How Do I Choose The Best Assisted Living Community

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How Do I Choose The Best Assisted Living Community

This is one of the most asked questions I get as a minister to our Senior Adults.  We have identified 70+ of our church members who live in 18 different Assisted Living Communities in our area, all with various levels of care…from totally independent, to Assisted Living, to Nursing Care, to Memory Care.  Here is how I try to best answer this question about choosing the best Assisted Living Community.

Whether you are asking this question for yourself, for a parent, a spouse, or anyone else you care about, considering the following list of questions and tasks will help you make the best choice in choosing the best Assisted Living Community.

 

Questions to consider with choosing the Best Assisted Living Community for you.

  1. What are the needs of yourself or your loved one?  Services and amenities vary from one community to the next.  Make out a list of everything you or your doctor think is needed…daily assistance, 24/7 care, housekeeping, memory care, wellness, Personal Care, Safety, Hospice Support, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia Care, etc.  Compare the services and amenities offered by each community.
  2. Talk to trusted local organizations and healthcare providers. Our church has partnered with Fidelis Senior Homecare, which is a locally owned company run by a fine Christian couple.  They have helped several of our staff and church members with care for family.  Fidelis provides some in-home services, but they are also a great resource which can help guide and suggest levels of residential care.  While visiting our members living in these Assisted Living Communities, I see first-hand and hear from families their experiences.  You may also consider talking with doctors or social workers that you may know personally who may provide some input and guidance.
  3. Another way to help you choose the best Assisted Living Community is to visit with friends and family who have already had to make this decision. Believe me, you are not the first one to travel this journey.  Ask them how they made their decision and what guidelines they used to help make their choice.  They may even be able to share with you their experience and recommendations on where they live.
  4. Scheduling Tours of the residential community is another great way to help you choose the best Assisted Living Community. If possible, you want to reach out to the short list of places you are interested in and schedule a tour.  This is a great opportunity to see their private accommodations, check out the common spaces, see their dining facilities (try to catch a mealtime and check out the food), meet some of their care staff, look at their “Activity Calendar” for a variety of planned activities.  Do they have a shop for snacks, personal care items, do they have a salon/barber facility?  Take note of the residents living there and how they seem to feel…if possible, talk with them and get a sense of the care they feel they receive.  Ask questions of everyone you meet…staff, housekeepers, cafeteria workers…are they happy and willing to answer your questions?
  5. One of the most important factors in helping you choose the best Assisted Living Community is checking out their Licensing and Credentials. You certainly want to choose a community that has a current license, certificate, and facility ID.  Many times, you can find them published on their website, but you shouldn’t hesitate to request this information.  This will help give you the peace of mind that they are an established community with the correct licensing and credentials to operate safely.
  6. A huge part in helping you choose the best Assisted Living Community is looking at costs, contracts, and insurance. Carefully review all contract information and pricing to understand the services and level of care you will be receiving.  Be sure you fully understand the terms of the contract and the services provided and what services are an additional cost.
  7. I believe this last one to be most important, pray! Pray for God’s discernment and wisdom to help you make the best decision.  He loves you and your loved one perfectly and completely.  Pray for Him to soften the hearts of all those who are directly and indirectly impacted by the decision to move your loved one to an Assisted Living Community.  Pray for unity in spirit for all involved in the process.  Praying for His wisdom, peace, and unity as you chose the best Assisted Living Community is paramount!

 

Where else can I find help?

An online resource you might consider using if you are not in the same community where your loved one is currently residing, is www.senioradvisor.com There you will find reviews, photos, and ratings of assisted living, dementia care, independent living, senior apartments, and more…all by people who have walked your same journey from all across the US.

 

Finally, know that you are not alone in this season, which can sometimes be confusing, scary, challenging, and even downright frustrating. Many times, caregivers feel guilty or may feel that they are abandoning their loved one.  You may even hear that very feeling being said to you by your loved one.  Remaining at home for as long as safely possible is always best, but there does come a time when the most loving decision is to help your loved one be safely cared for in an Assisted Living Community.  Praying for you as you embark on the road ahead in choosing the best Assisted Living Community.

Brian Sepulveda

Brian Sepulveda

Brian Sepulveda is the Minister of Traditionals Care at First Baptist Church, Arlington. He provides care and connection for our oldest adults in our congregation including our homebound members and their friends. For 30 years Brian served as our Minister of Activities before transitioning to his current role in 2022. He and his wife, Lisa have 4 children and son-in-law. Their daugther, Maredia her husband, Daniel, were married in 2023. Their daughter, Brianna, lives in Nashville working to begin her art business. Their daughter, Laurann, has been working since graduating high school in 2022 and will likely begin attending college in the fall of 2024 studying Music Education in Orchestra. Their son, Micah, will be graduating high school in the spring of 2026. Brian loves playing games, watching movies, and singing!

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