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What to look for in an Assisted-Living Community

By Deniese Williams, Executive Director, The Cabana at Jensen Dunes

Having spent more than 20 years working in long-term care facilities, I know that the decision to move to an assisted living or memory support community can be a difficult one. To make sure it’s the right fit, it’s important to do your research, ask a lot of questions and – above all – visit in person. When you do, here are a few things to look for:

  • Cleanliness – From the moment you enter the front door, the facility should look, smell and feel clean – not only in the common areas, but also in the individual rooms and suites. That level of neatness and cleanliness also extends to the residents. Take note that they are clean and well groomed. Ask to see the kitchen, too … and be sure the food looks and smells appetizing.
  • Staff – Ask to meet staff members and caregivers, and observe them with residents. Are they attentive, compassionate and empathetic? Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions of staff and management. For example: “What will you do in case of an emergency?” “What certifications do you have?” and “What’s the best way to get in touch with you if I have a question?”
  • Residents – Staying active, both physically and mentally, is vital for older adults at all stages of their lives. When you tour a community, observe a program or class in progress. Make sure that both residents and staff are interacting and engaged. Visit the Fitness Center – is it properly equipped and run by a qualified professional? Ask to see the events calendar – are the activities meaningful and rewarding?

At The Cabana at Jensen Dunes, we believe in a holistic philosophy of empowerment and support that gives residents the opportunity for growth, personal development and enrichment. And while we understand that transitioning to an assisted living or memory support community isn’t always easy, we do believe that it can be the beginning of a new and exciting adventure.

Deniese Williams, Executive Director of The Cabana at Jensen Dunes, is a registered nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing and has more than 20 years of experience in the long-term care industry.