Guest Blog: How to Find the Most Engaging Senior Living for Your Loved One
Making the decision to place your loved one in an assisted living community is never easy. Whether this option was carefully considered over a period of time or a sudden change in health has culminated in this necessary change, it’s important to take the time to find the right community for your loved one. Fortunately, there are ways you can increase your chances of finding a wonderful senior living facility that will tend to your aging loved one’s needs.
● Talk to Your Loved One’s Health Care Provider
Usually, the best people to give recommendations on senior living facilities are physicians and nurses who specialize in providing geriatric care. Because their clients are of advanced age, they will be familiar with the local senior living homes. They can also provide you with information on which facilities tend to provide more engagement and enrichment activities, as well as which ones might only provide basic care. Others in your local community or church group might also have the information you need to get started on your search for the perfect assisted living community.
● Consider Ratio of Providers to Residents
While it’s not impossible to provide an enriching environment within larger assisted living facilities it can be quite difficult, especially if they are understaffed or staffed with underqualified employees. If the ratio of staff to providers is too large for your liking you may want to consider placing your loved one elsewhere. If there are too many residents and not enough caregivers your loved one may not receive the amount of personal attention they need to truly thrive in their new community. You should always go with your intuition when choosing the proper assisted living facility to take care of your loved ones.
● Check Out Their Events Calendar
A good sign of an enriching senior living facility is a full events calendar. Regardless of age, many seniors enjoy having a robust social life. A sense of community and a lively atmosphere can even help loved ones who are living with dementia cope better with their prognosis and disease management. Other countries emphasize the importance of community and inclusion within their care homes. For example, Japan is known for its thriving older population. A Japanese retirement community usually offers a wide range of activities for their residents to participate in, which promotes wellness and a better quality of life. If the facility you are considering offers social outings, group exercise classes, pet therapy, and other opportunities then that is a good sign of a caring and compassionate place for your loved one.
● Take a Tour and Talk With Other Residents and Families
One of the most effective ways to decide if a senior living home may be a good fit for your loved one is to take a tour and observe a typical day at the facility. You will get a pretty good idea of what their sense of community is like, as well as whether most residents are happy and socializing with others throughout the day. Another sign to look for is if the caregivers seem to be engaged with their residents or whether they seem to simply perform their duties as needed. Enriching senior living facilities will usually feature brightly decorated spaces, common areas, games, and other amenities for residents to enjoy.
● Assess Facility for Proper Security Measures
As your loved one ages you want to ensure that the facility you choose for them meets safety standards. Age-related issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss can all lead to unfortunate accidents and tragedies that are usually preventable. Before selecting a senior living community for your loved one be sure to run down a safety standards checklist. You’ll want to see that the facility has brightly lit hallways, multiple fire detectors throughout the premises, secured entrance and exit points, as well as handrails and CCTV. While it’s important to provide residents with enriching and stimulating activities, your loved one’s safety is tantamount.
Finding the right senior living facility for your aging loved one can be challenging, both figuratively and emotionally. Fortunately, with a bit of time and patience, you can find a wonderfully engaging senior living facility to meet your loved one’s health needs and provide them with a wonderful quality of life.