Tips for choosing an assisted living facility for aging parents

November 3, 2015

Once you have made the decision to move ageing parents to an assisted living facility, you want to ensure you select the right facility for your loved ones. Assisted living facilities boast a range of features, so identifying those that are most important to your parents can help you select their new home. Once you have identified those must-have features, tour several local assisted living facilities and choose the one that feels like home.

Tips for choosing an assisted living facility for aging parents

1. Room layout

  • As you tour assisted living facilities, ask to see the interior of available rooms.
  • Some spaces will feel like spacious apartment homes, with a living space, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.
  • Others might be less well-equipped, which can be perfectly suitable, depending on your parents' needs and mobility.
  • Consider the quality of the rooms -- are they well furnished, clean and well maintained?
  • Select a space that is nice enough for your parents to call it home.

2. Social opportunities

  • Assisted living facilities typically offer a range of social opportunities for its residents, which might be important to your parents.
  • These activities can range from nightly social gatherings at the facility to holiday events and even exercise classes.
  • Ask to see a calendar to get an idea of what kind of social opportunities exist at the facility you are considering.
  • Review the calendar with your parents to see if there are events that intrigue them.

3. Facility support

  • The greatest advantage of an assisted living facility is the around-the-clock support that it provides for its residents.
  • Thoroughly research what kind of support is provided at each facility you tour.
  • Ask about medical staff availability, physical or occupational therapy and emergency services.
  • Find out whether the facility can help administer medication and transport residents to and from doctor's appointments.
  • The more features, the better -- after all, you do not know what kind of support your parents will need as they age.

4. Family access

  • Being able to visit your aging parents regularly is important, so ask about the visitor policy at the assisted living facility.
  • Look for a facility that welcomes visitors and family members -- an open and accessible environment is key.

5. Conclusion

  • Moving your parents to an assisted living facility can ensure that they have access to the daily care they require.
  • Carefully consider the physical space, social environment and supportive and welcoming culture of the assisted living facility.
  • If you step away from it with a positive impression, it's worth considering.
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