11 Tips on Finding the Best Assisted Living for Seniors


Finding What Matters Most in a Residential Care Facility

Making the move from home to assisted living can be a difficult experience that can raise more questions than it answers. Not only is it difficult for whoever is signing papers and doing research on good facilities, but it signals an enormous change—a change that very few people are comfortable making.

Pennsylvania ranked as "exceptional" in standings that tell how easily information is found about different senior living facilities. This is good news: There is information out there for Pennsylvania residents looking to make an informed decision on nursing homes and assisted living options. However, you still have to know what to look for and what to ask.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Check on how well facilities and homes are staffed; understaffing is a big problem in this industry.
  • Ask about visitor policies to make sure you can stop by whenever you or your loved one wants.
  • Conduct your own research from a variety of sources (sources such as caring.com, A Place for Mom, or the Assisted Living Directory) to get the best information.
  • Do the necessary work to see records. It's not uncommon for states to request you file for a Freedom of Information Act request before they let you see records. This is where you see violations of health codes, federal laws, or awards given for quality.
  • Check records for signs of improvement at facilities that have been cited with a violation before you stop considering one.
  • Include whoever you are moving as much as possible in the process.

When observing the residences in person, it's important to ask staff members questions to get a better understanding of the lifestyle your loved one can look forward to if you choose that facility.

  • What sort of activities are there for seniors to stay active and engaged?
  • How involved are staff members in day-to-day activities?
  • Are there opportunities to travel beyond the residence if seniors are capable?
  • Who can you or your loved one contact at the residences with questions?
  • What sets them apart as a senior care facility?

When considering nursing homes, assisted living information resources can help you learn valuable information that can make the difference between peace of mind for your family and a seemingly endless hassle. Making an informed decision is probably one of the hardest parts of moving a loved one into assisted living. If the residence you and your loved one selected is unsatisfactory, however, or if you're worried about treatment your family member is receiving, contact us at 1-886-9-4EDGAR (1-866-943-3427) anytime, day or night. We'll do whatever we can to help.

Source: "Searching for Quality in Assisted Living Care." New York Times. May 15, 2014.