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6 Tips to Consider When Touring Assisted Living Facilities

You’ve researched what assisted living is and how to find a safe community. You’ve narrowed down your options and are ready to tour an assisted living facility. You’re halfway there! Touring the different communities is the most important part of your search. But what should you look around for on the tour? How do you see the things that the tour guide isn’t necessarily showing you (after all, they’re trying to win your business)?

Here’s a simple guide to follow when touring assisted living facilities:

Pulling up to the facility

  • Look around the neighborhood. Is it quiet and peaceful? Is it near a major road? How are the places around the facility maintained?
  • Is the facility itself in good condition? Is the landscape well maintained? Does the building look like it needs a lot of work? A neglected exterior could be a sign of neglect inside the community, as well.
  • Is there a lot of activity happening outside? Does the parking lot seem to be busy? Are people sitting out front? You’ll want to take in as much as possible so you can ask pointed questions. If it was difficult to find a parking space, ask if residents have separate parking or if it’s usually that crowded. If residents are out front, as them why. This may mean that there is no other quiet place for them to go.

Your First Impression

  • Do you like your tour guide? Is he/she eager to answer questions or provide solutions for your needs?
  • Does the tour guide and other staff you meet along the way acknowledge both you and your loved one? This is important, as your loved one will be the one they’re interacting with every day.
  • Similar to the exterior, what does the interior look like? If the front entry or lobby looks unkempt, the rest of the facility probably is, too.

Shared areas

  • Every place will have common areas. First, is there anyone in there? And if so, do they look like they’re having a good time? Are they talking with one another, playing games, etc…? Can you imagine your loved one alongside them?
  • Are the common areas well maintained? Do they look clean? Cleanliness is so important in facilities like these. Check the seating, the tables, the baseboards, the TV, etc… If grime is visible, it’s probably not being cleaned well or often.
  • Are there shared pets in the community? This is something most people don’t think about, but pets can bring a lot of joy to residents. If your loved one has a pet of his/her own, you’ll want to ask if they can bring them. If not, ask if there are any shared pets. Whether this is a good or bad thing is entirely up to you.
  • Are there any restrictions in using these areas? Perhaps they’re only open during certain hours. Are there quiet hours? How are these enforced and to what degree?

Personal living spaces

  • You’ll want to make sure you see the type of room your loved one will be living in. Shared, one bedroom, or studio. Keep in mind the room they show you is the equivalent of a model home. Consider your loved one living there with his/her belongings. Is the room large enough? Does it hold everything he/she needs?
  • Is the bathroom handicap-equipped? Regardless of whether your loved one needs these options now, he/she may need them later. As loved ones age, a bathtub with a handrail could save them from serious injury!
  • Take a peek in rooms already occupied. Many residents may leave their door open. When walking past, peek inside to see what it looks like. This will give you the best insight into whether the space is livable.

Dining Hall

  • The best time to tour a facility is during mealtimes. This will give you the greatest insight into how the dining hall is truly ran. Is it clean and well kept? Is it chaotic during mealtimes? Do residents look satisfied?
  • Check out the food. Does it look appetizing? If you wouldn’t eat it, then it’s not good enough for your loved one. Don’t be afraid to ask to try the food, too! This will give you real insight into the quality of the food you’re paying for.
  • Think about your loved ones eating habits and ask questions accordingly. Can residents take food back to their room? If there are dietary restrictions or special requests, how will those be met? When are meal times? Are there snacks provided between meals? What if a resident misses a meal? Can family members join for lunch on occasion?

Activities and entertainment

  • Many facilities tout their various activities and entertainment options on their websites. Do you see advertisement for these events in the facility? Usually there’s community boards that showcase a schedule of events. Take a look and see if the same options online are on that calendar. If you see a discrepancy, don’t be afraid to ask about it!
  • If an activity is supposed to be taking place at the time you’re touring, ask if you can take a look. Did anyone show up for the activity? Do the residents there appear to be having fun? Is the activity truly being held?
  • Do any volunteer groups ever come in to the facility or do the residents have opportunity to interact in the community via regular outings? Perhaps a high school choir group comes in monthly to entertain or they have a volunteer program with college students or every year they provide outings to certain special events around the valley. These types of events will help mix up routine and allow your loved one to interact with others outside of the facility.

When to Call Knapp & Roberts

It’s never an easy decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility. However, when you find the right home for him/her – it could be the best decision for both of you. Once your loved one enters an assisted living facility, there are risks of neglect and abuse. Our Phoenix elder abuse lawyers have been representing the abused in Arizona for over 30 years. We understand how hard it is to put your loved one in a care facility, let alone a care facility that isn’t adequately providing for them. If you suspect your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, contact one our dedicated Phoenix personal injury attorneys to review your case. We offer free consultations and will be able to provide you the support you and your loved one need in this difficult time. Contact Knapp & Roberts today. (480) 991-7677.

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