My brother and I are searching for an assisted living community for our parents to move to this summer. We are in the process of scheduling visits. My question is this: how do we really get a true picture of what these communities are like beyond the promotional literature? How do I evaluate an assisted living facility?
Denise in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
You are already on the right track! A personal visit is one of the best ways to gain insight about an assisted living community. You can talk with residents, staff and other families during your visits and see what they have to say. We also recommend to families that they visit a few times, including on the weekend. That will give you a more complete picture of what goes on in the community.
There are several other ways you can gain a better understanding of an assisted living community. Here are a few suggestions:
• Visit the community’s social media sites, especially Facebook. You can see from the photos and activity on the site how engaged the community is with residents, families and staff.
• Ask your peers and colleagues if they have been through this with a loved one or know someone who has. Positive word of mouth is a strong recommendation.
• Read what other families have to say on senior care review sites. They will give you insight as to what other families think about a community and to how the community reacts if a problem is brought to their attention in a bad review.
I hope these tips help you on your search!