Five Ways to Facilitate a Pre-Admission Assessment

By state law and by most assisted living (AL) residential community regulations, all applicants for a residential slot in an AL community have to undergo a pre-admission assessment not more than 30 days prior to moving in. This is a medical check-up to be performed by the residents own physician or one that works with the AL community.

1. Explain the purpose of the assessment

The purpose of the pre-admission assessment is to get a picture of the current state of health of the resident. This will help the community prepare for the transition of the resident as well as to prepare for his or her likeliest needs.

This medical examination need not be a stressful task for the patient, the relatives, or the doctor. If you have a relative who will be moving to an assisted living community, there are things that you can do to prepare for the check-up, and give the physician the information that he or she needs to adequately and accurately assess the patient.

2. Prepare all available medical records and medications of the patient.

All information about the patient including past and present medical history should be on hand for the assessment. Don’t rely on your or your loved one’s memory to recall medical events or facts. If you can, try to provide a one-page medical history for the doctor.  Likewise, have a list of all current prescriptions on hand.

3. Open your home to the doctor’s visit.

If the patient has special needs associated with activities of daily living, it is important that the doctor also have an idea what these are. Show the doctor around the house and be sure to focus on areas the patient frequents. If special equipment or facilities have been installed, show these as well. It will even be helpful for the patient to show the doctor how he or she goes around the house and interacts with the physical environment.

4. Write down unique particulars.

There will be a few things that the doctor will not routinely cover or might not emphasize during the history-taking part of the pre-admission assessment. Special concerns like preferences for food, physical activities, unique habits or personality traits might not be of routine medical significance, but they are important nonetheless. These particulars will help the staff of the AL community prepare for your loved one joining their community.

5. Prepare your questions.

Finally, make sure that you also write down your own questions for the doctor. This is a good opportunity to take advantage of getting medical advice from a physician regarding what else can be done for your loved one. If the physician comes from the AL community, then this is also a good time to get more information about how your loved one will be treated in the facility. Again, it is better to have questions written down than to trust personal recall.