If you find yourself struggling with everyday activities such as showering, dressing, getting around the house, and running errands, it may be time to start looking into a senior assisted living facility. Making the decision to leave your home or choosing an assisted living facility can be difficult, but you need to consider whether or not you need more help than family and friends are able to provide. We would like to provide you with the confidence on picking the right senior care facility by learning how to choose an assisted living facility.  Before understanding how to choose a senior assisted living facility, it may be helpful to learn more about assisted living.  If you feel lonely or isolated, worry about your safety, are tired of maintaining your home, and are having trouble with transportation, assisted living may be the best option.

In order to find an assisted living facility in Melbourne, Florida or Central Florida, the following tips may help. The process of choosing a senior assisted living facility should begin with an evaluation of your finances, as it is important to understand how much money you have available for future care. Assisted living facilities have extremely limited financial assistance available from the government, so the money is private pay. According to OurParents, a national elder care directory, the cost of facilities can vary greatly and range from $800 to $6,000 a month.

Once you have considered all the financial aspects, you need to visit the facilities in your desired location (near family) and learn more about what they have to offer residents. There is no standard model for assisted living residences, as they all vary in size, appearance and types of services provided. Finding the right facility for you requires that you consider your needs and inquire about the caregiving services that are most important to you. The AARP suggests that seniors ask the following questions before even touring the facility:

•    Is the facility licensed? Licensed facilities must meet minimum standards set by their states and are inspected periodically to maintain an active license. Licensure requirements vary from state to state. Contact the state’s licensing department to acquire a description of what the facility is required to do in order to maintain an active license.

•    How long has the facility been in operation? Newer facilities may offer more amenities and have updated décor. They may also be adjusting their practices and protocols as the units become occupied. One indicator that a facility is still growing is the use of non-permanent employees (perhaps outside contractors) for a large part of their staff. If the facility has been in business for a while, but has recently changed ownership, ask what aspects the new owners have changed, if anything.

•    What are its staffing practices? Requirements for staff and administrators vary from state to state. Ask about educational and training requirements for personal care staff and clinical administrators. Also ask about the training program for new staff and how they are supervised throughout their employment.

The AARP also recommends that you create an evaluation checklist that includes your personal preferences (privacy, special care units for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, choosing your own doctors or therapists, family access, and specific care plans); general facility conditions (cleanliness, safety, living space, décor); and contract information (costs, extra charges, geriatric services, housekeeping services, amenities).

Other things to consider while touring the facility include:

•    Is there is an ongoing re-assessment process for residents?
•    Ask for a copy of resident rights.
•    Ask for a copy of the grievance policy and procedure.
•    Ask about storing medications, recording and maintaining refills.
•    Review the weekly menu and ask if substitutions are available.
•    Is there transportation to doctors, hairdressers, shopping, etc.?
•    Check to see if the staff seems friendly and attentive.
•    Ask about scheduled activities both in and outside the facility.
•    Are pets welcome?

After all the research and touring is completed, remember that the single most important aspect of choosing an assisted living facility is your comfort level. The best place for you is not necessary the one with the most bells and whistles, but the one in which you feel safe, welcome and comfortable. Assisted living facilities represent an important aspect of elder care, and they can provide you with the assistance you need while still maintaining your independence. They also provide social and entertainment opportunities that will keep you active and engaged, but there are plenty of options out there. If you do your due diligence, and trust your gut instincts, you will find the assisted living facility that is right for you.

At Senior Partner In-Home Care, we have been providing clients in the Central Florida region with a reliable and affordable source of high-quality, non-medical home care and understand how to assist seniors with daily living activities. Our team is here to support any assisted living questions or needs you may have.


Senior Partner In-Home Care is locally owned and operated and has helped thousands of Central Florida seniors live safely and independently at home for over 16 years. Care is available wherever the client is residing 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is surprisingly affordable, with no extra charge for nights or weekends. It is licensed by the state of Florida and has been providing a better quality of life for seniors in Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole Counties since 1998. Call 800.878.1928 for more information.