Pointers for Picking an Assisted Living Facility

picking an assisted living facility

Nursing homes aren’t for everyone. While you’ve heard of other family members enjoying their time there, you know that you want something different. Healthcare services are a must, but you enjoy your independence. Being infantilized for more than half the day by a staff member or registered nurse doesn’t sit right with you! There must be other communities out there that are ideal for you. You’re in luck. If you or a loved one wants to live in a place that mimics everyday life as much as possible, an assisted living facility may be just what you need. As experienced estate planning attorneys, we can offer some assistance in picking an assisted living facility.

What Are Assisted Living Facilities?

Some of our elders require daily care assistance. However, these older adults would like to maintain independence, so they do not need as much assistance as a nursing home offers. An assisted living community might be a better fit. Residents of assisted living facilities can enjoy living arrangements similar to what they wanted as independent adults. In assisted care facilities, the residents typically can have their apartments or rooms and share communal areas. Numerous living services are available to them, such as up to three meals per day, help with personal care, assistance with medication management, staff members who can help with household chores, round-the-clock monitoring, medical assistance, security, social, religious services, and recreational events.

Finding the Right Assisted Living Facility 

You are bound to be awash with options in Santa Barbara, California. The right facility will be specific to you. We can’t tell you what the best assisted living facilities are; this is entirely subjective. But we can give you tips on how to sift through your assisted living options. Here are some key questions to ask when finding a suitable facility.

Make a List of Your Medical Requirements

This is the most critical concern, especially for residents with particular medical conditions. Some facilities employ a doctor or other medical personnel. Others could provide complimentary transportation to the doctor. Do you need help keeping track of medication and fulfilling prescriptions? On an even more serious note, ask about what occurs if your health takes a turn for the worst. For this concern, it is highly recommended that you retain the services of an experienced elder law attorney.

Decide What You Need… and What You Want

Instead of looking into what each assisted living facility offers, first be honest about what you or your parent needs. What are the physical, financial and emotional demands you face every day? What is the most difficult part of your daily routine? Will a beauty salon or outdoor spaces give you a sense of normalcy? Will you need transportation services to off-site locations when you need a change of scenery? Before you choose the best institution, what matters to you most at an assisted living facility? List them in order of priority.

Take a Tour

It would be ideal to have a chance to tour facilities before you commit to one. Many assisted living communities will give you this opportunity with your family members. When it comes to senior living communities, some people need a private or shared room but a communal dining room. Check to see if the private rooms have furniture. Aesthetics are important, but accessibility is vital. Are the walking paths wheelchair accessible? Would you be placed in a room that requires stairs to reach? The distance from your private room or living spaces to the dining rooms could make or break your daily living experience. What security measures are in place? Ideally, you want to be in a safe environment.

What specialized services are offered?

Medical professionals suited for your unique needs are also vital. Ask if there is medical care tailored for these needs if they apply to you:

  • Physical therapy
  • Specialized care for residents with developmental disabilities
  • Speech therapy
  • Memory care for dementia patients
  • Wellness programs
  • Skilled nursing for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities

How are you entertained?

Other assisted living services regarding entertainment are also essential.

Be honest about wanting amenities, like:

  • A swimming pool
  • Game rooms
  • Field trips

Who knows? There could be a particular community where the residents are exceptionally outgoing and active. This could dramatically affect your quality of life there.

What can your financial resources afford you?

According to, the average monthly rent for an assisted living facility in Santa Barbara, California, is $4,202. Monthly costs aren’t the only concern. Some assisted living communities to attract assisted living costs. Renter’s insurance, costs for doctor’s appointments, and a surprise upfront cost may make most assisted living communities a significant capital outlay. Depleting your personal savings isn’t the only way to spend your golden years with dignity. Speak to an estate planning attorney at Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law about Medi-cal and securing government benefits.

Hire an Experienced Santa Barbara Estate Planning Attorney

In all your planning for the future, make sure you’ve hired a professional estate planning attorney at the Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law to ensure that all your bases are covered.

We provide personalized legal services within the following practice areas:

Picking an assisted living facility is just one small aspect of estate planning. Schedule a consultation for yourself or a family member, and ask us all your questions about estate planning regarding government assistance and veterans benefits.

Author Bio

Julianna Malis is the Founder and Managing Partner of Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, a Santa Barbara estate planning law firm she founded in 2014. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has dedicated her career to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, probate, and other estate planning areas.

Julianna received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar Association.

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