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Finding the Right Assisted Living Facility for Your Loved Ones

As you start looking for an assisted living facility, don’t be overwhelmed by the variety of options available. Note that amenities are inferior to residents and staff in terms of importance. It’s the people who actually make a difference in every place, and that does not exclude assisted living facilities.

The following are the most essential considerations you should make before selecting an assisted living facility for a loved one:

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To be sure that the right amount of care and attention will be given to your loved one, you need to inquire about your prospective facility’s staffing levels and workload. For instance, you should ask how many staff members are actually dealing with the residents? How many people would be at work at any point in time? What do they need to do during those times–are they expected to interact with residents? Are there registered nurses in the facility? How different are daytime and nighttime staffing patterns? What if a staff member is sick or is unable to work for whatever reason — will there be enough cover?
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Other Key Considerations

There are, of course, other points to consider when selecting an assisted living facility. The most important of these is that the place feels safe and comfortable to the resident. You need the facility to be clean and well maintained, but go beyond outward appeal, like gourmet meals or designer furnishings. Bottom line is your loved one must feel at home in the place, having enough recreational activities to enjoy with fellow residents, eating nutritious and appealing food, and getting the right type of care and attention as needed. Also make sure the facility is in compliance with local and state licensing requirements; and call the Better Business Bureau to know if any complaints have been filed against the facility.

Planning for the Costs of an Assisted Living Facility

In reviewing assisted living as an option, cost is generally a main consideration, particularly because most of it will likely be covered by the resident himself or his family. Depending on where you live, your bill will probably run from $800 to $4,000 per month, sometimes more. Obviously, this is a huge expense, so do take your time setting up a budget and listing down the needs of your loved one according to priority.

In the U.S., Medicare does not cover assisted living costs. Sometimes, small portion of assisted living costs may be covered by Medicaid, the government’s health insurance system for the financially needy. In addition, there are certain board and care homes that will take accept Supplemental Security income as payment. But, because of the limited rates they receive, only a small number of assisted living facilities accept such programs. Special populations such as veterans could have access to VA-approved board and care homes, or veterans’ homes where a continuum of care is provided.

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