1) Make sure that assisted living is the right type of facility for your loved one. Assisted living facilities offer non-medical care. If your loved one needs medical care then you need to look for a nursing home (skilled nursing facility). Your doctor can advise you whether your loved one requires a nursing home.
2) Does your loved one have Alzheimer's disease, advanced dementia, or physical challenges? If your loved one has dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or a physical challenges it may be best to seek an assisted living facility operated by someone with a medical background. Remember the saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In elder care an ounce of prevention is often irreplaceable. An administrator with medical experience may catch conditions or symptoms in the early stages and draw a doctor's attention to them before they worsen. In an assisted living facility with a laymen administrator, this same knowledge-base will not be available. In short, if your loved one has physical challenges, Alzheimer's disease, or advanced dementia it may be best to select an assisted living facility operated by someone with a medical background.
3) Ask questions. A knowledgeable administrator will be able to answer questions regarding resident care, facility policies, staffing, and monthly rates.
4) Call a FREE placement agency. There are many referral sources out there. We recommend contacting a free placement agency. A free placement agency will personally evaluate your loved one to better understand their personal care needs and will recommend several assisted living facilities that they have personally evaluated. Best of all, placement agencies are usually free to the resident and family members because they are paid by the assisted living facility that the family selects. Consequently, this service is free to you. For family members searching for assisted living in Santa Rosa, we recommend contacting Julie Kirschbaum at Accessible Elder Care. She has experience as an assisted living administrator, personally evaluates her clients, and personally assess every Santa Rosa assisted living facility that she refers to. Beware placement agencies that do a "phone consultation." A phone consultation doesn't give the placement advisor the complete picture of your loved ones needs. Also look out for internet placement agencies that just have you fill out a form. In addition to not understanding your loved ones personal care needs, these internet placement agencies usually do not personally assess assisted living facilities. In short, call Julie at Accessible Elder Care at (707) 237-2750 and get some free help.