Assisted living facilities are meant for seniors who are mainly independent but need help with certain daily individual needs, like bathing, mobility or medication reminders. Also offered in such facilities are health care services (emergency and non-emergency), health and fitness programs, social activities, recreation, and more.
While we all want to give our loved ones the best assisted living conditions, not all of these facilities are created equal. This is why it’s important to spend some time reviewing your options so you can indeed choose the best.
How do you begin? Explore the different assisted living communities in your desired area, creating a shortlist. Then give each one a call and request an appointment. You may have to set aside time for this, but you will have peace of mind, knowing that your loved one is in a happy and safe community.
The following can help you make a wise decision:
Let’s begin with the staff members. They certainly need to be well-trained, but you might consider that a given. Usually, what really spells the difference is their attitude. Go with a community with compassionate staff who have a genuine desire to help the elderly.
Aside from having well-trained and sincere staff, an assisted living facility should have enough staff members on hand to meet all the residents’ needs. Regardless of their training or attitude, they can never be good enough if they are not enough in number to begin with.
Care Plan in Black and White
Check if the residents in a facility you’re eyeing have a written individual care plan. No care plan means some needs may remain unknown and hence unmet.
It is also important to know whether or not a facility can take care of your loved one’s future needs. Obviously, the facility you choose should be able to address them.
Just because they’re old doesn’t mean their needs have become purely physical. Like us, they also need socialization, entertainment and spiritual food. Look for a place where all such things are part of the community.
There can be a million other things to check when choosing an assisted living facility for your loved one, but remember to consider the basics. Check the kitchen, for example. It should be clean, and the service should be good. Try visiting at mealtime so you’ll see real time action. Another essential is call buttons. There should be enough.
You can also spend time in the outdoor area and observe the residents’ interactions. Just by looking at them as a group, you will indications of whether they are happy or not in the facility
Before choosing an assisted living community for a loved one, make sure you have compared at least two or three options. Without any point of reference, you cannot accurately say that any facility is the best.