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How Do I Choose the Best Assisted Living Apartment?

An assisted living apartment allows adults who need help with everyday tasks to receive the assistance they need while still maintaining a sense of privacy and independence. Some are located in senior living complexes while others may be attached to nursing homes. Whether you are looking for an assisted living apartment for yourself or your loved one, there are numerous factors to consider while choosing the best one. Cost, location, staff qualifications, and even the style of the apartment are all important considerations.

Cost is the first major factor to consider, especially if your health insurance does not cover the cost of assisted living. Before you start making your list, go over your budget in as much detail as possible to determine exactly how much you are willing to spend each month. Prices vary significantly, and knowing your limit before you start looking prevents you from finding one you really like only to discover that it is way beyond what you can financially afford.

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Once you have your budget set, start making a list of possible assisted living apartment complexes in your chosen area and price range. Narrow down the list as much as possible by asking for recommendations from family, friends, your doctor, or local senior groups. Once you narrow down your choices, schedule a tour of each one remaining on your list. Before going, make a list of all the questions you need to ask, so you don’t forget anything while you are visiting. The first few questions on your list should include the type of training that the staff has; the number of nurses, doctors, and aides on staff; and whether the facility is licensed or accredited.

Try to choose an assisted living apartment facility that sets a high standard of care. Ask the staff how emergencies are handled and how much direct assistance is given to the residents. Find out how medical conditions are monitored without intruding on the resident’s privacy, and how changes in those conditions are handled. Ask about medication policies and whether the residents are permitted to self-administer certain medications. Find out how the staff determines which extra treatments or procedures need to be performed, as these can factor into the overall cost.

Socialization and recreation is important, so look for opportunities for residents to get together in a relaxed setting. While certain features, such as an indoor swimming pool or high-technology media room are nice extras, even just a comfortable central gathering room can be sufficient in helping the residents socialize. Ask about group activities, such as bingo night or card playing clubs, which the residents can join.

When looking at the actual assisted living apartment, walk around the rooms and look at the layout. Look for handrails to assist in walking, non-skid flooring material to help prevent falls, and cupboards that are easy to reach. The facility should have smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and clearly marked exit-signs in all hallways and apartments. Finally, the overall design should be appealing, making the apartment a comfortable place to live.

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