top of page

Assisted Living

Many find an assisted living community to be an agreeable compromise if living at home isn't the best solution. You can maintain your privacy and independence in a private apartment or suite, and your loved ones can feel confident you are safe and have the extra care and support you need. Is assisted living the right choice?

  • Are there signs more help is needed with the activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing?

  • Are there increasing concerns about personal care and safety?

  • Have there been falls - or a series of falls?

  • Is meal preparation becoming more difficult - are there signs of hunger or evidence that dietary and nutrition needs aren't being met?

  • Has the family caregiver become worn-out, or are they experiencing health problems of their own?

  • Do home care expenses exceed the cost of moving to an assisted living community?

  • Do mobility issues make it difficult (or impossible) to safely maneuver inside and outside the home?

  • Are you worried about isolation?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should find out more about the assisted living communities near you. One of the best resources to help with Assisted Living in Alabama, including a directory of assisted living facilities can be found at https://www.assistedliving.org/alabama/ . To better understand the rules and regulations governing Senior Housing, including COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions, you can visit: https://www.seniorlivinglink.org/residential-care-laws

Even if you are only considering assisted living and do not expect to move in soon, it is a good idea to visit a few facilities before a sudden change in care requirements necessitates a move. Starting early will allow you time to get to know the assisted living facilities in your area.

Questions to Ask Potential Assisted Living Communities

 

TIP: Try to make an unannounced visit in the evening or on a weekend. You may learn additional information that adds to your overall opinion of the facility.

First Glance Considerations:

  • Is the environment in good repair, clean and free of odors?

  • Does the staff seem friendly and approachable?

  • Can residents' access outdoor space? Are the outdoor spaces well-maintained?

Care Questions:

  • What is the medication schedule? How can I be sure I receive my Parkinson's medications on time, every time?

  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Does this change during the overnight hours?

  • Are there on-site rehabilitation services (physical, occupational, and speech therapies) and counseling services? If not, does the facility contract with an outside provider or can I hire one?

  • In the event of a medical emergency, can I be taken to my preferred hospital?

  • What kind of Parkinson's training does staff receive? Ask them to elaborate with examples - looking for more than a general answer.

  • How does the staff determine a care plan?

  • Can additional home health services come if requested?

  • Can I spend my final days here with palliative or hospice care if needed, or would you require me to move to a different facility?

Social & Wellness Opportunities:

  • What spiritual and/or religious services are offered to residents?

  • In what ways are residents' lives enriched (music therapy, art therapy, animal therapy, activities, and events, etc.)? Can I see an activities calendar?

  • What programs provide cognitive stimulation?

  • What types of fitness classes and fitness equipment are available?

Dining Questions:

  • Can I see a food menu? Ask about your specific nutritional needs and if they can be met.

  • Are there snacks available and are they easily accessible?

  • How does the staff accommodate special dining needs (diet, eating assistance, and adaptive devices?)

  • If you are unable to eat in the dining room, is there a charge for in-room meal service?

  • Can my loved ones join me for a meal from time to time?

Financial Questions

  • What are the monthly charges? Can I receive an itemized bill each month?

  • Can additional services be added to my monthly bill without my permission?

  • How often are grooming / salon services available on-site? What is the cost for a haircut, style, manicure, pedicure, etc.?

  • Are there transportation options to medical appointments, and if yes - is there a charge? 

  • Will I be required to hire any additional assistance, or can all my needs be met with current staff?

When you have found the assisted living facility of your choice, you will usually be asked to put down a deposit to hold the apartment. A member of their staff will complete a screening with you or your loved one to confirm that your needs are within their scope of care. The information from this screening, together with the paperwork provided by your physicians, will be used to create a care plan. The monthly assisted living will be determined from this care plan and may or may not increase as the level of care needed increases or as rates change year to year.

It is important to note that many Assisted Living Facilities also claim to offer Memory Care. If that is the case, consider the information on the Memory Care page as well when considering care for yourself or your loved one that may develop or have cognitive impairments.

Disclaimer:  The Parkinson Association of Alabama (PAA) works to equip you with education and awareness to discern your own path. The PAA does not specifically endorse living at home or choosing to not live at home for advanced care needs. 

Sources:

The Davis Phinney Foundation. Chapter 15 - Long-term Care and Financial Planning. Every Victory Counts.  Page 249. "Manual." Sixth Edition, 2021.

bottom of page