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Tips to choose the right assisted living home in Florida

You have a big decision to make. Your dad is getting older and needs help with his day-to-day living. Your job keeps you traveling from city to city during the week, so living with you isn't an option. He needs to transition to an assisted living home. Florida has many to choose from. Where do you start?

Memories flash through your mind about the good care he took of you growing up, how supportive he's been through your adulthood. You know you owe him the same level of care, but how do you know that the assisted living home you help him find will give him the attention he needs and deserves?

You don't. Choosing an assisted living home is a leap of faith, but there are things you can look for to determine if a home stays on the list for consideration or if you should run the other way.

The assisted living referral service A Place for Mom has a number of tips to help you as you look for the right fit for your loved one. Here are a few of them:

  1. Look for cleanliness and inquire about housekeeping. How often are the common areas cleaned? How are individual living areas maintained? Look beyond surface level at the floors, baseboard, windows and corners. Ask about any smells.
  2. Judge the friendliness and the attitudes of the staff members. These are the people who will be caring for your parent. Watch how they treat the current residents. Ask about staff size and to meet management personnel.
  3. Speak to residents there, and their family members, if possible, to learn the positives and negatives of the facility.
  4. Inquire about safety features. Are bathrooms fitted with grab bars? How are medications handled? Are rooms handicapped accessible? How does staff handle emergencies? Are there registered nurses in the facility around the clock?
  5. Find out how staff assists with personal care, such as bathing. Take a look at the current residents as you tour the facility. Are they well groomed? Are they dressed appropriately for the weather and the day's activities?

This is just a start; you undoubtedly will have more questions. Once you choose a facility, be sure to drop in frequently to assess the conditions yourself and check on your parent. Neglect or abuse of our loved ones in an assisted-living home is never acceptable.

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