So you find a few Assisted Living /Alzheimer memory care senior facility in the area you want and within the approximate price range you want and they want you to set an appointment to tour. Here are 19228 things you need to do when you tour a facility.
- Talk to and observe all employees
Ask everyone you meet how long they have worked there. This includes marketers, janitors, receptionists and of course caregivers. You don’t want to get a room at a facility that is 5 years old with no one who has worked there longer than a year.
Do the employees engage with the residents? Do they seem happy, pleasant and patient during resident interactions?
- Follow your nose
Bad smells from residents are indicators of bad care. Bad smells of the facility is an indicator of bad facilities maintenance.
- Look at the actual room
See the actual room that they want to sell you. If there are mobility issues check for grab bars. Make sure the grab bars are well attached and that they can hold weight. Make sure there is an appropriate bed if there is an issues with falling. Make sure the bathroom can accommodate a wheelchair and/or walker. If there are mobility issues make sure the dining room isn’t a 15 minute walk from the room.
It’s a good idea to tour during lunch or dinner. Ask if possible if you can try the food while there. In many facilities the highest paid person is the cook. Weight is one of the biggest indicator of health for seniors and good food is key. Also find out if the person move has any special dietary requirements. Maybe they are diabetic or maybe they only eat chicken nuggets from McDonald’s.
Food quality is one of the most important things too look for in a good facility.
- Look at the other residents:
Take a moment to sit with the other clients there. Are their care levels the same? Are there any problem clients that seem aggressive or agitated? Is the level of care needed by the resident who is looking for a room the same as current residents?
Look at the grooming of all the clients. Is everyone’s hair combed? Are the men shaved? Does everyone have clean and cut fingernails? Is everyone wearing matching clothes?
- Staffing ratios
Make sure you compare staffing ratios (Client to caregiver). By that I mean how many caregivers to residents during the day and night. Make sure you ask specifically about caregivers and about the night shift. Staffing ratios are usually 1 per 6 clients in an assisted living facility. If any place claims there is a 1:3 ratio giving care; they are probably lying.
Do not make a decision while you are there. It is the person’s giving the tour’s goal to close the deal then and there.
Also please read our other articles to get more information about what to look for and how to avoid being swindled by a facility.
The article on what is wrong with facilities
What to look for or find out on a facility tour:
Please comment below if you have any questions and good luck.