If you are looking at senior living communities for your parent or yourself you’ll love these helpful tips to find a quality facility.
Did you know that 27 percent of American adults above 60 years live alone?
I was born in 1960 – and have a mom right now in her late 80’s. Presently she’s thankfully spritely and very well. But I think a lot these days about the future.
Given the increasing physical and psychosocial needs, a senior living alone isn’t the best setting. Opting for senior living communities would be a better option as assisted living becomes inevitable as one ages.
I wrote an article about this once before – which went viral – called: Goodbye Nursing Homes: New Trend Is Senior Cohousing With Friends. Because people were so interested in what I shared about senior living communities, I’ve decided to revisit this topic again – with this article- with more detail.
The process of choosing the best senior living community can be daunting. You might not be sure of the inquiries to make or what to look for, especially if you’re a first-timer. The transition is amongst the significant life events for your elderly parents, and you’d want to get it right from the onset.
If you’re wondering how to know the best senior living communities for your loved one, our comprehensive guide will be resourceful. Here are ten helpful tips to finding a high-quality facility.
Senior independent living communities have different missions. From the websites, you’ll get valuable insights into the senior care approach utilized. Some of the facilities will seem to align with your beliefs, while others won’t appeal to you.
When choosing a senior community environment, it’s best to know what the seniors consider crucial and fulfilling. If they want a senior community in line with their religious beliefs, have it in your checklist. It would help to have an older person living in an environment they find satisfactory.
Senior living communities vary in the services they offer. You need to get an institution that is consistent with the needs of your loved one. While at it, consider the future as the needs will likely escalate as one gets older.
You might want to check out a senior living community that provides senior living services accompanied with memory care and assisted living. Independent living and enhanced living are other commendable services to prioritize for your elderly parents.
A community with a range of services guarantees you a holistic approach to eldercare. You can check a facility’s website as you plan a follow-up at the center. Ensure that the services are being implemented, as some organizations tend to list services they don’t have.
A single visit at the center will help you gauge the cleanliness level in a facility.
Look beyond the meticulous reception. How are the rooms? The dining area?
You might want to make further inquiries to know details such as the frequency of housekeeping in one’s personal space. Seek to understand more about the kind of maintenance. Getting all the specifics before settling for a community institution will allow you to get the best deal.
If there are odors in different parts of the property, seek an explanation. You don’t want to get entangled with a facility that has inadequate sanitization! While you might be eager to get your parents a senior community living, never ignore some of the red flags showing low cleanliness levels.
Older persons have social needs that need to be met even when they live in a senior community. A senior shouldn’t feel isolated. As such, it would help to consider a community that has several amenities.
Some of the amenities you might want to consider include transportation services, housekeeping, and community events. Active senior living communities will allow your older parents to age in an environment that encourages growth in all aspects of life.
While some activities are basic, some facilities have extensive programs. Some centers customize activities to include things like swimming pools and fitness. Knowing the amenities in a center, and the cost-implication will enable you to choose the community environment fit for your parent.
More than one in four older persons fall every year. Most of these falls cause serious injuries that make seniors to be taken to emergency departments. You need to ensure that your loved one is safe, as some of these falls can be fatal.
Falls are not the only form of risk that should concern you. Seniors are quite vulnerable, and a facility that hasn’t taken the necessary security and safety measures is not ideal for an older person. You need to be bold and ask questions regardless of how intrusive they might seem.
Check and inquire more about the accessibility and safety of the bathrooms. Assess whether the facility has measures in place to manage emergencies. Ask how your loved one’s medical needs will be met, and if there’s a registered nurse on site.
When looking for the best senior living communities, the options will overwhelm you. However, it is crucial to prioritize a licensed center. Senior living communities need to follow state and federal guidelines.
You can check if a facility is licensed by checking with the relevant agency in your state. Eldercare.gov is a great place to start. You might also want to check out the Better Business Bureau to know if the identified facility has faced any suits or complaints based on their services.
It would help to confirm accreditation. You’ll be at peace, knowing that your loved one is getting standard of care.
Random visits at the community will give you a clear picture of the treatment your loved one will receive. You can visit the center during the day and night as the activities will be different. It would help show up at the facility unannounced to establish the quality of services when the community isn’t expecting visitors.
You can check in to know if there are enough and qualified staff for the evening shift. Most institutions have fewer workers at night, which can hinder the level of service delivery. You can only know the type of night care your loved one is getting by making such visits.
It would also be a good idea to visit the community during events. Get to know what happens to establish whether they would appeal to your elderly parents. If the activities are not in line with what a senior would consider fulfilling, try other senior living communities.
Two in three staff reported that they committed elder abuse within the past year. With the increasing aging population, cases of elder abuse are predicted to increase. It is vital to assess workers’ friendliness to know if your loved one is in good hands.
Most elders hardly report when facing any form of abuse. You need to prevent such unfortunate scenarios by having your loved one in a place where the staff has their best interest. Visits to the community will give you enough insights into how workers interact with the residents.
You might want to ask relevant questions to know what to expect. Request to meet the management team. A few minutes of interaction will enable you to understand the culture and goals of the facility.
In your on-site visits, you’ll meet several residents. You can ask the residents more about their experience in the community. If they mention the problems they have faced, take note.
The residents are likely to give you unbiased views about the quality of meals, staff, and safety, and other aspects that you might need to know about the senior living community. If the community has a resident council, obtaining such crucial information will be easier.
While at it, be careful not to agitate residents. Some seniors might be having emotional turmoil, and the questions can feel intrusive. It would help to have a go-ahead from the management.
Instincts hardly lie! After touring the community and asking relevant questions, your heart will tell you whether to proceed. If you feel uneasy about the whole setting, you won’t be at peace when your parent is living at the center.
Would you be comfortable living in the community? Are there things that would irk you? Answers to such questions will help you establish whether the identified institution is ideal for your loved one.
Senior living communities are never one-size-fits-all. You shouldn’t feel guilty for questioning a community where your neighbor finds perfect. Your family members should be in a place where you feel confident.
Getting a senior living community that will meet all your loved one physical and psychosocial needs can be overwhelming. You’ll have to sacrifice time and resources to land on an exceptional community. It is better to start your research early so that you can have time to compare different senior living communities.
Start by having a list of the best senior living communities. Have a checklist of the things you’d prefer an ideal senior living community to have. Your list will guide you in the questions to ask and what you’ll be looking for during your search.
If you’re thinking a lot about the future – and aging – you might also enjoy checking out my bestselling longevity book, Life is Long.