It's important to weigh the pros and cons when choosing an assisted living facility or residential care home. Be sure to read the fine print in your contract. If your loved one is in a larger environment and their health care needs increase, you may be looking at added costs on your monthly bill. Many activities of daily living are charged as "fee for service". If you utilize them, they charge you.
No matter which environment you choose, be sure to know:
- What the staff to caregiver ratio is
- How long the staff has been with the company
- The caregiver training process, including physical and emotional support for the elderly
- Ask to view their annual State survey
Assisted Living Facilities
Atmosphere: Generally the resident rooms are one to two bedrooms, or studios, and the atmosphere is similar to a hotel. Some of the nicer ones offer casitas, which is a nice option for seniors transitioning from a large private home.
Dining: Assisted living facilities usually have restaurant style seating with daily options to choose from.
Activities: If your loved one is still high functioning, assisted living facilities have many activities to choose from. Some examples include:
- Church Services
- Shopping, errands, doctor appointments. Facilities usually have a transportation van available to residents.
- Nursing and Wellness Staff on premises
- Movies, Casino Nights, Plays, etc
- Fitness Programs
- Laundry rooms available on site
Costs: Facilities charge a one time community fee, averaging $1500. This fee covers getting the apartment ready for a new resident, i.e. carpet, paint, appliance upgrades.
Residential Care Home
If your senior needs extra one-on-one care, a residential care home might be a good option. They are able to offer:
- High level of care
- Preferred setting for hospice
- Personalized services
- Doctors come to the residential care home vs. taking your loved one out to their medical appointment
- Home cooked meals but little variation from the menu
- No community fees
- Residents with dementia will have more structure