Hi Everyone……as you know, MKR Senior Health Strategist is a company whose purpose is to help families or individuals find alternative living solutions when that is needed.  How do they and you choose what environment is right?  Here are some questions and guidelines for you to consider:
Use the following checklist to assist you in assessing assisted living communities. If possible, both you and your loved one should be involved in the decision-making process. The more an older person participates in the planning process, the easier it will be to adjust to the new environment.

Assessing an Assisted Living Community as you tour the facility:

  • As you arrive at the facility, do you like the location and outward appearance of the community?
  • As you enter the lobby and tour the building, is the decor attractive and home-like?
  • Did you and your potential resident both receive a warm greeting from staff?
  • Does the administrator/staff call residents by name and interact warmly with them as you tour?
  • Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable?
  • Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the residence and staff?
  • Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for your loved one?
  • Are staff appropriately dressed, personable and outgoing?
  • Are the staff members that you pass during your tour friendly to you?
  • Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?
  • Is the community well-designed for resident’s needs?
  • Are the recreational and non-living spaces free from storage items or other obstacles?
  • Is the floor plan easy to follow?
  • Are doorways, hallways and rooms accommodating to wheel chairs and walkers?
  • Are elevators available for those unable to use stairways?
  • Are hand rails available to aid in walking?
  • Are cupboards and shelves easy to reach?
  • Are doors of a non-skid material and carpets firm to ease walking?
  • Is the facility clean, free of odors and appropriately heated/cooled?
  • Does the facility meet local and/or state licensing requirements?
  • Is there a written plan for the care of each resident?
  • How long after admission is this care plan written?

What is the procedure for assessing a potential resident’s need for services and are those needs reassessed periodically?

  • Can a resident be discharged for refusing to comply with a care plan?
  • When may a contract be terminated and what are refund policies?
  • Are there any government, private or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
  • Are additional services available if the resident’s needs changes?
  • Are there different costs for various levels or categories of services?
  • How do you pay for additional services such as nursing care when needed on a temporary basis?
  • What is the billing, payment and credit policies?

Medication/health care

  • What is the facility policy regarding storage of medication, assistance with medications, training and supervision of staff and record keeping?
  • Is self-administration of medication allowed?
  • Who coordinates home care visits from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc. if needed?
  • Are staff available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?
  • Does a physician or nurse, visit the resident regularly to provide medical checkups?
  • What is the procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?

Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) if needed?

Features of individual units

  • Are different sizes and types of units available?
  • Are units for single and double occupancy available?
  • Do residents have their own lockable doors?
  • Are 24-hour emergency response systems accessible from the unit?
  • Are bathrooms private with handicapped accommodations to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Are residents able to bring- their own furnishings for their unit and what may they bring?
  • Do all units have a telephone and cable TV and how is billing handled?
  • Is a kitchen area/unit provided with a refrigerator, sink and cooking element?
  • May residents keep food in their units?
  • May residents smoke in their units? In public spaces?
  • May residents have pets?

Social and recreational activities

  • Is there evidence of an organized activities program, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc?
  • Do residents participate in the neighboring community?
  • Do volunteers, including family members, come into the residence to help with or conduct programs?
  • Does the facility have its own pets or provide for pets to visit the facility?

Food Service

  • Does the residence provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week?
  • Are snacks available?
  • May a resident request special foods?
  • Are common dining areas available?
  • May residents eat meals in their units?
  • May meals be provided at a time a resident would like or are there set times for meals?

……this list was found on the caregiver.com website.  I think it is quite comprehensive.  Also, be sure to ask for the assistance of a qualified placement agency like MKR Senior Health Strategist.  We can really be your advocates and can be of invaluable assistance with no cost to you.  Happy Summer……take care…MKR

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