Assisted Living Chicago

Chicago is one of the great mid-western cities (if not the best), even though Chicago has been established for some time, finding assisted living for an aging senior in need can still be a challenge.  Consequently, there are a number of areas you should investigate and evaluate when trying to find the best Chicago assisted living facility for your family.

Make sure everything in the assisted living unit is in working order.  This means you should open doors, drawers and window, run on lights, press emergency call buttons, turn on the TV and radios, and also see if the telephones work.  Take nothing for granted, just because it’s in the room doesn’t mean it’s working 100%.

Observe residents, and get personal comments from at least three residents and their families.  Take a look to see if they have bruises on their arms, legs or faces.  See if they’re dressed or still in their nightclothes.  Observe if they’re wandering around our sitting aimlessly in the halls.  Ask yourself if they seem comfortable, active, and take special notice to see if they’re getting outside to make use of any exterior courtyard or safe, sunny area.

Ask the Chicago assisted living admissions director if there are any staff issues:

  • What is the current occupancy rate and staff-to-resident ratio?
  • Ask what their target occupancy rate is, and if staff will be added when that goal is met.
  • Do volunteers work at the assisted living facility?  If so, how do they screen their volunteers and staff – do they make use of background searches?
  • Do staff and volunteers get specialized training, and if so, what are the main areas of that training?
  • How are the volunteers and staff supervised?  Who supervises the supervisors?
  • What is the staff turnover rate?

 

You can also ask the admissions director about specific health care issues:

  • Will the family doctor be able to continue to care for the family member once they move into the assisted living facility?
  • How many doctors and nurses are on staff or on call?
  • On what basis are those on call activated for availability?  What is the usual amount of time it takes to arrive once notified?
  • Are residents required to carry health insurance?
  • Who monitors medications?  What is the monitoring procedure?
  • Who evaluates a resident illness?
  • Does the assisted living facility offer physical therapy?
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • How is the family kept informed or notified?  How often?

Ask about quality of life issues:

  • Do residents have their own newsletter?
  • Can residents choose their own menus?
  • Are intergenerational activities available on a regular basis?
  • What social, educational and exercise programs are provided?
  • Is transportation for residents provided?
  • Are telephones readily available?
  • How are resident’s religious and spiritual needs met?
  • Does the assisted living center regularly celebrate holidays? Birthdays?
  • May residents furnish their rooms with their own furniture and furnishings?
  • How are personal laundry needs handled?

The more questions you ask before your loved one enters a Chicago area assisted living facility, the more prepared you and them will be, and the fewer surprises you’ll encounter!

 

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