Making the decision to place a family member in an assisted living facility is never easy, and if you are trying to find the right assisted living in Georgia, there are some things to consider.
Of course, you want your loved one to receive the best possible care, but at the same time you want the best match for their lifestyle and interests, as well as their budget. If you’ll be making regular visits, you may want to choose a facility within easy reach, and one that has a visiting policy that is flexible, allowing visits when it’s convenient for you. Most allow visitors anytime during the day, and there may be a sign in sheet but no further checks.
You can find descriptions and reviews of assisted living facilities online, but there is really no substitute for visiting a facility in person. Most places welcome visitors and are more than happy to give you a guided tour. Remember that although you are looking for somewhere to look after an aging family member, the facility is a business looking for new customers and may try to sell its services to you.
Touring an assisted living facility gives you a good overview of whether it’s what you are looking for. Look for overall cleanliness, a facility that seems well organized and efficient, and the variety and frequency of activities, outings and events available to residents. If possible, talk to some of the residents to get a feel for how content they seem to be, whether they have enough to do, and how they rate the meals. You should also talk to the staff, and that includes the caregivers and nurses, not just the administrative staff. Find out how medical emergencies are handled; you may want to find out where the nearest hospital is, and what the overall guidelines are in case of an emergency.
Ask about the staff to resident ratio, the experience and qualifications of the staff and whether the facility is licensed and certified in Georgia. A good facility will provide records for you to look at, detailing the number and regularity of inspections, and whether there have been any complaints against them. Don’t forget to take your loved one with you when you visit a potential assisted living facility; it’s important to get their input as they will be living there.
If your family member will need additional services or treatment, you should make sure the facility will provide those. These can include help with eating meals, assistance with dressing and bathing, incontinence care and help with taking medication.