It can be a difficult choice deciding that you or a loved one needs to move into an assisted living home with a higher level of care. Some people have pre-existing ideas about assisted living, but people will find that many of them are false. The reality is that many homes provide wonderful opportunities to improve lifestyles of their residents.

There are several important things to consider when looking into assisted living options.

Visit potential residences more than once. Don’t rely on one visit before deciding on a home. Residential care homes can experience a range of different incidents and it could be they were having a particularly good or bad day.

Don’t hold a bad visit against them. Keep going back to make sure you are choosing the right place to live. This is a huge decision – take time and be thorough.

Speak with the home’s staff. Most assisted living homes have wonderful staff. Take the time to speak with different staff members to get a sense of the level of care and attention provided.

Check to see there is plenty going on. Some homes have many activities and entertainment for their residents. Make the right choice for your specific needs.

Find out what other services are offered. Does the home have their own doctors and nurses? Do they offer things such as group and private therapy? The better homes have a wide range of different services but others often run a lighter schedule. The homes with much going on may be more expensive but this extra cost could be worth it depending on your specific needs.

Are the residents healthy and relaxed? Just as with the staff, talk to the residents and determine how happy they are in their cur-rent situation. That will tell you a lot about an assisted living home. Normally it is evident quite early on which homes are better from witness-ing the general happiness of the residents. Resi-dents are less likely to hide their true feelings, so spend some time getting to know them if you can.

Can you afford it? Assisted living can be expensive. Make sure you can afford it. Some homes are less expensive because they simply offer less assistance to residents so you do not want to solely make a choice based on price. There should be a good balance between what’s affordable and what level of care is needed.

Moving a loved one into assisted living might be one of the hardest decisions to make. So many caregivers feel guilty about putting their loved one in assisted living. But when caring for a loved one at home becomes dangerous or nearly impossible, it is absolutely necessary to find them a place where they will be safe, get the care that they need and be happy. Taking steps to move a loved one does not mean families have failed to take care of them. It means the family is being proactive and making a smart decision.

For more information and to schedule a personal tour of Metairie’s newest residential assisted living home, call 504-252-2640 or email us at