A Place to Call Home
How to assess whether a residence is right for you
The best way to choose the right facility for you or a parent is to visit! While you’re there, use this checklist to help you decide:
Notice the “vibe” or “soul” of the place: Is it friendly? Do staff members greet you? Do residents seem engaged and happy?
Remember that this is a decision of the heart, so note – and trust – your emotional reactions.
Make sure the noise level is satisfactory. Check for odors in the halls, private rooms and especially bathrooms. Pay attention to the surrounding neighborhood. Are residents allowed outdoors? Do you feel safe?
Look for maintenance issues indoors and out: peeling paint, broken rails or light fixtures.
Schedule a visit for around 4 p.m. on a weekend. If there are staffing issues, this is when you’re likely to see them. Ask to see the inspection certification and make sure it’s up to date. Observe what residents are doing – and how well-groomed they are. Look for a lot of activities in the public areas and for smiling, engaged people. Inquire what kind of support they offer for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Eat a meal there. Is it enjoyable?