What Makes A Good Assisted Living Facility?
The reason you are taking your loved one to an assisted living facility is because you want them to have someone take care of them, right?
For the best care, you shouldn’t take them to any facility. You should take them to a facility providing excellent services.
What makes a good assisted living facility? Well, there are plenty of things, such as:
Excellent behavioral care
Most people take their loved ones to assisted living communities because they suffer from weak mental clarity, and the chances are high that your loved one is suffering from the same condition.
People who have Alzheimer’s and other conditions that affect one’s ability to focus on their immediate needs need gentle and precise care. This means experienced professionals that understand them should handle them.
Before you take your loved one to the facility, whether Vivant Living or any other, first visit the facility and inspect it.
While there, scan the environment and ask yourself whether it feels warm and welcoming. Do you feel safe?
A facility that is mindful of its residents’ behavior should have someone watching them all the time.
Observe whether there are people looking after the seniors and employees available to answer your questions.
To understand the facility better, spend an entire day there.
When you see a new senior being brought in, get close to the admissions desk and observe how they handle them.
A good facility should pay close attention to the senior’s behavioral diagnosis.
The facility representative should ask as many questions as possible about the senior so they understand their condition as much as possible to determine whether they can give them the care they deserve.
If you find that the facility simply admits the senior without asking much, chances are they are only interested in the money they make and not the betterment of their clients, so it’s better you avoid them.
Rich social culture
You don’t want your loved one to spend all their time in the facility in their room, do you? So you should find them a facility with plenty of activities to engage in and a rich social culture.
An ideal facility should have many activities for the residents to engage in. Excellent activities include: woodworking, card games, glass working, and many others. It also doesn’t hurt for a facility to have physical activities such as singing groups, art classes, yoga, and many others.
A senior living facility is a great time for your loved one to meet other seniors, and the facility should make it possible by providing activities that make it easy for the seniors to meet and make friends with each other.
To make it even fun, the facility shouldn’t just have in-house meetings—it also should have out of facility activities such as shopping weekends, movie-watching, and many others.
When you visit the facility, ask about the activities provided in the facility. Carefully go through the list and find out whether they encourage social interactions that fit your loved one.
Certification from the state
The same way you wouldn’t go to an uncertified doctor is the same way you shouldn’t take your loved one to an unaccredited assisted living facility. The beauty of telling whether a facility is credited or not is you don’t have to ask.
Most facilities are proud of the credentials and proudly show them off by either hanging them on the wall or telling you about them as the first thing when you visit.
Besides the facility being certified, you should know plenty of other things to make an informed decision. These things include:
- The amount of training that the staff requires
- How often the community is inspected and what the inspectors look for
- The minimum staffing to seniors ratio
- The eviction policy
As much as you want your loved one to be engaged in activities, you also want them to feel comfortable and at home. This means they should live in a clean environment and receive quality food.
An ideal facility should make the residents feel at home by providing them with loving and friendly staff, comfortable areas to relax, and anything that will keep the residents feeling as if they are still at home.
Although assisted living facilities don’t provide extensive medical care, they should provide daily living care for those that can’t. For example, the facility should provide bathing, grooming, eating, toileting, and housekeeping services.
As you talk to the facility representative, ask how often the staff provides daily care to the residents. How often do they clean the room? How often do they replace the bedsheets? The answers given will guide you to deciding whether you should take your loved one there.
Because of advanced age and brain issues, safety is an important factor to consider when finding an assisted living facility for your loved one.
An ideal facility should provide safety features that ensure that the residents are safe and the staff can see them at all times. Some of these features include:
- CCTV cameras
- Smoke detectors
- Strong entrances and exits
- Handrails in the hallways
- Emergency push buttons
- Well-lit rooms and corridors
On-site health resources
As seniors advance in age, they develop a myriad of medical conditions that might require immediate attention.
Get an assisted living facility with an on-site health facility to feel safe. This way, you are sure that if your loved one gets a heart attack or any other condition requiring immediate attention, they will receive it on time.
An ideal senior living facility should have a health facility providing 24-hour services addressing a diverse and comprehensive range of healthcare needs.
When you visit the community, find out whether it provides on-site medical services. If it does, find out how frequently the nurses and physicians attend to the resident’s needs.
You also should find out whether there is on-site nursing care or any other facility nearby where your loved one can be taken, should they need a higher level of care.
Which is the right assisted living facility?
This is hard to tell, as it depends on your preferences and needs. A good rule of thumb is to work with a community that meets the needs of your loved one.
It also doesn’t hurt working with a facility that doesn’t mind customizing their services to meet the needs of your loved one.