Assess Your Needs
Here are some of the areas that you should think about when considering the type of housing that will best suit your needs.
- COST: What can you afford? Are there subsidies available in the type of housing you require?
- LOCATION: Do you need a location that is near relatives or friends? Do you want to stay in the community you are familiar with?
- CARE SERVICES: What are your care needs? Do you need minimal assistance? Do you have a medical or mobility condition that requires more care attention, like Alzheimer’s, for example?
- ROOM TYPE: Are you going to live by yourself? Do you have a friend or spouse that will move with you, and if so, are your care needs similar? (Be sure to ask what happens if the care needs of one of you changes or increases. You may not be able to stay in the same facility unless it is one that provides the care services that both of you need.)
- MEALS: Do you want all your meals provided or just some? Do you want to cook for yourself? Do you want the option of doing either? Do you have special dietary needs? What are the meals like (try to visit at meal time to see what’s being served and how it is served). Can friends or family bring meals in? Do you need help eating?
- ACTIVITIES: How physically fit or active are you? Do you want to maintain or improve your physical fitness through exercise and does the facility offer this? Are there planned activities like shopping, movies or visits to local venues of interest? Are you near a gym or recreation centre?
- AMENITIES: What would make you feel at home? Do you want your laundry and housekeeping done for you? Do you want a place to garden or do some kind of project (woodworking, quilting, etc.)
- PERSONAL SERVICES: Do you need help with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, eating, taking medications or other activities of daily living? (Usually these services are a part of an Assisted Living residences’ mandate.) The extent to which you require these services may determine the type of residence that most suits your needs. Is there any indication that your needs could change in the near future, and will this affect where you live?
- POSSESSIONS: How much of your personal possessions do you want to take with you to your new residence? Can the new place accommodate what you want to bring?
- PRIVACY: Do you have a suite with a lockable door? If in a higher level care facility, what level of privacy do staff maintain (do they close doors when helping residents change or bathe?). Are there private places to visit with guests?
- DISCHARGE POLICIES: Under what conditions may a resident stay in a facility and what terms or conditions could cause the resident to be discharged? Who decides?
- QUALITY OF CARE: Is there a government oversight committee that regularly checks on the type of care provided? Does the facility have a policy that outlines their commitment to the resident? Is there a residents’ “Bill of Rights”?
- RULES OR RESTRICTIONS: Can you have a pet? Can you smoke? Can you have alcohol? Can you cook in your suite? Can you have guests anytime? Can you invite guest to join you at meal times?
- SECURITY: Does the level of security provided make you feel assured of your safety?
I f you would like an assessment to determine the type of placement you might qualify for (as it relates to supportive, assisted or complex care), contact your regional Health Authority.