As of 2020, there are over 39.5 million people in the US aged over 65. A considerable percentage of this population lives in senior living facilities.
For most people, the decision to relocate to a senior living community can be a challenging one. Ideally, people want to be close to their loved ones all their lives. In some cases, however, the best option is to move to an assisted living facility.
Choosing senior living communities that are ideal for your aging loved one is easier said than done. Remember that your loved one might end up living in the facility for more than a decade. You want to make sure that the facility you choose ensures a vibrant future for your loved one.
So how do you go about it? The best way is to ask the right questions during your visit to the various senior living facilities you visit so you decide on which community will best serve your loved one’s needs.
That’s precisely why we prepared this comprehensive guide. Here, you’ll find the ten most important questions you need to ask when choosing a senior living facility in Washington, DC.
Read on to learn more.
Choosing Senior Living Facilities
There are many senior living facilities in Washington, DC, but not all are right for your loved one. The following questions can help you narrow down on the best neighborhood for seniors.
What Are Your Senior Living Accommodations Like?
This is the first question you need to ask during your hunt for a senior living facility. Enquire about the state of the living quarters.
Is there enough privacy? Can you bring personal effects, and if so, which ones? Does the facility forbid certain items within the grounds?
Ask whether the community permits visitors, and when those visitors can come. In case your loved one needs medical assistance, what options for healthcare are provided? How frequently will your loved one be checked on?
Top assisted living facilities offer a wide variety of living arrangements in different layouts, sizes, and locations. You can find apartments as well as homes within the grounds. Consider where your loved one will be most content.
Ask about the utilities available in the community, including internet, cable TV, emergency call systems, and so on.
What Activities Do You Have?
One of the common reasons seniors relocate to assisted living facilities is that they feel increasingly isolated in their homes. If that’s the case with your loved one, you want to look for a facility where they’ll be able to socialize, learn, and play.
Enquire what activities are available in the community. What are the eligibility requirements? Does the facility provide transportation to other senior centers in the area or other outside events?
How Do You Ensure the Safety of Residents?
Safety issues are prominent for older adults thinking of life in senior living communities. Ask what measures the community has put in place to ensure the safety of residents. You could pose such questions as:
- Are there alert buttons for assistance in emergency situations?
- Are there pull cords in the apartments?
- Is bathing safety guaranteed? Are there easy-entry bathtubs and rails? Have non-slip surfaces been installed?
- In case of a medical emergency, what does the facility do? Is staff available round the clock?
- How does the community account for the presence of all residents?
- What’s the emergency response plan?
- Does the facility have a generator for backup power?
- Does the facility perform any background checks on staff?
If A Resident Has a Complaint, What Can They Do?
Even the best senior living facilities are not perfect. But you want a facility that is committed to continual improvement in its services.
Does the facility have an open-door policy where residents, families, and staff can give feedback? How do they manage any concerns that are brought to them? Is there a policy on addressing complaints?
A great senior living facility will always promote transparency and facilitate good communication between residents, staff, and families.
Do You Offer Transportation?
You want your loved one to be still connected to the world outside the senior living facility. Ask what transportation options the community provides. A lot of facilities provide regular transportation within a certain radius.
Some facilities provide transportation for religious visits, doctor’s visits, and other necessities. Consider all places that your loved one may want to visit and inquire whether they’re part of the facility’s transportation route. Are there transportation services to restaurants, theaters, museums, and so on?
What Are the Qualifications of Your Staff?
Do they have medical providers? If so, what is their training, and what experience do they have? Who will be caring for and interacting with your loved one daily?
Does the community offer regular meetings to strengthen the skills of their employees?
What Are the Meals Like?
As people age, they become more interested in healthy and delicious meals more than before. In the past, senior facility communities provided meals at set times. Residents ate the same food together.
Today, things have changed. Top communities provide all-day dining services at many venues, including cafes, pubs, and formal dining centers, where your loved one can enjoy gourmet eating. A community that provides many different meal options will often have something that your loved one can enjoy.
Proper nutrition is a crucial ingredient for good health. That means that the meals offered in a facility should be palatable and healthy. If your loved one has special dietary needs, such as low sodium or vegetarian, inquire how the facility will cater to their needs.
Asking the Right Questions Is the Key to Finding the Right Senior Living Facility
Knowing that you’ve found the ideal facility for your senior loved one can imbue both of you with a new sense of hope for the next stage of their life. The secret to choosing senior living that will meet the needs of your loved one lies in asking the right questions.