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Assisted Living Checklist: What To Look For, What To Ask Assisted Living Checklist: What To Look For, What To Ask

- (Huffington) - 1 years, 8 months ago...

Hunting for assisted living can be hard. You want to find the best place for your loved one -- and it needs to be clean, well run, and within your price range. And you need to get a good sense of what each community is really like, not just what its advertising says about it. Still, the process doesn't have to be intimidating or overwhelming. Here are some simple steps you can follow to help narrow it down to the perfect community. First, you'll do research online and by phone. Then, you'll tour to see what each community feels like in person. Note: If your loved one has memory impairment, please see the Assisted Living Checklist for Loved Ones With Alzheimer's. Research Checklist Start with online research to find facilities near you or your loved one. The Departments of Health and Human Services for each state are also good resources for finding facilities. These questions can help narrow down the options: Is the community close to shops, doctor's offices, a pharmacy, and other important places? Is the location convenient for family and friends to visit? If the facility is not in your town, are there hotels nearby for when you visit the area? Try tripadvisor.com to search for area hotels. Is the neighborhood generally considered safe, or is there a high crime rate? Trulia.com has tools to help you evaluate neighborhood safety and crime rate. Can you find any information about the provider through the Better Business Bureau or your local Area Agency on Aging? Phone Research The first time you speak to providers on the phone, find out whether they're accepting new residents. If not, ask about their waiting lists. It's worth remembering that families often put their names on waiting lists at several facilities, so the list may be shorter than it seems. Don't hesitate to put your name on a list just because the wait time is significant. You also want to ask questions early on about how expensive the provider is. Pricing for assisted living can vary widely based on your loved one's needs, so this may not be the time to pin down specific pricing. Still, it's wise to ask general questions to determine whether a provider is way out of your price range. What types of payment are accepted, and/or are there programs to help residents afford care? If there are any negative online reviews about them, what is their response or explanation? When do they offer tours, and how long do tours last? What will they show you when you tour -- will you have a chance to try meals or meet with residents? Tour Checklist Experts say the most important part of making a decision is listening to your gut instincts. Even beautiful facilities with huge advertising budgets can be cold, dreary places, while older communities with a little missing paint can be cheerful and happy. Going for a visit -- or several -- can help you determine if the community will be right for your loved one. Figuring out how to tour is a l...

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