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How and When to Find the Right Assisted Living Center for your Aging Loved One

Jun 30, 2008
Making the decision to place an aging parent or grandparent in an assisted living center in Prescott Arizona is difficult. With so many stories circulating on the news and rumors of abuse occurring in assisted living centers around the country, anyone would naturally be concerned.

But you know it's time to consider placement when safety is in question and a person's ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) are severely impaired: getting in or out of bed or a chair, using the toilet, bathing or showering, dressing, and eating.

When fears that an elderly person may leave the stove on, get lost, fall down stairs or get hurt in any way, and family helpers or in-home caregivers are not an option, it is time to find an assisted living center in Prescott Arizona.

There are certain steps you can take to make sure the assisted living center in Prescott Arizona you choose is a safe and healthy environment for your loved one. It's best to start the discussion of assisted living options early, prior to illness, to discover what your loved one's wishes really are.

Consider a "multi-level" assisted living center in Prescott Arizona that offers senior apartments, increasing levels of assistance, all the way to full skilled nursing and dementia care. This way, as more services are needed another potentially traumatizing move is not necessary.

Consider buying a comprehensive Long-term Care Insurance policy prior to illness, which would cover the cost of the long-term care in an assisted living center in Prescott Arizona.

Consult an Elder Law Attorney to get Durable Power of Attorney for Health and Financial in place, so if your loved one becomes incapacitated, you can make decisions for them. Realize that without the DPOA it is very hard to move someone out of their home against their will, which can occur when trying to reason with someone who is starting to get dementia.

Become familiar with the services of your assisted living center in Prescott Arizona ahead of time: senior centers, Adult Day Care and Adult Day HEATH Care centers (for those with dementia), multi-level assisted living facilities, skilled/nursing homes and those with full dementia care, and your local Alzheimer's Association at 800-272-3900.

Try a facility out by using it for a short-term respite stay so all the little details can be evaluated prior to full time placement and commitment.

Unfortunately, sometimes we wait until it's too late to research assisted living center in Prescott Arizona. Most people place loved ones in an assisted living center in Prescott Arizona after a crisis such as a stroke or broken hip, often after a hospital stay, when 24-hour care is needed for patient safety in a skilled facility.

In these cases the hospital discharge planner will help with location options for an assisted living center in Prescott Arizona. Call your local Area Agency on Aging or Department of Aging for available options. It needs to be close enough to family for visiting/monitoring often. Ask to speak with the Ombudsman who monitors the facilities in that area to ask if there are any pending/past lawsuits on the places you are considering.

Visit assisted living centers in Prescott Arizona on the weekend and talk to numerous families who have loved ones living there and ask for their opinions. What do they wish they knew before they moved their loved one in, and what they recommend you check into prior to placement?

Ask the administrator the following questions and and get in writing: What is their patient to staff ratio? Are they hiring right now and how many people are needed? What is their usual turnover and retention? What training has their staff had and what on-going education do they get? How many RN's are on staff? Is there a doctor on staff, or if not, how far away? How many hours of direct care is done? Who is the temporary staffing agency used in an emergency? Have criminal checks been run on all employees? County, State, National? How many years back? Are there any residents with communicable diseases?

Find out if transportation is available to get a paralyzed loved one to the doctor. What is covered and what are considered extra charges? Do they offer support groups for the family? What are their state inspection results? Ask to see them. Are their any liens, complaints of abuse, or citations against the facility?

Observe how the staff treats the residents and how they talk to them, with respect or not, or like they are children. Notice if the residents are cleanly dressed, hair combed.

By following these guidelines you should be able to rest assured that your elderly loved one is in the best hand in his or her assisted living center in Prescott Arizona.
About the Author
Assisted living centers in Prescott Arizona (http://www.granitegateseniorliving.com/assisted-living) allow senior to age with assistance and dignity. The author Art Gib is a freelance writer.
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