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Assisted Living Best Practices Revealed

  • Published: 2011-06-10 : Author: Caring.com
  • Synopsis: The Caring Checklist compiled by Caring.com seasoned experts includes critical considerations for evaluating assisted living facilities.

Main Document

Caring.com Senior Living Directory and Checklist Help Consumers Select Right Facilities.

Searching for and selecting the right assisted living facility for aging loved ones can be both time-consuming and overwhelming.

There are more than 36,000 assisted living communities nationwide, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America, and the median rate for a private one-bedroom apartment is $2,575 per month, with 86 percent of residents paying from their own finances.

For help in making such an important housing and financial decision, consumers are turning to Caring.com - the leading online destination for family caregivers - to access facility information, ratings, and reviews in the Web's most comprehensive Senior Living Directory and to get a Caring Checklist for evaluating assisted living providers.

There are now more than one million seniors in assisted living communities, and that number is expected to double by 2030. According to Caring.com research, 14 percent of family caregivers are caring for a loved one currently living in an assisted living facility, and about 50 percent have searched online for a senior living facility or for in-home care.

"We understand the challenge of choosing an assisted living facility, and we've heard from caregivers that firsthand consumer testimonials in ratings and reviews are valuable to their decision-making process," said Andy Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Caring.com. "We're focused on connecting family caregivers to the right resources at the right time, and one way we do that is by offering the most comprehensive coast-to-coast directory and expert guidance for selecting an assisted living community."

Assisted living facilities that have garnered five-star ratings from consumers in Caring.com's directory - which is free and accessible to the public - have been praised for:

Personalized touches - such as a chef who learns and makes residents' favorite childhood recipes, or a community that displays photos of residents from their youth

Amenities and decor that feel like home - whether because the facility "doesn't look institutional" and is "warm and inviting," has the smell of popping popcorn from an old-fashioned popper filling the air every afternoon, or showcases original art and book collections in common areas

Genuine, exceptional care and attention, as if coming from extended family - including staff who go "out of their way to get [my mom's] hair done, help her with makeup, and even paint her nails;" treat residents with compassion, dignity, and patience; and make residents' families feel welcome and informed

Varied and stimulating activities, as well as proximity to nearby attractions and public transportation - whether offering a wide range of enjoyable in-house activities and events; responding to residents' requests for driving trips or Monopoly; or providing easy access to nearby shopping, museums, libraries, restaurants, volunteer opportunities, and more

Cleanliness - a common compliment shared in positive reviews, a trait that provides comfort to family members and builds trust that the community is well managed

The Caring Checklist, compiled by Caring.com's seasoned experts, includes critical considerations for evaluating assisted living facilities, such as:

What to look for and ask in the initial phone and/or online research

How to interview facility staff and record observations during an initial visit or guided tour

Which documents and lists to request to help compare the fine details of one facility versus another

Follow-up questions for subsequent visits and phone calls with an assisted living provider, to get more in-depth and specific information about care and services

Caring.com will demonstrate its Senior Living Directory at the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) conference in Santa Clara, California, June 6-8. Additionally, Caring.com's assisted living experts are available for media interviews upon request. For more information, please visit the Caring.com News Room.

About Caring.com - Caring.com is the leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. Caring.com offers helpful content, advice from leading experts, a supportive community of caregivers, and a comprehensive senior living directory. Based in San Mateo, California, Caring.com is a private company funded by DCM, Intel Capital, Shasta Ventures, and Split Rock Partners.

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