14 Jul Good Senior Care Services: 6 Things to Look for in Assisted Living Services
When it comes to choosing an assisted living facility for you or your loved one, you naturally want the best option. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every individual, there are some common themes to look for in identifying good senior and assisted living care services
Regardless of circumstance or individual, a quality senior care service will provide personalized, top-notch, friendly care in a safe and welcoming environment.
The following are specific items that you can use to evaluate your options when choosing the best senior care service.
1. Licensing and Official Records
When looking for a senior care home, the utmost priority should always be safety. After all, a senior living facility staff or service provider is responsible for performing all daily living assistance and overseeing medical needs. One very important component that you should always investigate is a facility or service provider’s licensing.
You should check to see whether a senior care service provider’s state and local licenses are current and, if so, how long they have been licensed. You should ask if their licenses have ever been suspended or revoked or if there are any official complaints filed against the providers and/or the facility. You should also check their track record with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them as well.
2. Safe, Secure, and Sanitized Environment
Much like you want your own home to be safe, you also want to make sure that a senior home is safe as well. Check for any trip, slip, or fall hazards as well as any potentially dangerous issues (open wiring, broken appliances, etc.). These are all hazards that could be incredibly dangerous for seniors in the home — especially those who walk about on their own.
For assisted living facilities, also check the facility’s security system and emergency management protocol. Is the exterior of the house well-lit and free from obstruction? How do residents secure their personal belongings and property? Have there been any break-ins or other crimes committed on the property? If possible, obtain a police crime report for the neighborhood if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Most importantly, you should make sure that the facility or service has strict cleaning and infectious disease management protocols. Contagious diseases are known to spread very quickly in confined living quarters, and less-reputable senior living facilities have been in the news recently as breeding grounds for the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19). Ask how often the facility is cleaned and what that entails. Ask what the protocol is for patients who are diagnosed with an infectious disease such as the cold, flu, or COVID-19. If possible, obtain a report on the facility from your state or local health department.
3. A Good Senior Care Home Has a Low Resident-to-Caregiver Ratio
Personalized attention is crucial for quality senior care — especially for seniors who require a significant amount of assistance. A lower resident-to-caregiver ratio allows caregivers to better manage workflow and to become familiar with their residents’ challenges, needs, abilities, and care plans. Always be sure to ask how many residents are cared for by each caregiver. At CareAgape, our low resident-to-caregiver ratio is one of our quality trademarks. With six-bed homes and two full-time caregivers, our 3:1 resident-to-caregiver ratio helps ensure personalized care, optimal safety, and security.
4. Customizable Care Options
Each resident has needs, challenges, and abilities. A senior care service should be able to customize a plan based on a resident’s needs and limitations. For example, a resident who is still fairly mobile may simply require assistance with transportation, meal preparation, errands, or general housekeeping.
For seniors with more severe limitations, a facility may need to provide basic medical assistance as well as assistance with personal grooming, toileting, feeding, mobility, and other essential life activities. A good senior care facility or service should be realistic about what they do and don’t provide. Always be sure to match the needs of your loved one with the services provided by a home—whether it is skilled nursing or caregiving.
A reputable facility will be straightforward with you and should refer you to another facility or service that can better accommodate you or your loved one’s needs. The most common way to assess a facility or service’s care options is to ask what types of services they currently provide for their residents and what services they are capable of providing.
5. Care Transition Planning
Many seniors enter facilities with a certain set of abilities, but may become less capable as time goes on. You should always ask what a provider plans to do in the event that a facility or service is no longer able to accommodate a senior’s needs. A quality service will be able to provide a detailed care transition plan in the event that a significant change in care becomes necessary.
6. Staff Attentiveness, Caring, and Respect
You should make every effort to get to know the staff. In addition to meeting with the facility director, try to meet some of the caregiving staff as well. Ask them how long they have worked there, what they like most about their jobs, and how they feel about taking care of residents. This will help you get to know the people who will be potentially caring for you or your loved one. At CareAgape, we value each resident and emphasize their individuality.
Summary: Research is Key to Find a Good Senior Care Service
In conclusion, conducting detailed, thorough research is extremely important for finding a quality senior care service. You should seek a home or facility that reinforces every resident’s right to live his or her life in a dignified, honorable way. While doing research, remember that there is no such thing as a silly question and rarely can you ask too many questions. Taking notes is a great way to keep yourself organized as you explore each option. Contact CareAgape today to learn more about how we are incorporating these six important aspects through our uncompromising commitment to care.