How To Choose An Assisted Living Facility In Denver

There are hundreds of assisted living facilities to choose from in the Denver metro area…which is the good news and the bad news. Bad news because the choices might seem overwhelming and good news because you can find the assisted living community that precisely meets your needs.

Below are great questions to ask when choosing an assisted living facility.

Cost And Pricing Tiers
What is the monthly cost of assisted living, and what does it include? Can extra services (such as assistance with medications or incontinence care) be added “a la carte,” and if so, how much do they cost? Are utilities, phone and cable included in the monthly cost? Does the assisted living facility lock in prices for a period of time and when was the last price increase? Is there a move-in fee, community fee or deposit required when you sign the lease? It is good to know how much assisted living will really cost, before you sign on the dotted line.

Accepts Medicaid
Does the assisted living facility accept Medicaid, and if so, is there a private pay, spend-down requirement? Find out what your options are before you move in, so that if your funds run out, you know whether you can stay where you are or will need to find an assisted living facility that accepts Medicaid.

Care Provided
What type of care is provided in assisted living? Ask about dressing, grooming, bathing, using the toilet, incontinence care, assistance with medications, transfers (from bed to wheelchair or chair), assistance with walking, wound care, diabetic care, light memory care, and more.

Meals And Dining Options
How’s the food taste? How many meals per day are provided? Do you have to eat in the community dining room, or can you order off a menu and have meals delivered to your apartment? Are some, or all, of the meals prepared in-house? Are snacks and beverages included and readily available? Can your dietary requirements be accommodated or substitutions made?

Types Of Units And Floor Plans
What types of units are available in the assisted living community – studios, 1-bedrooms, or 2-bedrooms? Do the units come with kitchenettes or full kitchens? What’s the floor plan like?

Size Of The Facility
How big is the assisted living facility? In the Denver area, there are residential care assisted living facilities that have as few as six residents, larger communities with 200+ residents, and just about everything in between. What size would you prefer?

What are the other residents like? How active are they? What types of health issues are they dealing with? What are your opportunities for socialization and making friends?

Staff To Resident Ratio
How many staff members are there (during the day and at night) compared to residents? The staff to resident ratio in assisted living can dramatically impact the quality of care provided.

Where is the assisted living facility located? Is it close to your family, friends, and favorite places? Is it in a part of Denver that you like and/or are familiar with? Location can be especially important if you’re out and about a lot or would like to have friends and family visit on a regular basis.

What types of activities does the assisted living facility offer, on-site and through outings? How many activities are there per month, and do a fair number of them match your interests?

What amenities does the assisted living facility have in the building or on the grounds? These could include: beautiful outdoor spaces, fitness rooms, movie theatres, libraries, small stores, and more.

Is group transportation provided for shopping, eating out, cultural events, and other types of outings? If so, how often? Is individual transportation provided to medical appointments and is there an extra charge for it?

Pets Allowed
Are pets allowed, and if so, what types and sizes? Is there pet deposit required at move-in and/or a monthly pet fee? Is there a place on the grounds or nearby to walk dogs?

Smoking Or Non-Smoking Facility
Does the assisted living facility allow smoking? If smoking is permitted, where are the designated smoking areas?

Multi-Levels Of Care
Are other levels of care, such as independent living, memory care  and skilled nursing care, offered in the same community? If so, this could give you the flexibility to “age in place” and not have to relocate if your needs change.

Ratings From The Department Of Health
What is the assisted living facility’s health rating from the state? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) licenses and regulates all of the assisted living facilities in Colorado. The health department conducts annual health surveys of each facility and also tracks occurrences and complaints. This information is readily available to the public, and it is worth taking the extra few minutes to check out the track record of the assisted living facility you are considering. Click here to find out health department ratings for assisted living facilities in Colorado.

Lease Terms
What lease terms are required? Most, but not all, assisted living facilities only require month-to-month leases, which can be canceled by the resident or the facility with 30 days notice.

Please click here to see a list of assisted living facilities in the Denver metro area.

For more information on senior living options in Denver, see these related topics:
How To Choose An Independent Living Community In Denver
How to Choose a Residential Care home in Denver
How To Choose A Memory Care Facility In Denver
How To Choose A Multi-Level Care Community In Denver
How To Choose A Continuing Care Retirement Community In Denver
How To Choose A Nursing Home In Denver
How To Choose An In-Home Care Agency In Denver