Retirement rates for the Baby Boomer generation will peak in the next few years before starting a steady decline. That also means a steady increase over the next ten to twenty years of people transitioning from living at home to living in a senior living facility.
Of course, no one wants their parent or grandparent stuck in a miserable facility with poor senior care or an unpleasant staff. So, how do you go about finding an assisted living center that will prove a positive experience for your loved ones? Keep reading and we’ll offer a quick guide on picking the right facility
Take a Tour
One of the first things you should do is take a tour of the senior living center. Yes, tours are designed to sell you on the place, but it’s still an opportunity to make observations.
Look around for key elements, such as safety and accessibility features. Observe how clean the facility is as you move through it.
Chit-chat with random staff members and residents you see, not just the people the tour guide takes you to meet. These spur-of-the-moment conversations can give you a feel for the overall attitude of the place.
You should ask some detailed questions about the staff.
For example, what is the turnover rate? A word of warning here. Turnover rates for senior living centers hover around 30 percent, give or take.
So, if they say they have a 35 percent turnover rate, that’s normal rather than high. If they say they have a 40 percent or 50 percent turnover rate, that’s a warning sign.
You should also ask about education and medical certifications among the staff. Do they keep an RN on staff around the clock for medical care? This can provide insight into what and how much medical care they assume they’ll give.
Ask about the resident-to-staff ratio during the day, as well as in the evening and overnight.
Ask about any enrichment programs the facility offers or hosts. Do they run formal programming or informal education opportunities?
Socializing and mental engagement can help seniors stave off cognitive decline, so you want a facility that offers that kind of service.
Get a clear breakdown of the facility’s pricing. Do they offer inclusive, tiered, or à la carte pricing? Make sure you also ask about any additional fees, such as move-in fees, that might drive up the initial price.
Picking a Senior Living Facility
Picking a senior living facility can feel like a major burden, as it will determine your loved ones’ lifestyle for the foreseeable future. It is a navigable task, though.
Take a tour of the facilities and make some common sense observations about safety and accessibility features. Chat with staffers and residents. Ask about their experiences living and working there.
Ask for some hard numbers about things like staff-to-resident ratios and pricing. Get details about enrichment programs that the facility may offer.
Looking for more tips on choosing a senior care center? Check out our Lifestyle section for more posts.