We’ve all heard the nightmare stories. You pay money to put your parent into an assisted living community. You think you are doing the best that you can for mom or dad. Then there is neglect. One day you show up and the sheets are dirty, mom hasn’t taken her medication or dad hasn’t bathed in days. You scream bloody murder at the attendees, but it lands on deaf ears. This is elder abuse and worse you’re paying for it.
It would be so much better if there were a checklist of questions you could ask to help you choose the proper assisted living community for your loved one. Well, today I pass along my checklist you can use to vet all the communities that you call and/or visit.
FIRST ROUND OF QUESTIONS
- Are all rooms private?
- Do any units have kitchens or kitchenettes?
- Are special care units available, such as for Alzheimer’s patients?
- Is a contract available that details all fees, services, and admission and discharge policies?
- Are additional services available on the same campus if needs change?
- Can residents choose their own doctors, therapists, and pharmacies?
- Is there a written care plan for each patient?
- What role does the resident have in developing the care plan?
- What different sizes and types of units are available?
- How many living units are in the facility?
- How does the facility bill for services?
- What happens if a resident runs out of money?
- Under what conditions would a resident have to leave the facility?
You see. You can get all this information just with a phone call and save yourself a lot of time, money and heartache. Now here are some follow up questions to ask when you pay your first visit to an assisted living community.
SECOND ROUND OF QUESTIONS
- What specific services are available?
- Are the services included in the fee?
- If there is an additional cost, how much is it?
- How often are services provided?
- What health care services are provided?
- Are linens/laundry provided?
- Are transportation services provided?
- Are all meals served seven days a week?
- When and where are meals served?
- What levels of care are addressed in the contract?
- Who determines level of care?
- Are there services for each level?
- Can residents have personal furniture?
- Can residents come and go at will?
- Can residents have pets?
- Can personal visitors come and go at will?
- Does the facility offer worship services?
- Is there a parking fee for residents? Visitors?
OK, now things are looking good. You feel comfortable that this is a great community for mom and dad. Don’t relax yet, we still have one more thing to be clear about.
- Is the contract easy to read?
- Do you understand everything in it?
- What are the entrance fees?
- What is the monthly rent?
- What is the security deposit?
- Are deposits refundable?
- Circle the utilities that are included:
- How are rate increases handled?
- How are late payments handled?
Now you’re ready! If all your questions and concerns have been answered to your satisfaction, then it’s time to pull the trigger.
Making the decision to put your loved one in an assisted living community is never easy. Sometimes, it’s good to be a little analytical to help take the sting away and give yourself something else to focus on like the details. This is the other reason why I love the checklist. It’s peace of mind; a way to feel assured that you did all you can; a way to assuage some of the inevitable guilt children feel when they’re faced with painful decisions. I hope this checklist will help.
Now, if you are a Real Estate professional in this space or you’d just like to work with the above 50 market in any capacity, I’ve got great news. I will be teach a Senior Real Estate Specialist designation course coming in January 2018 so save the date and reach out to me at [email protected] for updates.