How to Compare Assisted Living Facilities

McKenzie Millis, Healthcare Marketing Specialist

Assisted Living Choices

When considering a move to an assisted living facility, deciding on the right facility is half the challenge. There are so many choices and so many important factors to take into consideration. Families will often comment that the hardest part in getting started is recognizing that you don’t know what you don’t know to ask. We encourage our prospective residents and their families to do their research and compare multiple facilities to be able to determine which is best suited to meet their loved one’s needs. Below are five areas to take into consideration as you compare assisted living residences.

  1. Cost. It is important to know that not all facilities have the same pricing structure. It can vary from a daily to a monthly rate, and what is included in that pricing can vary from facility to facility. For example, at Shell Point, we offer comprehensive pricing for assisted living that includes a private residence, three meals per day plus assistance with dressing, grooming, bathing, and medication management and administration if needed. In addition housekeeping, linen services, and activities are a part of that comprehensive pricing. It is very important to understand what is and isn’t included in that base pricing as many facilities offer tiered pricing or levels of care. Monthly costs can add up quickly as care levels increase, thus it is important to compare facilities accurately.
  2. Licensure. In the state of Florida there are three primary assisted living licenses: Standard, Limited Nursing Services, and Extended Congregate Care. Assisted Living facilities can also specialize in memory care and/or limited mental health. It is important to understand your or your loved one’s needs, so you can determine which licensure type will be best suited to meet your requirements.
  3. Nursing Care.  When an Assisted Living Facility is licensed using a standard license in the state of Florida, medical technicians having completed four hours of training are able to assist with medication management for residents. Facilities have the option to staff above this standard and can commit to using all Licensed Nurses at their own discretion. This is an important distinction to identify, along with whether or not the assisted living facility has a nurse in the building 24/7.
  4. Lifestyle Amenities. Staying active and engaged is so important. Since we all have different passions and interests it is important to find a community that fits your lifestyle. There can be a big difference in the style of recreational programs offered depending on the facilities licensure and whether the facility is a standalone facility or part of a larger community. At Shell Point for example, our assisted living residents have a full calendar of programs available to them right within their building. In addition, our residents have the opportunity to participate in the activities offered in the rest of the community including golf, boat outings, woodshop, volunteer activities, dog park, pottery studio, library, and top-quality concert and lectures series.
  5. Healthcare Support. The last point to consider when choosing the right facility is to determine what healthcare services are offered by the facility. These may include but are not limited to therapy services, on-site physicians, behavioral health services, home health services, pharmacy services, and so much more. Each additional layer of health care service helps to provide a comprehensive health and wellness program and provides added convenience to residents and their families.

If you have additional questions regarding Assisted Living options, please don’t hesitate to contact McKenzie Millis or Vivian Ciulla at 239-454-2077.