of those are actually filled. If the occupancy rate is substantially low - assuming the community is not brand new - then look elsewhere.
Also, ask about the number of move-ins and move-outs per month to give you an indication of overall satisfaction.
3. WHAT COSTS ARE INVOLVED?
You will want to be aware of any and all costs, fees, and charges. Common questions pertaining to costs include: Is there an entrance fee? Are there any upfront costs? What is considered an “extra” charge? What is the refund policy? How and when are fees increased? What happens if a family cannot afford the increases?
Obtaining specific cost-related information should occur before signing any admission paperwork.
4. HOW OFTEN ARE RESIDENTS’ NEEDS ASSESSED?
A senior’s health condition inevitably changes over time; therefore, periodic assessment is necessary. Find out how the community handles these changes.
5. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU REQUIRE OF YOUR STAFF?
Ask what credentials are required, if background checks are performed, and if any elder abuse and neglect in-service education is given.
6. DOES THE COMMUNITY ALLOW SPECIALIZED SERVICES (HOME HEALTH, HOSPICE ETC.) TO COME IN AND CARE FOR THE RESIDENT?
If not, find out how the care is delivered and by whom. In the event of an injury, ask how that situation would be handled.
Also, how are medications administered? Is there a professional nurse on the premises? Find out the medical schedule.
7. HOW ARE MEALS PREPARED AND WHAT IS THE MEAL SCHEDULE?
Special diets might be available. Inquire if exceptions can be made. Is there a kitchen area provided in the unit? If not, can food be kept in the unit?
8. ARE RESIDENTS ALLOWED TO BRING THEIR OWN FURNISHINGS?
If this is something that you need to know, then find out if renter's insurance is required to cover personal belongings. Also worth asking: how large is the unit?
9. WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE ON SITE?
In addition, inquire about accessible outdoor space. Keeping your aging loved one engaged and active is important.
10. WHAT IS THE POLICY FOR VISITORS?
Ask if the resident can have pets live in the residence or if visitors can spend the night in the unit.
11. DO RESIDENTS PARTICIPATE IN DECISION MAKING, AS THEY PERTAIN TO COMMUNITY POLICIES?
If not, find out if any exceptions can be made.
12. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR UNIT MAINTENANCE AND CLEAN UP?
I don't know of an assisted living facility who will not complete all maintenance issues. Something to consider is how fast maintenance requests will be completed. The same goes for cleaning but ask the extent of what is included and how often these items will be completed.
13. WHAT KIND OF SECURITY SYSTEMS ARE IN PLACE?
Common security areas include the resident’s unit, bathrooms, or the kitchen. This would also be a good time to ask what the fire emergency plan is for the community as well as natural disaster plan, food storage etc.
14. WHAT IS YOUR POLICY FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS?
Some communities have restrictive policies that might be in your best interest to know in advance.
15. WHAT IS THE STAFFING LEVEL?
Determine whether there is adequate staff. Specifically, ask about staff availability between midnight and 7 a.m.
The answers to the questions above should provide comprehensive insight into the community in which you are inquiring. After all, this is one of the most important decisions you will help make for your aging loved one.
Hopefully, once the research and interviews have been completed, you can rest assured that your most basic, underlying concern has been resolved: Mom or Dad will be happy here.
That is our hope for you. Consider letting us, at St. George Senior Living, help your family obtain that peace of mind.