What are the Best Assisted Living Communities?
Finding the right Assisted Living Community for yourself or a loved one requires a personal approach. Learn how to assess communities for your needs.
By reading this page, you’ve taken the proactive step to seek information on Assisted Living, either for yourself or a loved one. But now, you find yourself asking the question, “What are the best Assisted Living Communities?” and “How do I measure one community against another for quality, not just cost?” Let us reassure you that you are not alone in your search. You have found the right place to get answers to those questions and countless more, here at Referah. Read on, and we’ll equip you with confidence in your journey.
State Ratings for Assisted Living Facilities – Do They Really Exist?
Even though there are thousands of Senior Living Communities that specialize in everything from Independent Living to Memory Care and more, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to rating them.
Of course, there are Google and Yelp reviews you can find online, but it’s a fair assumption that these have to be considered with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, it’s not unlike when you see “Top 10 Cars of the Year” or “Top Doctors in Your Area” lists in magazines or online. Often these lists are ads, that look like an independent board of unbiased reviewers has convened to determine a list of what’s best.
To sift through these lists on your own would be a monumental task, impossible without a team of staff. The good news for you is that Referah has a deep pool of resources to help guide your search. Our vetting process for inclusion in recommendations is comprehensive. Also remember that when talking to a representative at an Assisted Living Community, it is your right to ask to see the state inspections.
Before choosing a community, it’s best to fully understand what Assisted Living is. You can learn more in our article “What is Assisted Living?”
How Do I Choose a Good Assisted Living Facility?
Just as you’d uniquely select specific items while shopping, choosing the right Assisted Living Community for you or your loved one requires a personal approach. It’s best to compile a list of what’s really important to you or the people you’re helping in this senior lifestyle decision.
Ask yourself a few questions to get started:
- Will this Assisted Living Facility meet my needs?
- What are the associated costs and cost structures?
- Is it in the perfect location?
- What activities and amenities are provided?
- Will I receive the Assisted Living care I require?
Referah Assisted Living Checklist
Once you have a general idea of how to answer these questions, you can rely on a strong, tested, and informed checklist of items. We’ve compiled that list for you to create your own ranking.
Use this in-depth guidance as you go through the checklist:
- Physical location: That doesn’t just mean what’s nearby. After all, the “location” can mean anything from proximity and access to local shopping, attractions, churches, and transportation, but also ease-of-access for those who are going to visit you. Is this community within a reasonable distance from air or ground travel for family or friends? Add other ideas that are important to your unique situation.
- Climate: Sure, everyone likes sunshine, but not everyone can live on the beach, and many don’t want to. What is the perfect climate for you? Is there a temperate climate you can choose that is still within a reasonable distance of your family and friends?
- Costs: Of course, there are “upfront, published costs” that are readily available upon your community visit, but you should have a complete and transparent assessment of reasonable and customary costs. Ask to see information on usual costs and informational costs based on special Assisted Living needs. You may also wish to ask about how billing is handled. Consider asking if you can debit your account to pay invoices or if you need to write checks. Find out if the charges can be billed via an electronic platform, if this would best fit your money management style.
- In-house services: Questions as rudimentary as “Hey, how’s the food here?” are easily answered by asking to join a table of current residents for lunch or dinner. Not only will it give you a good feel for what the kitchen is serving, but also a pulse of what’s going on in the community from those living there currently.
- Activities and amenities: Ask about everything from on-site exercise rooms to off-site excursions for both daily needs and special occasions. Are special events planned for residents with various interests? Theater? Movies? Community concerts? What’s important to you?
The above bullet points are a good place to start, but they are meant to be used with our Assisted Living Checklist. There, you’ll find not only a list of important items but also a means by which you can “rate” the communities you’re considering side-by-side to judge both pros and cons of each. Read more on what services and activities you can expect from an Assisted living community.
Find an Assisted Living Facility in Your Area
Referah will help you set up your on-site visits to make them most productive for you or your loved one. We look forward to helping you find a perfect community that meets your needs. To get started, use our Community Search tool today!