Choosing to move into an assisted living community is a significant life change, and finding a community that meets your needs can be overwhelming and stressful.
With approximately 28,900 assisted living communities with nearly 1 million licensed beds in the United States, finding the right community can take a lot of time and effort. Whether you’re looking for yourself or a loved one, you want to ensure you have all the information needed to choose the right community.
Once you have a list of assisted living communities you would like to visit, you’ll want to set up in-person tours. Take a trusted family member or friend for a second set of eyes and ears.
To make the most of your time, here’s what to look for when touring assisted living communities.
Observe How Staff Members Interact with the Residents
Having friendly, compassionate, and qualified staff is one of the most important things for the success of a high-quality assisted living community.
During your tour, get answers to the following staff-related questions:
- What’s the staff-to-resident ratio?
- Do staff undergo background checks?
- What are the staff education and training requirements?
More importantly, make the following observations:
- Do the staff members look happy? Are they smiling?
- Are the staff members acknowledging you?
- Are staff members communicating and socializing with residents?
- Are staff members participating in activities with the residents?
Use your instincts if you don’t get a good feeling about the staff. This may not be the assisted living community for you.
Look for Safety Features
The safety of residents should be apparent during your tour. Look for the following safety features throughout the community and resident apartments.
- Handrails and ramps
- Security cameras
- Walk-in showers, raised toilets, and grab bars in bathrooms
- Sufficient lighting throughout the community
- Signs of emergency protocols (you may need to ask about this)
- Fire alarms
- On-site security
- Visitor sign-in procedures
- First aid stations
- Safety technology such as alert systems, fall technology, and automated lights
Cleanliness of the Community
During your tour, make sure the community is clean. Do you see staff sweeping, moping, and cleaning the community? Pay special attention to bathrooms, living spaces, and dining areas. Amenities such as fitness centers, activity rooms, outdoor grounds, and common areas should be clean and inviting.
A Variety of Dining Options
Assisted living communities should have a variety of dining options that meet resident preferences and needs. Ask if you can enjoy a meal to assess the food’s quality and nutritional value. Assisted living communities like Notre Dame Health Care provide residents with expertly prepared fresh and healthy food options daily.
Are Residents Active and Happy?
Introduce yourself to residents. Ask to observe a few activities and events. Are residents socializing with one another throughout the community? Are they participating in activities? Are they happy to talk with you?
This will be your or your loved one’s new home, and you want to ensure you’ll be welcomed in a community of your peers.
Wrap-up and Next Steps
If you haven’t already. Set up a few tours of assisted living communities in your area.
Contact the friendly staff at Notre Dame Healthcare to set up a tour or for more information on assisted living.
About Notre Dame Health Care
Notre Dame Health Care (NDHC) offers a range of post-acute programs and services to the community, including an Assisted Living Residence; Adult & Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care; Post-Acute Recuperation; Short-Term Rehabilitation; Skilled Nursing and traditional Long Term Care; Specialized Memory Care; and an educational resource center which serves our employees and community. We embrace the individuality, spirituality, and wholeness of each member of our community, including our residents, patients, families, volunteers, and staff.
Notre Dame Health Care is proudly non-profit and honored to carry on the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to care for the sick and vulnerable and to educate for life through our NDHC Educational Bridge Center.
Notre Dame Health Care,
555-559 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605