If you have a parent or other loved one considering a move into assisted living, you might have heard that there’s an assessment involved. Our instinct is to feel a little anxiety at the word ‘assessment’ – it makes us think of having to perform or impress. But the assessments done by assisted living communities are more about figuring out how they can best help your family. Every community will do an assessment during the application process, so they can determine the wants and needs of the potential resident, as well as the level of care they will require.
Why the Assisted Living Assessment is Important
Moving to a new home is always stressful, especially if someone has to move for reasons beyond their control, and going through an assessment may seem like an unnecessary added stress – but a good community will understand your anxieties, and will do what they can to make your family comfortable. The assessment is important because it will help everyone decide if assisted living is right for your loved one and if the community is the right fit for both parties. Most importantly, it will help the staff determine what specific assistance and care services your loved one will require to get their needs met and receive the full benefits of their new home.
It’s also important to remember that the results of the assessment aren’t set in stone. It’s possible that your loved one’s needs will change in the future, and an assisted living community will conduct follow-up assessments during their residency there, so they can adjust the care plan as needed.
What to Expect During an Assisted Living Assessment
Knowing what to expect can take away some of the stress of something you’ve never done before. An assisted living assessment isn’t really a test like you might think, but instead usually involves a series of questions to help staff figure out how to best help your loved one. You’ll most likely have to make a list of all the special requirements your loved one may need or not need. While some of the questions might feel extremely personal and may cause some awkwardness, it’s important to answer them honestly. With the information gathered from an assessment, the staff of a community can determine what they need to do to help your loved one not only get by, but truly thrive as a resident there.
Here’s what to expect during an assisted living assessment:
1. Questions to Determine Abilities
Because assisted living communities are designed for people who need a little extra help in their day-to-day life, many of the questions that will be asked during an assessment will be questions about their abilities, such as:
- How is their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), like bathing, grooming, eating, etc.?
- What is their level of mobility? Will they need assistance with getting out of bed, using the bathroom, or moving around in general? Do they use a cane, walker, or scooter? Will transfers (from bed to chair, for example) require the help of one person? Two people? A lift? Do they require a wheelchair? All the time, or just some of the time?
- Would they need other bathroom assistance? For example, are they currently experiencing incontinence? And if so, are they able to manage it on their own, or could they benefit from reminders or assistance from staff?
- Are they able to manage any medications they may need, or will they require assistance? Would they require medication management by staff, or is some kind of reminder system enough?
- What is their current ability to communicate with others? Are they able to speak, write, or otherwise communicate their needs?
2. Questions to Determine Their Unique Needs
- What is their behavior like? Staff may ask questions about a potential resident’s general behavior (or simply observe their behavior), to determine if they would be willing to follow the rules of the community and to show respect to staff, other residents, visitors, and community members.
- What is their mental or cognitive condition? Are they aware of their surroundings? Do they exhibit sound judgment? Do they have dementia or are they experiencing some other type of cognitive decline that may require special treatment? If your loved one has dementia, a memory care community may be a better fit, but the assisted living community can tell you if they can accommodate them.
- Do they need any assistive devices? If your loved one needs any assistive devices, like a hearing aid, communication aid, oxygen tank, or wheelchair, they may need special accommodations.
- Does the applicant have any special dietary needs? Most communities can meet dietary needs, but they do need to know about them.
- Do they have chronic illnesses, like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.? Many chronic illnesses can be managed, but the potential resident may need help from staff in managing medications, getting to medical appointments, etc.
- What is their risk of falling or otherwise injuring themselves? Have they fallen in the last few months? Once, or more than once?
3. Other Potential Questions
Some communities may ask other questions about a potential resident’s ability to take care of themselves in their daily life. For example, staff may ask if they are able to keep their living spaces clean or if they can drive or use public transportation safely. At Eagle Flats Village, you don’t have to worry about that! We provide weekly light housekeeping, a weekly laundry service, maintenance as needed, and safe and convenient transportation in and around the Vernon, Texas and Wilbarger County area. We also offer an on-site beauty and barber shop. We strive to provide a worry-free lifestyle for our residents, and that starts with taking care of the little things.
Questions You Should Ask During an Assessment
The community staff shouldn’t be the only ones asking questions. After all, this will be your loved one’s home. You should both get your questions answered and your concerns addressed. Moving into a community is a big life step, and should be approached as such.
Questions you may want to ask staff include:
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
- How often are staff members able to check on residents? Do you offer 24-hour assistance as needed?
- Who administers medications? Are these staff members medical professionals, or are they under the supervision of a medical professional?
- What happens if there’s an emergency? Are there skilled professionals available to respond to emergencies?
- What is the plan you have for executing the care we’ve determined that my loved one needs? Can you share it with us now, or before we initiate the move-in?
- When do you plan on doing a re-assessment?
Not sure if the community is the right fit? Here’s what you should look for in an assisted living community.
Privacy and Comfort or Safety and Security? You Don’t Have to Choose at Eagle Flats Village
When helping your loved one make the move into an assisted living community, you might think you have to choose between privacy and safety, but, at Eagle Flats Village, you don’t. Our residents live in private, comfortable apartments, complete with a bathroom, bedroom, kitchenette, and beautiful bay window. They also receive daily assistance at whatever level they need.
Our community is vibrant and welcoming, and your loved one will probably want to be involved in our frequent events, holiday celebrations, and trips into the community, but if they don’t, that’s fine, too. At Eagle Flats, residents can have as much or as little privacy and alone time as they want. Residents can enjoy three chef-inspired meals every day in our community dining room, or choose to eat in their apartment or at one of Vernon’s charming local restaurants.
Eagle Flats Village is more than an assisted living facility, we’re a community, and, first and foremost, we’re a home. We want to guide you through every step of the way of this important life decision, so if your loved one is considering moving into assisted living, please contact us by phone at 940-552-8181 or via email at [email protected] with any questions or concerns – or go ahead and schedule a tour today.