Elderly people who want to enjoy an independent lifestyle with access to additional living support can move into an assisted living community. Assisted living is not suitable for older adults who need intensive nursing or medical care. Assisted living facilities provide the residents with well-prepared and nutritious meals along with support staff for laundry, housekeeping, transportation, social activities and medication reminders. Seniors can live in their own apartment and take part in the assisted living activities as much as or as little as they want. In general, assisted living residents have easy access to necessary services such as shopping, banking, medical care and pharmacies.
However, choosing the right assisted living community for a loved one is a difficult task. You have to explore and assess available options and choose the best one. If the facility you choose focuses on the care needs of seniors, your loved one will feel comfortable there and his/her quality of life will be improved significantly. You must understand that care is not just about providing the residents with healthy meals and a good bed. The residents should be able to enjoy healthy social lives and keep growing as individuals. Here are some factors you should consider to ensure high-quality care for your elderly parent:
Regular and caring staff
The relationship between staff members and residents is the key to high-quality care. If the staff is repeatedly changing in an assisted living facility, your parent won't get enough time to build a good relationship with his/her care provider. Employees who remain for longer in an assisted living center can develop a strong relationship with the residents as they get more time to have a better understanding about the care needs of each resident. Therefore, make sure that the assisted living facility you consider has consistent and caring staff members.
Fewer hospital trips
If you choose an assisted living facility that avoids unwanted hospitalizations, it will be beneficial for your elderly parent because repeated stays at the hospital can be quite traumatic and could severely affect the senior's physical and emotional well-being. Avoiding unnecessary visits to the hospital not only reduces the elderly's risk of developing health problems such as infections but also prevent possible issues resulting from miscommunication regarding his/her care between the assisted living facility and the hospital.
Visit the assisted living facilities you consider, talk to the managers, staff, and residents
After making a shortlist of the assisted living facilities you think are suitable for your elderly parent, visit each of those communities and meet the managers, staff members, and residents.
Ask the administrators about the staff to resident ratio and how well-trained the staff members are. Evaluate the working environment of the staff members and see whether they treat each other with respect.
Meet the residents to know whether they are happy there at the community. This will also help you to know if they get enough opportunities for programs where residents can interact with each other and meet their friends and families. You may also ask about other things such as fitness programs, exercises, and education.