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Time to Start Looking for Assisted Living? Here’s the Process

If you find yourself in the position of needing to find a long-term senior living and/or assisted living community for your loved one, we have documented the most important considerations in order to help guide your search so you can make an educated decision.

Remember, it is completely normal to feel stress, anxiety, nervousness, hesitation – even guilt – during this time. You are not alone – many others have experienced these same emotions. For most, this is not an easy decision to make. Just know that it is perfectly okay to feel these emotions as they’re part of the process. The best way to handle them is by being honest and openly sharing them with your loved ones.

At Chester Street Residence in Royal Oak, MI, our goal is to make this process (and transition) as simple and stress-free as possible. To help make that a reality, we’ve broken down your top considerations when searching for a senior community with assisted living services that will be your loved one’s next home. There are two categories: questions to ask yourself and questions to ask the prospective community.

Questions to Ask When Considering Assisted Living

  • Where are they now? What does the current home life of your loved one look like? Are they at home, in a hospital, or perhaps in a short-term rehab community? Determine where things currently stand and whether or not the current living situation is safe, stable, and sustainable.
  • Current medical condition. What are their medical needs and what medications do they take regularly? Will they need assistance with taking these medications on a day-to-day basis?
  • Mobility. How are they able to get around during the day? Is this level of mobility short-term or long-term? How much assistance is needed in order for your loved one to stay active?
  • Diet. How is their eating? Do they have special dietary needs or food allergies? You’ll want to communicate this with the communities your consider in order to verify that specific dietary wants/needs can be met.
  • Social disposition. Do they enjoy spending time with others? Are they active during the day and enjoy community involvement, social events, etc.? Many people seek assisted living to support the physical and medical needs of a loved one, but you should also make sure the community you choose meets their social needs as well.
  • Habits and hobbies. Keep in mind the individual nuances of your loved one. Are they an early riser? Are there certain TV programs they can’t miss? Do they stay up late? Go to bed early? Keeping these questions in mind will help to ensure that the living situation you select is one that meshes well with these behaviors and preferences.
  • Be Honest. When communicating with a potential community, it’s important to be honest about the wants, needs, and behaviorisms of your loved one. This helps both sides understand the reality of the present situation and plan accordingly in order to ensure a safe, positive, comfortable and engaging living environment.

What You Need to Know About Senior Assisted Living Communities

You’ve asked yourself and your loved ones the above questions and you’ve selected a number of communities that seem to be right for you. It’s time to sit down with a representative of the Community to learn more about your options. But how can you be sure this person has your best interests in mind?

The community representative should start the conversation by learning more about your loved ones. They should be asking questions (such as those mentioned above) to find out who they are, what their current conditions and capabilities are, and how best to accommodate and fulfill their needs. From here, a community can then share specific features, amenities, services, and aspects of community culture that will enable your loved one to fit in and live a fulfilling life.

One of the most important – if not the most important – factors in your decision will be the care your loved one will receive on a daily basis. Below are questions to ask a community representative in order to ensure your loved one’s needs will be met (if not exceeded) on a daily basis:

  • What does a typical day look like? Who are the staff members involved and how do they assist residents throughout the day?
  • How often does a doctor and/or nurse practitioner visit?
  • What other service professionals come to the community (e.g. podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dentist, audiologist, etc.)?
  • What pharmacy supplies the medications, and can they deliver medication same-day and/or on the weekends?
  • For questions or concerns about the care of a loved one, who is the right person to contact?
  • Who does the community work with for home health care services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, skilled nursing, and wound care?
  • How does the community’s cost structure work and what does this look like in the future as it relates to more care needs?

Remember, it’s perfectly okay to be up-front with a community. Ask them if there’s anything you haven’t asked or should ask. A big key to success is to have an honest conversation and make sure the fit is good for everyone!

Our Positive Approach

At Chester Street Residence, we believe that our residents should always come first and that their quality of living is most important. We are passionate about our jobs and ensuring the proper care and attention is delivered to each and every resident every single day – and this includes our leadership team.

For 2021, we’ve adopted a new technique to inspire us to use our strengths on a daily basis in order to make the lives of our residents better. Each member of our staff has selected a single word to act as a goal and motivational tool throughout the year. We carry these words with us (literally, they’re on the bag of our name tags!) to act as a reminder of our goals and inspire our actions throughout the year.

Have any questions or concerns about what you need to prepare to meet with a community? Wondering if Chester Street Residence might be a good fit for your loved one? Our team is here to help! Reach out to talk to one of our passionate staff members at (248) 439-6800 or email us at We’ll schedule a meeting or guide you over the phone.

Posted in Senior Care.

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