One of the ways that you can convince an elderly parent that it might be time to move into an assisted living facility is by taking a tour of one. During the tour, your parent will have an opportunity to ask questions of residents and staff and learn more about the community. If you and your parent have tours planned, here are some tips to ensure both of you get the most out of the experience.
Pay Attention to Your Nose
Although what you actually see while touring a facility is important, what you and your parent can smell is as equally important. Your noses can be instrumental in determining if the facility is as clean as it should be. Despite popular belief, assisted living facilities do not constantly have pungent odors in the air. In reality, they should be just as clean as any hospital or other medical care facility.
If there is an odor in the air, ask questions. It is very likely that the odor is the result of a recent incident and that the staff worked quickly to take care of it. In that instance, it is unlikely that you have to worry about a cleanliness issue with the facility.
Watch the Staff
Since the staff will be providing around-the-clock care for your parent, you want to be sure they are trained to handle a wide range of issues. You also need to pay attention to how the staff interacts with the residents. Do their interactions seem natural or forced? You can talk to the residents to get their opinions about the staff.
In addition to this, you need to find out what the staff-to-resident ratio is at the facility. There are state guidelines that dictate how many residents one staff member can be responsible for. If the ratio is not correct, ask questions of the director. You want to be sure there are enough people to provide the care that all of the residents need.
Check Out the Area Medical Care Providers
The staff at the assisted living facility are not the only ones who will be providing support to your parent. They will rely on medical care providers, such as physical therapists, to provide additional care. You need to know how close those providers are and whether or not the facility has any partnerships with any of them.
If your parent's doctor is not nearby, you need to know whether or not there is transportation to take him or her to and from medical appointments. If not, you and your parent need to determine whether or not switching providers is the answer. To further learn about your parent's options, visit resources like http://www.vvrconline.org.