When choosing the right community for yourself or a loved one, there is a lot to consider and evaluate. Below is a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions you should keep in mind as you tour and weigh all of your options.
What services or amenities are offered?
The services and amenities offered can vary greatly, depending upon the community you ultimately choose for your loved one. For this reason, it’s important to find the specific amenities that are going to be made available. What amenities and services are included in the basic rent? Are they going to have access to all of the programs that the community provides for their residents, or will they only be able to participate in certain activities? Also, you may want to ask about the amenities offered in the accommodations. For example, do all apartments have air conditioning, cable, internet and/or emergency pull cords?
What makes the community special?
You may be considering a number of assisted living communities for your loved one. Therefore, it is essential to determine how a prospective community stands out from the rest. In essence, how does this particular community differ from other potential senior living accommodations on your list? Will their amenities and services give your loved one the opportunity to live independently, while still receiving the support and care they require? Are their apartments equipped with special features such as kitchenettes? Ultimately, you’ll want to choose a senior living community that provides the high quality care your loved one needs, as well as the amenities that can offer them the comfort they deserve.
One of Royalton Place’s unique innovations is engagement of Personal Preferences into residents’ lives. The goal of our Personal Preferences hinges on using the personal information we learn about our residents from family members, friends and themselves to design services and schedules around their own routines, habits, interests and memories. This award-winning program ensures residents a comfortable transition to their new home while honoring their individuality and personality.
How many meals are provided each day?
To ensure your loved one is eating a healthy, balanced diet during their stay, you’ll also want to verify that the community provides proper nutrition. Does the community offer daily meals and snacks? What types of food are generally offered? Can they provide special meals for those who may have restricted diets, such as those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or certain heart conditions? Do they accept special requests? Is there assigned seating in the dining hall? Are there set meal times, or can your loved one choose when and where they would like to dine?
Assisted Living and Memory Care rents include three meals a day, seven days a week. In addition, a variety of fresh snacks are available all day long.
Do they offer housekeeping services?
Are there housekeepers on staff within the assisted living community? What specific cleaning services do they offer? Is vacuuming, mopping and dish washing included in the cost? Will they be changing the towels and bed linens? Also, how often will they be tidying your loved one’s accommodations? Due to the fact that some residents may not be able to perform cleaning services on their own, such as wiping down counter tops or light dusting, a community that provides full-service cleaning services may be an ideal option.
At Royalton Place, housekeeping is included in your rent and is provided once a week, including washing of bedding and towels, along with cleaning, dusting and vacuuming.
Is there transportation available?
On certain occasions, your loved one may need transportation to appointments or personal meetings. Does the community offer transportation services for its residents? Do they arrange trips to local destinations, such as shopping malls and public buildings (libraries, museums, etc.)? Do they offer regularly scheduled outings? Being mobile can help your loved one feel more independent and active, which enhances quality of life. As such, you’ll want to ensure that the community offers transportation services and verify how often this transportation will be made available to your loved one.
Will your loved one have access to personal laundry services?
A concern that is often overlooked during the community selection process, but one that is essential nonetheless, is whether your loved one will have clean clothing and linens on a regular basis. Does the community offer free laundry services for all of its residents, or is there an additional charge involved? How often are sheets and towels laundered? For clothing that needs to be dry cleaned, will the community be able to send these items to local facilities? Always having clean laundry and bed linens can help to prevent health issues and maintain personal hygiene. You'll want to verify that that your loved one will have access to laundry facilities, or that the community is willing to do it on their behalf.
Does the community have large communal spaces?
It’s been proven that social interaction offers a wide range of benefits for seniors. Living in a senior community gives your loved one the opportunity to connect with other residents and build new friendships, helping them to feel safe and secure in their new home. As such, you may want to verify that the community has a communal area where residents can gather and participate in group activities. In addition, you may want to ask to see these communal areas during your tour to verify that they are well kept. What kind of activities or services are offered within the communal space? Do they feature certain amenities, such as air conditioning, game consoles, computers, reading nooks or snack bars?
Do residents have regular access to computers or Wi-Fi?
In this day-and-age, many seniors rely upon the internet to stay in touch with friends and family, do online banking or to make online purchases. Does the community offer internet or Wi-Fi? Are there computers on-site that residents can access on a regular basis, or will your loved one have to use their own laptop or PC? In some cases, you may have to arrange for an internet service provider to install a private connection in your loved one’s apartment. If so, what is the cost associated with this service?
Despite the fact that amenities are often regarded as luxuries, in many cases they are necessities. This is especially true for seniors who want to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle during their stay. Keep these questions in mind during your tour of the community, so that you can determine if they are offering the services and amenities that your loved one truly needs.
Which daily meals are offered through the dining program?
Does the dining program include three meals a day in addition to snacks? Will your loved ones be served snacks on a regular basis, or are they required to prepare their own? Likewise, how are meals typically prepared? Does the community have a meal preparation staff, or will your loved one be expected to cook their own food? Do they have an executive chef on staff?
What kinds of foods are being served?
What kinds of meals are being served to residents? Does the community enlist the aid of a dietician when planning meals? Are they using fresh, high quality ingredients when preparing the meals? Though portion size is all-important, it's also essential to ask about the quality of the food that is being offered to residents. As such, it's completely within your purview to tour the dining room during your tour while a meal is being served, and to ask to see the kitchen facilities.
Are residents able to make special meal requests?
There may be instances in which your loved one would prefer a meal alternative, such as if they don’t care for the meal that is being served or are celebrating a special occasion. In these situations, will the community be willing to accommodate resident requests? How frequently is your loved one able to ask for a substitute meal? Are they given a handful of food options when dining, or is there only one type of meal served during breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Does the community consider dietary restrictions?
Some residents may have certain medical concerns, such as high blood pressure and diabetes that call for dietary restrictions. Does the community offer meal alternatives for those not able to eat some or all of the foods that are featured on the daily menu? For instance, residents who suffer from certain heart conditions may require foods that are lower in salt or sodium, while seniors who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease will need gluten-free meals. If the community will not accommodate special dietary restrictions, will you have to arrange for special meals to be delivered to your loved one during their stay?
Where are meals typically served?
Are residents permitted to eat meals in their own apartment, or will they be asked to eat in the dining room? Will the community deliver meals to your loved one? If so, how often? What are the meal times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? There may be certain occasions wherein your parent or grandparent may prefer to eat with a guest in their apartment or simply doesn't feel well enough to eat in the resident dining room. As such, you’ll want to ask the community representative about the dining options that are available.
Are there set meal times, or can residents specify when they prefer to eat?
Some communities have specified meal times, while others allow their residents to choose when they would like to eat their meals. Therefore, you’ll want to verify if meals are offered round-the-clock, or if the community encourages residents to eat within a specific time window. For example, do they serve breakfast between the hours of 7 and 9 in the communal dining room, or can your loved one choose to eat their breakfast whenever they like? Also, you’ll want to verify if the community provides assigned seating, or offers residents the option to sit wherever they like during meal times.
When touring the community, it’s a good idea to request to sit in for a meal. When dining, pay close attention on the quality of the meals that are being served, the portion sizes and the range of beverages that are offered. This can give you an idea of what foods your loved one will be enjoying once they become a resident.
Do units have kitchenettes in Assisted Living?
Yes, all Assisted Living apartments have kitchenettes.
Does the community offer health and wellness programs?
You may want to check with the community representative to see if they offer health or fitness programs for residents. Do they provide wellness education services that can keep your loved one informed about preventative health care? Do they have group or individual exercise programs in place that can help residents stay active and fit? For those who may be recovering from illness or injury, does the community provide rehabilitation services? An emphasis on health and wellness can help your loved one to improve their quality of life in a myriad of ways.
Does the community encourage senior fitness and wellness? If so, what types of support services are available?
What is the community’s stance on senior wellness? What support services are offered to help your loved one improve the health of their mind, body and spirit? Do they offer fitness activities or group discussions? Are counseling support or health care services available on a regular basis? Are there programs that encourage social interaction between residents? In short, does the community you’re considering focus on the overall well-being of your loved one? Ideally, you'll want to look for a community that offers customized care plans for each resident. This will give your loved one the individual support and care they need to lead an enriched, happy life.
Below you’ll find just a few notable rewards that can be reaped through an active senior lifestyle:
- Improved immune system health. Seniors who stay fit and care for their bodies will be able to fend off disease and illness more effectively than those that are sedentary, thanks to improved immune system health. If active seniors do become sick, they tend to recover more quickly and experience milder symptoms. In essence, they are better equipped to fight foreign invaders, such as bacteria and infection.
- Helps to prevent certain chronic ailments. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing certain chronic ailments in some instances, such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, those who suffer from high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments and even arthritis may benefit from an active lifestyle.
- Provides mental stimulation. Seniors who participate in some sort of social activity, whether it be group exercise or regular chats with friends, can lower their risk of hypertension, depression and conditions that are related to memory loss. This can be attributed to the fact that social interaction encourages mental stimulation and helps to prevent premature aging within the brain.
- Increased energy levels. Seniors who stay active typically have more energy than those who aren’t. As a result, they are able to live each day to the fullest and be more productive overall. In addition, active seniors may notice that they are more mobile, flexible and have more stamina. Instead of experiencing exhaustion after completing a simple task, such as folding laundry or washing the dishes, they have the ability to go about their day without feeling fatigued.
- Reduces stress and improves mood. Seniors who stay active and participate in regular exercise can reduce their stress levels and enhance their overall mood. Yoga, massage therapy, and meditation can offer individuals additional relaxation and stress relief, especially if they are done on a consistent basis. For all of these reasons, developing a wellness plan can be especially helpful for those who are suffering from mental or emotional issues as a result of aging, such as depression or anxiety.
- Enhanced quality of life. An active lifestyle leads to improved quality of life. As such, seniors who participate in activities or exercises that are designed to stimulate the body and mind tend to be happier and healthier individuals. When looking for the right community for your parent or grandparent, pay close attention to the senior wellness support programs they have in place and ensure that they concentrate on all aspects of your loved one’s well being.
What are the requirements for each staff member?
There are typically a number of staffing positions within assisted living and memory care communities. Some members will be in charge of caring for your loved one in a variety of capacities, while others may be there to tend to administrative matters. Regardless of whether the individual will be directly interacting with residents or carrying out behind-the-scenes responsibilities, you have every right to verify that every member of staff is capable of giving your loved one the quality care they deserve. Are they qualified to care for elders? Do they have the knowledge and/or experience to handle the specific medical or personal concerns of your loved one?
When assessing the community staff requirements, it’s important to ask about training. Has each staff member received safety and basic health care instruction? Have empathy/sensitivity and communication skills been addressed while training new staff members? The team members within the community you are considering should be professional, well qualified and educated so that you have the peace of mind of knowing that your loved one is receiving the support they need. Are they willing to go above and beyond to enhance the quality of life of every resident?
What kinds of social and recreational activities are offered?
In terms of the activities that are available for residents, there are a number of things that you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, are the activities or events being offered age appropriate? Are they entertaining? Do they educate and inform the residents? Are there activities centered around senior well-being or health improvement? Are there activities or events for those who may have limited mobility or special health concerns? Does the community offer activities that your loved one might enjoy or gain some benefit from? Ask the Community Relations Director who creates the activity calendar and how they decide which events are worth including.
What makes the community stand out from other senior living accommodations?
When touring the community, check to see if they offer events or activities that may not be available in other assisted living settings. Is there something that makes them stand apart from other communities you may be considering? Do they offer a recreational activity that you think your loved one might find interesting or fun? Are their events and activities similar to those that your loved one enjoyed before moving into the community? Above all else, you’ll want to ensure that the social and recreational program they have in place is going to make your loved one feel welcomed and comfortable during their stay.
If time permits, you may also want to attend an activity or event and keep the following questions in mind:
- Is everything on schedule? Is the entertainer or speaker on time? Does everything seem to be running according to schedule? If the event begins in a timely manner, this is sure sign that the community considers promptness a high priority. It’s also an indication that they respect their resident’s time and appreciate the fact that they are willing to participate. When everything is on schedule, you know that the community considers activities and events to be an integral part of your loved one’s experience. On the other hand, if the event begins half an hour late and you hear other residents mentioning that this is par-for-the-course, this may be a telltale sign that the community simply doesn't devote enough time or resources to their social and recreational program.
- How many residents are in attendance? You'll want to take note of how many residents showed up for the event that you are attending. If there are only a handful of participants, this may indicate that the activities or events aren't as interesting or entertaining for the residents as they should be. It may be that they aren't well organized or that they aren't implemented properly. It might also be a lack of communication. For example, residents may not be given enough notice about the event or aren't told where it is being held.
- Does it seem well planned or disorganized? Do the instructors have all necessary materials or notes on hand, or do they seem unprepared? Are the entertainers ready to provide an enjoyable, fun experience for the residents? Do the speakers seem knowledgeable about the topic and how to get their message across to the intended audience? Pay careful attention to how much preparation and organization has gone into the event you're attending. Does it appear to be thrown together, or have they gone above and beyond to create a well-thought and meaningful experience for everyone involved?
- Are the residents enjoying themselves? While the behavior of the staff is worth noting, you’ll also want to pay close attention to how the residents are reacting to the event. Does it seem like they are getting involved and enjoying themselves? Is it clear that the activity has been specifically designed for them? Are they getting something out of the experience, such as learning a new skill or having fun? If you can, bring your loved one with you to the event and see how they react to the activity.
Does the community offer any outings?
Most assisted living communities arrange outings for their residents. This gives them the chance to participate in supervised trips to local shops, nature areas and places of interest. As these outings can vary greatly depending upon the community you ultimately choose, you’ll want to ask the Community Relations Director which outings or trips are offered as well as the level of supervision that will be provided. This is especially important if your loved one suffers from memory loss or limited mobility.
What kinds of outings do they host?
If the community does offer outings for its residents, you may want to ask what kinds of outings are available. This will help to determine if your loved one might be interested in visiting the locales. Some communities may arrange visits to museums and parks on an occasional basis, while others may offer weekly visits to local shopping centers. Some communities may even give seniors the opportunity to invite a family member or friend along.
Who gets to go on the outings? How frequently are they scheduled?
There may be certain instances wherein a resident is unable to go on an outing. For example, some communities don’t allow residents suffering from memory loss to participate due to safety concerns. As such, you may want to ask the Community Relations Director about any outing restrictions or policies. During your meeting or tour, you'll also want to find out how frequently these outings are held and how long they typically last. Are they offered once a week, or once every month? Is the typical duration three hours or all day? Are there trips that extend overnight?
What are the fees involved?
Check to see if the outings are covered in the payments you submit to the community monthly, or if there are additional fees involved. If you are required to pay for excursions separately, is there a flat fee you pay each month or do the fees vary based upon the activity or destination?
While you are touring the community or meeting with the Community Relations Director, have a look around and see if there are any signs or notifications posted to announce organized activities. Do they have a calendar that lists the events or activities that are going to be offered every month? If so, do they host a variety of activities in order to cater to different preferences or interests? Most importantly, check to see if the events they've planned would be something that your loved one might enjoy. If not, feel free to ask if the community is planning on adding additional activities to their calendar in the foreseeable future.
Is there an emergency plan in place?
Though they may not be able to foresee every eventuality, the ideal assisted living community will have a policy in place that allows them to be prepared for all major emergencies. When you're choosing the right community for your loved one, ask the Community Relations Director about their emergency plans and policies. Is there someone always on hand to tend to non-life threatening medical emergencies? Has the staff received CPR training? Does every staff members know the community’s procedures regarding serious medical emergencies?
During the discovery process, look for a community that offers frequent safety refresher courses for their employees and considers emergency preparedness a high priority. Do they have guidelines for handling immediate medical emergencies? Is each employee kept up-to-date about who makes the decision to call for an ambulance if the need should arise? What kinds of emergencies are generally handled within the community itself? Do they know about advance directives?
Are there emergency pull cords?
Yes. All of our residential units are equipped with emergency pull cords to summon immediate, on-site assistance. Pendants are available to every resident.
Are staffing members giving you their full attention or are they distracted?
Even if your tour doesn’t include pre-scheduled meetings with staff, make a point to speak with at least one or two team members during your visit. This will allow you to get a true sense of their demeanor, prior training and experience. Your encounter with each staff member should not feel rushed. In fact, you should feel as though you have their complete and undivided attention. If you get the sense that they are distracted or pressed for time, then this might be an indication that the community is under staffed.
Does it appear that the community representative and staff are offering you their full attention? Are they taking the time to answer your questions and explain amenities or policies that may pertain to your loved one's stay? Do they go the extra mile to clarify any issues that you may want to discuss in order to put your mind at ease?
If they aren't willing or able to take the time to address your questions and concerns now, are they going to have the time to give your loved one the care and attention they need in the future? Are they going to be there to offer them the support and nurturing that can make a world of difference?
Another important staffing concern that you'll want to address during your visit is the staff-to-resident ratio. Are there a sufficient number of staff members available at all times? It’s completely acceptable to ask how many employees are assigned to each shift or what their job responsibilities specifically entail. What other tasks or duties are each employee asked to fulfill while they are caring for residents?
What are their pet guidelines?
A vast majority of senior living communities will have enacted a pet policy. For this reason you’ll want to ask about their specific pet guidelines during your meeting with the Community Relations Director. While some communities won’t permit dogs that exceed a certain weight, others may ask that cats be de-clawed. Also be sure to verify which kinds of animal companions are allowed on the premises. For future reference you may want to ask for a copy of their pet policy to have for your records.
Royalton Place is very pet friendly. Small pets (cats and dogs under 30lbs), including fish, amphibians and reptiles, are welcome.
Are there additional pet fees?
Many senior living communities that do allow pets will require an additional security deposit or pet fee. In certain cases, you may even be asked to make monthly pet payments. Therefore, you’ll need to ask the CRD about any additional fees associated with pet ownership, as well as how and when these fees must be paid.
Below you’ll find just a few of the physical and emotional advantages of seniors owning pets:
- Alleviates feelings of isolation and loneliness. Pets offer constant companionship. As such, seniors who do have pets tend to feel less lonely and isolated. They feel more connected to the outside world, given that they always have a four-legged companion to keep them company. Pets can be especially helpful for seniors who suffer from limited mobility and are missing out on regular social interaction.
- Helps to improve mood. Owning a pet can also help to reduce depression and improve overall mood. This is due to the fact that interacting with pets has been known to increase serotonin and dopamine production in the body, which can result in feelings of calm and happiness. Therefore, seniors who own pets can prevent emotional issues or imbalances by petting or playing with their furry companion.
- Decreases cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. Studies suggest that owning a pet has the power to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also believed that seniors who have pets can decrease their risk of developing hypertension. Additional research has even found a possible link between faster recovery times and pet ownership, given that pets may help to boost immune system health and speed up the healing process.
- Offers mental stimulation and physical exercise. Seniors who interact with their pets experience an increase in brain activity. This can help them to prevent memory loss and boost cognitive function. Also, if they own a pet that must be cared for on a regular basis, such as a dog or cat, this leads to increased physical exercise. Just think of how much physical activity a senior can get by walking, feeding and cleaning their pet.
- Lowers stress levels. For seniors who suffer from stress-related concerns, owning a pet may be a great addition to their overall treatment plan. This is because having a pet is often very therapeutic and can help to lower stress levels. As a result they can lead happier, more productive lives and even deal with challenges and hardships more effectively.
- Helps seniors to achieve a sense of purpose. Owning a pet offers seniors structure and a sense of purpose. They are required to look after their pet and give it the attention and care it needs. As such, the experience can offer them meaning due to the fact that they have a companion who wholly depends upon them. By creating a daily routine that involves feeding and cleaning the pet, they develop a more solid sense of structure.When taking a tour of the community or speaking with the representative, be sure to ask about additional pet services available for residents. If a resident cannot walk or care for their pet due to medical reasons, for example, will a member of staff be able to offer assistance? Do they have agreement with an independent pet service that can care for resident's pets on a short-term basis? In addition, you'll want to ensure that there is enough space for a pet in the apartment, and that there is an outside area where the resident can take their dogs.
Do they show genuine interest when discussing the personalized needs or concerns of your loved one?
How each member of staff acts when they are speaking with you is just as important as the length of time they are willing to devote to answering your questions. Take note of their demeanor and how thoroughly they address your concerns. Are they truly interested in learning about your loved one's health concerns or personal needs? Are they engaged in the conversation, or does it seem as though they are preoccupied? A telltale sign of a compassionate community is having a staff that cares about your particular situation and tries their very best to alleviate your worries.
Are they taking the time to speak with you one-on-one? More likely than not, you are going to have myriad questions that need to be answered while trying to find the ideal assisted living community. Each and every parent or grandparent that becomes a “resident” has a story and specific needs that are all their own. The staff at your prospective community should want to know more about any key details that can help them to offer the best possible care to your loved one.
How do they interact with residents who are currently living in the community?
While it’s important to ask about the staff's level of experience and education, observing how they interact with residents on an individual basis is also essential. Are they kind, warm and compassionate, or are they standoffish and impatient? Have a look at how they communicate with the current residents to get a better idea of how they might treat your loved ones when you aren't around.
When looking for the ideal community for your loved one, keep in mind that assisted living care is more than just a business or a job. Those who will be caring for your loved one, even indirectly, should be committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for every resident. Your loved one deserves compassion, respect and dignity. They deserve a warm and welcoming community that they are proud to call home during their stay.
What types of care does the community provide? What criteria is used to determine the type of care that is needed?
When meeting with the community representative, you’ll want to ask which types of care are being offered. This will help you to determine if the community has the experience and resources needed to provide an adequate level of support for your loved one. Below you’ll find brief explanations of some of the most common types of assisted living care that you may want to consider:
- Independent Living– Ideal for seniors who may not need as much support to maintain an active lifestyle. Typically, they require minimal care when carrying out daily activities. Seniors who reside in independent living communities may receive assistance with meal preparation, housekeeping or laundry. An independent living environment is often a great option for seniors who are, for the most part, healthy and don't necessarily need round-the-clock care.
- Assisted Living– This option is ideal for seniors who may need more assistance with daily activities, such as preparing meals, taking their medication, house cleaning or personal grooming. The community may offer health care on-site or offer transportation to local hospitals or doctor's offices. When a resident moves into an assisted living community, they are typically assessed in order to create a care plan that addresses their personalized needs. For example, a resident who has specific medical concerns may need more nursing care or staff support.
- Alzheimer’s Care (Memory Care)– This type of assisted living is often ideal for seniors who have memory care needs, such as those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia. It is often referred to as a Special Care Unit or Memory Care Community. Additional staffing will usually be offered round-the-clock and there may be security precautions in place to ensure the safety of the residents. Some Memory Care communities help to encourage mental stimulation and memory improvement through games and special activities. During their stay, a routine will typically be developed for each resident, so that they are able to retain their dignity and independence while still receiving the supervision and guidance they need.
- Respite Care– This option is usually intended to be a short-term living arrangement. A senior who may need help with daily activities will typically stay in an assisted living or memory care community for a brief period, which can range from a week to several months. It gives caregivers the opportunity to take a break from caring for their loved ones full-time while offering seniors the chance to enjoy community living, amenities and activities that can enhance their quality of life. During their stay, the resident is usually granted many of the same privileges as a permanent resident, such as medication management, meal preparation and outings.
- Adult Day Care– This program may be ideal in situations where caregivers need a day or two off from their support duties. It can also give seniors the added benefit of social interaction, which can help to alleviate feelings of isolation or depression. During their brief stay within the community, the senior will typically receive assistance with daily activities that they aren't able to perform on their own, such as meal preparation or medication administration. Many adult day care programs also offer health management services, activities to enhance physical and mental well-being and assistance with personal grooming.
How do we know what is the right stage of care?
After conducting a routine physical and a health services assessment to identify care and social needs, along with an analysis of a resident’s comprehensive medical history, Royalton Place’s Health Care Services Director will make a recommendation.
Does the community offer personal care assistance?
Will the community offer your loved one assistance with their personal care needs, such as bathing, grooming and other hygiene concerns? When meeting with the CRD, you may want to ask if there is staff on-hand who will be able to help your parent or grandparent to prepare for the day. Will they help them to get dressed, brush their hair and ensure that they have been bathed? These are all daily activities that will help your loved one to get the day off to a confident and comfortable start. As such, it’s important to address personal care assistance when you’re touring the community or speaking with members of staff.
Is there assistance with incontinence, medications, mobility, and memory loss?
Some residents may need help with incontinence issues, limited mobility or memory loss. Is your prospective community going to be able to offer your loved one the specialized care they need? Do they provide medication management services? Do they offer support services that can help your parent or grandparent retain their independence and dignity during their stay? For seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, does the community have memory loss programs in place that can ensure the safety and security of all its residents? Are they offering mentally stimulating exercises or rehabilitation programs designed to help deter memory loss?
You can help your loved one receive the best possible care during their stay by knowing how much support they really need and asking the right questions. This will allow you to find the community that has the staff, amenities and activities that offer your parent or grandparent an improved quality of life.
Will the community work with insurance providers? Is Medicaid or Medicare accepted?
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our staff to address this question so we can give you an accurate answer based on your individual needs and situation.
What is the length of the lease?
For your convenience we do not require long-term leases or commitments at Royalton Place. All of our apartments are on a month-to-month basis.
What costs are involved?
The cost of care greatly depends upon the level of support, amenities and services your loved one will be receiving within the community. A trained member of staff will usually assess your loved one’s current medical and personal needs to determine the overall cost of their stay. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the itemized costs that are involved. Are there fees that may not be included in the residential agreement, such as those for outings or activities? Will they be reassessing the health of your loved one periodically to ensure that the cost is still in-line with the care and support they actually need?
What is the community’s payment policy?
Knowing when and how to make payments is essential. What forms of payment do they accept, and where should you submit your payment? For example, some communities prefer that you pay the financial coordinator directly every month, while others ask that you send it to a specific address. Should payments be made weekly, monthly or quarterly? Are they able to debit your checking account for added convenience? Ideally, all of these terms should be clearly stated in your residency agreement. If they aren’t, speak with your community representative to get all of the necessary details.
What is the community’s late payment policy?
There may be unforeseen circumstances that prevent residents from making a payment on time. Therefore, you’ll want to ask the community about their policy regarding late payments, such as if there are any fees that you’ll have to cover or if they offer a grace period. Also, in the event that an emergency does arise, are you required to give them advanced notice if a payment cannot be made on time? If so, who will you need to notify and should it be done via email, phone or mail?
Asking these all-important financial questions can help you to minimize your stress and make a well-informed decision regarding the care of your loved one. Your community representative may even be able to help you offset the cost of assisted living through services such as Veteran Administration assistance or Social Security benefits. Speak with your coordinator to learn all that you can about the community’s financial arrangements before signing the agreement so that you can avoid any potential surprises down the road.
When we make the choice to move into Royalton Place, what can we expect?
When you have made a decision on which apartment at Royalton Place you’d like to call home, our Community Relations Director, Debbie, will collect a reservation listing equal to one month’s rent.
After signing your rental agreement, our Community Relations Coordinator will make contact with you within 72 hours to schedule your health care assessment and coordinate your move-in day.
Next, our Health Services Director, Jordan, will meet with you and conduct a health care assessment to provide you with a recommended tailored plan of care.
Following that, our Community Services Director, Ann, will meet with you one-on-one for an individualized meeting based on the information gathered from Debbie and Jordan.
Finally, within 72 hours of moving to Royalton Place, our Activities Director, Jessica, or Life Enrichment Coordinator, Desiree, will introduce themselves to you and be your personal concierge throughout the move-in and transition process.
Where can we turn to for support during the transition process?
Royalton Place’s management staff is trained to provide a stress-free environment for discovering the right next step. Whether your transition questions concern health services, dining program, building maintenance or financial questions, you are not alone. Give us a call and we will guide you through the process.