Making the decision to move to or place one or both of your parent’s in an assisted living or elder care center is very difficult. It’s an emotional time when the senior needs someone full or part time to meet their basic daily needs and it’s time to move out of their home. What can make the decision even more difficult is that there are thousands of assisted living options to choose from and at a time when you most want to make the right decision, it can be difficult to know what that is. Here are some tips on choosing the right option for you and your family.

You won’t be able to get a conclusive feeling about any assisted living center without visiting in person. Make sure to visit a few times, during different times of the day and week, and make some observations. Do the attendants seem busy and rushed? Are the residents active? Are people friendly? Is the center clean and attractive? Nobody is going to know what living in the center is like better than those that have already made the place their home! During your visit, make sure that you speak to some of the residents and find out how they enjoy living there. Also speak to the staff and get a feel for if they like working there. Not only will unhappy staff indicate that the company may be neglectful but also that they may not enjoy working with seniors and so, not provide proper elder care.

Next go online and find out if there have been any reports filed against the company. You can do this by visiting the Better Business Bureau website and the county court records or state health department reports. The Better Business Bureau will list complaints and issues that people have had with the center in the past and the county court records will tell you if there have been any lawsuits against the center or the staff that has worked there. This will provide you with information that you would not be able to determine by visiting the center.

Lastly, make sure you like the place or that the elder in need of care likes the place. If they don’t, stop your search immediately and try to find another that they will enjoy more. There are many different options and so there’s a perfect fit somewhere, it may just take a little patience to find it!