When living alone becomes difficult for elderly family members, and you cannot devote the time to that care, it may be time to consider placing them in an assisted living facility. Although there may be guilt and hesitation, preparation and planning can make the transition less challenging. Part of preparation involves looking for a place that is a good fit for your family member. This is a vital step in the process. Continue reading to discover five qualities you should look for when looking for an assisted living facility.
For many, the first thought that comes to mind when considering help for an elderly parent or family member is a nursing home. However, assisted living is for people who can’t live independently and may need help with daily activities. For instance, they may need someone to monitor medication dispensing, getting dressed, or preparing meals.
Assisted living facilities give adults who need help a place to call home and the privacy and independence they crave. Assisted living facilities can be rooms, apartments, or shared living quarters. They are fully staffed and help when and where needed.
5 Qualities to Look For In An Assisted Living Home
Here are five qualities to look for when choosing an assisted living facility.
It is true; there is no place like home. However, when looking for an assisted living facility, there are some components involving the details of its design that should be considered.
- Safety features and details like handrails in the bathroom, chairs with arm support, and other grab bars around the space are essential.
- Wide hallways, doorways, elevators, or other areas make wheelchair passing and moving around more accessible.
- Upkeep on tile and rugs so that trips and falls are reduced.
As you look for an assisted living facility, you want to ensure the facility is well staffed. If you are looking for a facility that specializes in memory care or has specific amenities such as an onsite barber make sure you check for these departments. The facility should have the following staff members:
- Activities Coordinator
- Dining staff
- Cleaners or Orderly
- Patient Attendants
This list is not exhaustive and depends on the size of the facility and the level of care they give. However, you want to ensure that no one person is doing all of these jobs. If that is the case, the quality care that you are seeking is impossible to get.
Programs and Activities
Residents in assisted living facilities should be able to enjoy activities that they love When looking for an assisted living facility, ask about their weekly itinerary of scheduled programs and activities. For example, Diamond Willow, which specializes in assisted living in MN, has “daily activities (mental, physical, and spiritual) individualized to each client’s needs, desires and abilities.”
Activities can include a trip to the local park for a few hours or the local mall. It can also include activities in the facility, such as music, arts and crafts, or exercise programs.
The schedule of activities should be posted where families can see it and plan their visits around these activities. Having it posted is also a great way for families to encourage their elderly members to get dressed to participate.
Positive Reviews From Current Residents and Families
Seeking reviews from residents who live at the facility you are interested in or people who have a family member there may be one of the best ways to get an accurate picture of what to expect. Ask them about the staff, cleanliness, and overall care from the staff. You also want to ask about the care that their loved one received, which is the main characteristic of a good facility.
In addition, you want to ensure that your family member will feel at home in this facility. Ask the reviewer if their loved one felt at ease and like this was home. You want testimonies that proclaim the dignity and respect for all residents.
Central Dining Facility
Unless your elderly relative wants to dine alone, a good characteristic of an assisted living facility is a suitable dining hall. That means providing tasty, nutritious meals, and being served timely each day. It also means the dining facility is clean and appealing for residents to eat and enjoy meals together.
If your family member is on a special diet, ensuring that they are accommodated and meals are adequate for their diet is essential.
Make Sure The Assisted Living Home Has These Qualities
As you have read, not all assisted living facilities are created equal. There are certain characteristics and qualities that you want to ensure are present before sending your loved ones to a facility. The list above is a great place to start for ensuring a smooth transition.