As you enter your senior living years, selecting an assisted living home will likely be one of the most important decisions you make. You want to receive top-notch healthcare while also settling into a comfortable, welcoming environment that really feels like home. So what’s the best way to research assisted living homes in Phoenix, Arizona?
While there’s no single answer, the good news is there are quite a few tools and resources available for you to use. BridgeWater Assisted Living has helped many people transition to senior living, so we understand exactly what goes into the search and how to make it as simple as possible. Here are some of our top tips to help you find the right assisted living home for you.
Check Local Agencies
The great thing is, you can make your decision not simply on your gut feeling, but also on concrete facts. To help you do this, track state and federal data on any assisted living community you’re considering calling home.
In Arizona, for instance, the Department of Health Services keeps a database of deficiencies found against any facility or provider in the state. You can check records of licensed assisted living homes by checking this database. You’ll be able to see the provider’s licensing information, as well as the dates of all inspections and enforcement actions taken within the past three years. Before selecting an assisted living home for you or your loved one, be sure to thoroughly check its track record.
You can also check with your Area Agency on Aging. This office will be able to provide you helpful tips and resources to assist in your search. You should also reach out to your state Attorney General’s office to see if there have been any consumer complaints filed against the assisted living homes you are researching. The Arizona Attorney General’s office also has a number of useful links for seniors on topics ranging from life care planning to avoiding consumer scams.
Word of Mouth
Another great way to research assisted living homes in Phoenix, Arizona, is to check with family and friends. Ask people you know if they have any experience with assisted living homes. Perhaps a friend or relative has experience selecting an assisted living community for a loved one and can provide feedback on the experience.
If you don’t know anyone who has expertise in this area, not to worry. There are still a number of places and forums for you to check to narrow your search down. LeadingAge, for instance, provides an Aging Services Directory to help you search for nonprofit assisted living homes in your area. You can search by city, state, zip code, or community. You can even refine your search based on specific criteria. For example, you can search for assisted living, subsidized housing, home care, and more.
Once you have identified the providers in your area, see what additional information you can learn about each of them. For instance, browse the website to see what features the community has, what amenities are offered, and whether the community provides the services you need. Once you have narrowed your search to the top contenders, it’s time to plan an on-site visit.
It’s so important that you tour each community in-person. This will give you a feel for each place and whether you or your loved one will want to call it home. The AARP has a wonderful checklist to help you know what questions to ask during your on-site visit.
You may want to visit the property several times to get a good feel of the place. Ask if you can dine with the residents during mealtime. If you are a caregiver for someone, you should certainly bring the person you are caring for along for the on-site visit to get a sense of how comfortable they are with the staff and other community members. Pay close attention to how employees interact with the residents as well.
You should also pay close attention to the cleanliness of the home, as well as safety and security features. Are the hallways well-lit, for instance? Do the rooms have call buttons and handrails? Is there an alternative power source in case of a power outage? You should also inquire about how the home handles complaints and grievances, as well as whether there are ways residents and family members can provide input and feedback.
Closely Examine the Contract
If you’ve found the assisted living community you want to call home, be sure to review the fine print carefully. If you have questions, you may want to consult with an attorney. If you need some help finding one, check the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website. It has a database to help you find an elder law attorney in your area.
Some key things to ask about monthly rent, fees, and security deposit. For instance, will the deposit be refunded if you decide on another home? What are the monthly fees and rent, and under what circumstances would they increase? What are the transfer and discharge policies? What levels of healthcare services are provided, and what happens if a resident needs to be hospitalized? You should also ask about any arbitration clauses and whether the contract puts limitations on your ability to bring legal action for injury or negligence.
If you’re looking for assisted living in Phoenix, Arizona, then we may have just what you’re looking for right here. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need to search any further? If you want to learn more about what we offer at BridgeWater Assisted Living, give us a call to schedule a tour. We’d be happy to show you around and put an end to your search for the right assisted living home for you or your loved one.