What Is an Assisted Living Facility

Best assisted living facility refers to community living that also includes assistance with the tasks of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, going to the bathroom, and getting in and out of bed. Best assisted living facility also includes the management of your medications. Assisted living does not include clinical care.

Every facility is different. Some offer private apartments with private bathrooms. In others, there are shared apartments. Some include furnishings; others allow you to bring your own furnishings. At Brookside Stone Mountain Senior Living Community, we offer both private and semi-private suites.

What to Expect at an Best Assisted Living Facility

If you’re considering moving to the best assisted living facility, you are likely uncertain about what to expect.

Again, each assisted living facility operates somewhat differently, but you can expect to have a community dining room with all of your meals included in your monthly fee.

In addition, most assisted living facilities have a comprehensive array of activities such as crafts, music, card games, movie nights and exercise classes. You can take part in as many or as few as you’d like.

Some facilities also offer outings to nearby attractions, restaurants and shopping and most include transportation to and from medical appointments and grocery stores. You may also have a beauty salon or barbershop onsite.

How to Select the Best Assisted Living Community

Selecting the best assisted living community for you or your loved one is a big responsibility. After all, you (or they) will be spending a lot of time there and the facilities and staff will have an impact on your (or their) quality of life.

There’s no one right answer for every resident. However, we’ll walk you through some of the things you’ll want to discuss with the facility before you make your final decision.

Services Generally Provided by Assisted Living Communities

As we mentioned above, assisted living communities are designed to offer some help with the day-to-day tasks of living, not to be a medical facility. Although most assisted living facilities have an in-house doctor or one on call, they are not for a person needing around-the-clock medical care.

Some of the services offered at best assisted living communities include help with dressing, eating, toileting, managing medications (taking them at the right time) and bathing. In addition, help with household tasks, such as cleaning and laundry are usually offered.

Most assisted living communities, including Brookside Stone Mountain, offer in-house dining with the meals included in the monthly fee. Most residents take their meals in the community dining room, but meals can also be taken in individual suites.

There is always something to do at assisted living communities, and residents can choose how much or how little they want to participate in. A full schedule of activities and outings for a variety of interests are on the weekly calendar.

Assisted Facility for Memory Care Patients

Many assisted living facilities, including Brookside Stone Mountain, have special services for those diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related conditions.

Such facilities provide residents with memory problems a supportive and nurturing environment where they will feel safe, yet be able to be as independent as possible. Of course, assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Top Points to Consider When Selecting the Best Assisted Living Facilities :

Still wondering what to ask and what to look for when you visit an assisted living facility where you might want to live? Consider the following points:

  1. Ambiance:
    How is the atmosphere in the facility? Do the residents and staff seem happy? Do the halls and public rooms exude a cheerful vibe? Does it feel like home?
  2. Staffing Patterns:
    How are staff scheduled? Are there more staff members working during busy times, such as during the middle of the day?
  3. Staff Members:
    Do you have an opportunity to talk with a couple of staff members? Are they pleasant and competent
  4. Other Residents:
    What do the residents have to say about the facility? Do they seem like people you’d enjoy living with?
  5. Food:
    Do you have a chance to eat in the dining room? How was the food? How many meals and snacks are available during the day?
  6. Handling Health Problems:
    Is there a doctor in-house or on-call? Where is the nearest acute care facility? How are health problems handled at the facility?
  7. The Best Quality Commitment:
    How does the facility commit to top quality of care?
  8. Understanding and Helping:
    What services are available at the facility?
  9. Are there mind and body activities?
    Does the facility offer a diverse array of activities? Do they have activities and events that you think you’d be interested in?
  10. Does it feel like home?
    Would I, or my loved one, feel like this facility can be their home?

Basic Facts You Should Know About Assisted Living

At Brookside Stone Mountain, we want all of our prospective residents to have all of the facts they need to make an informed decision about our best assisted living facility.

When you look at an assisted living facility, there are certain phrases and terms we use. Let us elaborate a little about what these phrases mean at our facility and what you can expect.

Services:

Let us tell you a little bit more about the services you’ll find at most assisted living facilities. Some residents will need all of these services; others won’t need any. However, all residents can be secure in knowing that they are available when/if they are needed.

Bathing:

Help with personal hygiene

Dressing:

Help with changing clothes, tying shoes and other elements of getting dressed and undressed

Medication Management:

Making sure that residents take their medications as prescribed by their physician

Meal Services:

Helping those unable to feed themselves to eat as well as delivering meals to apartments for those unable to eat in the community dining room

Transportation:

Many assisted living communities offer free transportation to medical appointments and some even offer transportation for grocery shopping.

Memory care:

Many communities offer assistance for those with memory issues, such as those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These services are over and above assistance with daily tasks.

Culture:

Virtually all assisted living communities offer some sort of social program with activities that include things like outings to local attractions, monthly birthday parties, crafts, performances by local musicians and exercise classes, just to name a few.

Pets:

Does the facility allow residents to bring their pets? If so, is there a size or weight restriction? Since pets are important to a resident’s quality of life, most assisted living facilities that allow pets will help residents to care for their pets.

Cost of Assisted Living & How to Pay

Cost is a primary consideration when making the decision to move into an assisted living facility. There are a number of ways to cover the cost of such a facility. The most common of these include using savings, Social Security payments or retirement funds as well as long-term care insurance and money from family.

The cost of assisted living varies widely depending on the level of care needed, the location of the facility, whether you opt for a private or shared apartment, and the amenities offered. The average monthly cost in the United States is roughly $4,000 per month.

Veterans Benefits

For those men and women who have served in the US armed forces, veterans benefits may pay for all or part of assisted living care. To qualify for this benefit, a person or their spouse has a service-related disability or injury or the veteran’s (or veteran spouse’s) income falls below a certain level.

You must apply for these benefits via the Veterans Administration office. Some assisted living facilities have a financial aid office that can assist you with the necessary paperwork. Brookside Stone Mountain can provide referrals with top professionals to assist families in obtaining their deserved Veterans Benefits.

Questions to Ask About Assisted Living

Facility Related Questions:

How many people live at the facility?

Does the facility seem crowded?

Does the facility feel home-like? Do you like the decor?

Can you envision yourself being happy living in the community?

What are the room choices?

Most communities offer a choice of accommodations. Some, like Brookside Stone Mountain, offer both private and shared apartments.

Do you have a private bath?

Some communities have in-suite bathrooms; others offer shared baths. Brookside offers private in-room bathrooms and showers.

What is the community’s pet policy?

Does the residence have its own dog or cat? Can residents bring their own pets? What are the restrictions on pets? Is there an extra fee for bringing your pet?

Can residents bring their own furniture and decor?

Does the suite come furnished or can you bring your own furnishings? If it comes furnished, what furnishings are provided?

What about climate control and utilities?

Is there a separate thermostat in your room for both heat and air conditioning? Is there plenty of natural lighting? Are there any utilities, like cable or internet access, that aren’t included in the monthly fee?

Are the specific suites to my liking?

What is the view like from the suite? Are there enough closets and storage space? Are kitchen cabinets easy to reach?

People Related Questions:

Do you have an opportunity to talk to the residents and staff?

Does the staff seem to genuinely care? Do they seem rushed or harried?

Does the dining room seem inviting?

Would you enjoy sharing meals with the residents? Do you share common interests?

How independent do the residents seem?

Is there social activity in the common areas or does the community seem rather sedate?

Do the residents seem happy?

Can you envision yourself being happy at the facility?

Safety Related Questions:

Is the staff at the community around the clock? Are all entrances and exits secured?

What’s the procedure if I come home late from visiting friends?

What are the fire prevention procedures and protocols?

Is there a fire sprinkler system? Are there smoke detectors in the suites? Is there an emergency call system in the suites?

Questions Related to the Amenities:

Is there a monthly events calendar posted?

Are there events included that you’d enjoy? What about religious services? Are they offered onsite?

Does the facility have a space for outdoor recreation and contemplation?

If the facility does have this type of space, make sure that the area looks inviting, but is guarded against trespassers.

If you drive, is there somewhere convenient for you to park your car? Is there an additional cost for a parking space?

What social activities, classes and field trips are facilitated by the staff?

Does the community have an activities director? Do they offer activities and other events that would be of interest to you?

What other facilities does the community offer?

Does the community have a craft room, television or movie lounge or games area?

What services and attractions are located near the community?

Does the community have a beauty parlor or barber shop?

Other Questions / Considerations:

Are meals freshly prepared each day? Meals are not only important to nutrition but are important to a person’s quality of life.

Can you see a copy of the resident agreement which spells out the facility’s obligations?

Does this list spell out the charges for items that are extra, such as laundry service?

What is the staff-to-patient ratio?

A good ratio for fairly independent residents is 1 staff member for every 15 residents. In some smaller facilities, the staff will perform all the duties, while in larger communities there is a separation of duties.

If a resident becomes more disabled can the facility accommodate those needs?

If a resident’s health or physical condition deteriorates beyond the capacity of the facility to care for him or her, the facility will recommend that the resident move to another facility that is more equipped to handle his or her needs. In most cases, the best assisted living facility will help to make these arrangements and facilitate the transfer.

Who dispenses medication and how much training have they had? States have training requirements.

While training requirements vary by state, most states require that those dispensing medications have additional training. Most require that these caregivers be certified medical assistants, a designation that requires having completed a special training course at a technical or community college.

What are the move-out criteria? When might a senior be asked to leave?

While this is rare, a resident can be evicted from an assisted living facility if he or she fails to pay the monthly facility charges, fails to follow the facility’s rules and/or is deemed to be a danger to him or herself or other residents. It may also be recommended that a resident leave if he or she requires more care than the facility is set up to give.

Are assisted living facilities covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover the cost of room and board at a private pay assisted living facility. However, Medicare may cover medical expenses incurred at the facility that is billed directly by the resident’s insurance to the medical provider.

Deciding on which is the best assisted living facility to choose for yourself or someone you love is a major decision. Make sure to ask all of the questions you need to be able to weigh the pros and cons of different communities.

To learn more about Brookside Stone Mountain and to schedule a tour, we invite you to contact us.

Our Administrator Lisa Jackson is available to answer all of your Senior Living questions. You can email her at LikeHome@BrooksideStoneMountain.com or call (770) 689-4800.

We pride ourselves on making resident care our top priority. We make you feel right at home.