Looking for assisted living in Georgia might seem overwhelming at first, but doing a little research and planning before you set out for your first tour of a community can help you find the right fit for your loved one.
Choosing the right assisted living community depends on several factors relating to your senior’s health, personality and how the community can support those needs–so it’s important to know what to focus on during the decision-making process.
Before you set out on your first tour, equip yourself with the right questions to ask so that you can feel confident in making the right decision for your family member.
Curb Appeal and Overall Design
Just as you would when touring a house for sale, analyzing an assisted living community’s curb appeal and overall design is an important part of your research. After all: this will become your loved one’s new home, so paying attention to the details will give you a good idea of how well the property is maintained.
Does the design draw you into the community and make you feel welcomed? Are there common spaces that are easily accessible with plenty of places to sit and visit with friends? What about safety features like handrails and zero-threshold showers? You should ask to see a model room so that you can assess the layout and make sure it meets your loved one’s needs.
Culture, Amenities and Wellness Programming
Another important part of choosing an assisted living community in Georgia is the culture and overall feel of the campus and what they offer your loved one in terms of feeling connected to others, engaged, and supported. Talking with current residents will give you a first-hand account of what the community is truly like and can help you gauge whether or not your family member will be able to thrive there.
Amenities like secure courtyards that provide a way to enjoy the outdoors, libraries that encourage reading and learning, transportation to doctor’s appointments and other errands, and other features and benefits of life inside the senior community are important factors to consider, as well. If possible, take your loved one with you when you tour the community and evaluate how well they interact with the other residents.
Many assisted living communities provide activity programming to help residents stay active and engaged. Seniors who are intellectually engaged generally feel happier and experience lower rates of stress and cognitive decline, according to the National Institute on Aging. Ask to see the activity calendar so that you can assess the diversity and frequency of the programming for that community.
Equally as important when choosing an assisted living community in Georgia is the food; more specifically, what dining options are available and when they are offered? Are three meals per day covered under your monthly plan? Meals are typically offered in a communal dining atmosphere, but there should be other options for those residents who need special accommodations. Ask about private dining options for special occasions. Plan to stay for lunch and taste the cuisine for yourself!
Staffing and Caregivers
One of the most compelling aspects of choosing an assisted living community is the staff: do the associates who are working at the community seem friendly, eager to please, and knowledgeable? As those who will be directly in charge of providing care for your family member, you want to feel like they have their best interests at heart. Take time to observe one-on-one interactions between staff and residents to assess their compassion and patience.
For some families, cost of living is a big factor in choosing the right assisted living community. There are different pricing models when it comes to paying for senior living, so knowing your budget will help you ask the appropriate questions when touring a community. Factors such as different levels of care and miscellaneous community fees can add additional costs per month.
Don’t let the process of selecting an assisted living community overwhelm you. Once you’ve narrowed your search to your top few communities, schedule tours at each one and make sure you get all your questions answered. Ensuring the community fits your loved one’s needs now as well as the needs they may have in the future will give you peace of mind and help them live their best as they age.