Many people want to and will try to live independently, and avoid an assisted living facility for as long as possible. But eventually, age-related issues and living alone can become too much of an obstacle and some seniors and children of seniors eventually look into how a caregiver or an assisted living facility can help their loved one.
This isn’t out of the ordinary. Hundreds of thousands of senior citizens currently live in residential care communities.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015 there were 1.3 million long-term care residents in these types of facilities. As the population increases, this number will only increase. Despite how prevalent this has become and how it is becoming increasingly popular, many people do not know exactly what to look for or even how to look for an assisted living facility to help their loved one.
This is an important decision that could affect your aging parent or loved one for years to come, it is imperative that you find the perfect home for them.
If you are a looking to help a loved one find the ideal senior living arrangement, here are a few things that you should keep an eye out for.
What To Look For
Getting started is the hardest part for most things, including finding an assisted living facility. However, if you remember that you should be looking at a few specific things, it can make the process a lot more simple.
One of the most obvious, and most important, aspects of any health care facility is the staff. It is important to ensure that the people that will be taking care of and interacting with your loved one are the right people. When touring and learning more about a facility, learn what type of qualifications these individuals have, their specific tasks, and how they can and will help your loved one. When looking into staff, it is also important to ensure that there is someone there that can help with memory care issues, particularly for residents that have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related diseases.
It is important to remember that these residential facilities are not purely for keeping your loved one healthy, but also keeping them happy and socially engaged. Some facilities will neglect your loved one's social needs. Proper facilities will schedule activities and events that allow their residents to engage with others and keep them entertained during their stay.
Having a tour of the prospective facility is vital. A floor plan can only show you so much, to really get a feel for the rooms, people, and overall environment, you need to see it in person. When you see it, you can make a lot of judgments on how the facility is run. For example, if a community prides itself in its cleanliness, it is a good sign that other areas of the facility and the level of care that they provide are top notch. Likewise, you need to ensure that the facility has taken proper safety precautions for its residents. For instance, be sure that stairs and hallways are well-lit, there is wheelchair and walker accessibility, bathroom handrails, emergency call buttons, and more.
As we age, the quality, quantity, and health of our food become more and more important for overall health. Unfortunately, aging can impede our ability to cook and make our own meals, and can even make it dangerous to do so. It is important to not only find a facility that has a meal plan in place but also will cater to your loved one's dietary needs and has food that is quality.
Where To Look
There are a number of online resources available to you, that will not only help you know what to look for when searching for a senior living community but will also know where exactly to look. For example, the Administration for Community Living’s ElderCare Locator tool will allow you to look for assisted living facilities near you by searching by zip code, city, or state.
The Medicare website also looks at what options and choices you have relative to your coverage.
Obviously, when you are looking at assisted living facilities, location is an important factor. You should look for areas that will be beneficial to your loved one. For example, you should consider prioritizing locations that are close to you that will allow for frequent visitation. Some other important things that you should consider include the safety of the neighborhood, public transportation, and proximity to friends and favorite locations such as malls, movie theaters, or restaurants.
Wherever you choose, it is best to get your loved one’s approval on the location, you want to find a place that they will enjoy being. While they may be reluctant and apprehensive to look at facilities at first, after visiting a few, their perspective may change.
Finding the perfect senior living facility for your loved one is a difficult task, especially if you have no experience with it. However, if you follow a few steps and processes, it will make it much more simple and easy to follow. It starts by researching online and then narrowing down a few facilities to tour in person. On these facility tours, it’s important to keep these 10 things in mind, ask questions, and be confident about what your loved one needs. If they have dietary restrictions or memory care needs, this needs to be noted. Your loved one is about to transition to a more difficult stage in their life, the more you can do to alleviate and reduce the stress of the transition the better off you will be.
Landmark Senior Living is one facility available that is dedicated to making your loved one’s life healthy and happy. If you are interested in learning more about what Landmark Senior Living can offer your loved one at this stage in their life, please visit our website and reach out for a complimentary walkthrough of one of our facilities.