Don’t Move In Without Them: 5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Room in Assisted Living

Senior men relaxing in armchairsHow do you start narrowing down your choices when it comes to the actual room for your mom, dad, or other aging loved one at assisted living?
When it came time to move my dad, we discovered that five things are essential in making that decision:

  1. Size for your budget. Rooms in assisted living come in all shapes and sizes, from apartment-like layouts with a kitchenette and a living room to simple bedroom and bathroom combinations. Look closely at your budget before committing to a large, spacious room and evaluate how much “living” your loved one will do in that room. For example, if he or she is outgoing, much of that living will be done in the social areas of the facility, so they may not need a large private room. If however, he or she treasures their alone time, having more space may be worth the price.
  2. Room for essential personal items. Your loved one can’t take everything from their previous home with them, but make sure there’s room enough for a few essential items. In my dad’s case, it was his desk. While it was a tight squeeze, having this beloved reminder of his life as a pastor made all the difference to him.
  3. Bathroom that works for your loved one. Can he or she maneuver easily and safely around the space? Is everything reachable given his or her mobility and range of motion? Remember that you can add shower chairs and elevated toilet seats to make the bathroom more accessible.
  4. Easy-to-reach temperature controls. Having control of your room’s temperature is essential. Can your loved one easily adjust the thermostat?
  5. Near to (or far from) the nurse’s station. Consider how far away or how close your loved one wants to be to the nurse’s station. He or she may want the comfort of being within calling distance of the aides, but, on the other hand, the constant noise may be too disruptive, especially at night.

Looking at these factors, I know that every senior will have a different answer. But taking them into consideration will save you time, money, and grief later on.

We hope we’ve helped you SPIN YOUR HEALTHCARE YOUR WAY!

For more information, please check out HealthSpin’s “Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility”. It is a practical guide to making the right decisions for seniors when living independently is no longer an option.