27 Apr How to Choose An Assisted Living home?
Aging is a natural part of life and, as with many stages of life, aging presents some unique challenges. Many seniors may find that they are having difficulty living on their own, thus requiring additional services that are often provided through an assisted living home. One of the most pressing questions that families often ask themselves is: How do I choose an assisted living home that is best suited to care for my loved one?
When choosing a senior home or an assisted living facility, the first factor to consider is the level of care needed. Some seniors might require only minor assistance with daily activities, whereas others might need around-the-clock care. Choosing a senior living facility that reflects a feeling of home can be a far more desirable option than a larger, more impersonal facility.
At CareAgape, we want our families and seniors to make the most informed choices possible about choosing a senior living home, and we have developed six key factors to take into consideration when making this choice: location, size, professional medical assistance, cleanliness, cost, and culture.
1. The Importance of Location When Choosing a Senior Living Home
For many families, it is important to remain close to their loved one. A good location is not only geographically near the senior’s family, but also easily accessible for all family members to visit. Ideally, a senior living facility should be located close enough to major roads and thoroughfares so that families can frequently visit. It should also be located in a safe and secure neighborhood with a very low crime rate. An ideal location should also be located near the senior’s healthcare providers and pharmacy as well as dining, shopping, and entertainment options (when going out is safe). And it should be close enough to a major hospital emergency personnel can quickly respond to life-threatening medical situations should they arise. Essentially, looking for a senior living home is not much different than looking for a regular home. All of our CareAgape homes are located in residential neighborhoods in safe communities.
2. Size and Staffing Matters
While many states have minimum staff to patient ratios, many senior living facilities have upwards of 100 beds – and more. A smaller home with a high staff-to-resident ratio is ideal because it allows residents to feel like they are living with family or friends rather than in an impersonal community setting or nursing home. Typically, small senior homes also provide more personalized care than larger facilities. The CareAgape Caregiver-to-resident ratio is 3:1 – six, residents, two caregivers. This ratio allows our staff to truly get to know the residents and their families and to deliver the best possible care based on each resident’s individual needs.
3. Professional Medical Assistance in Senior Living homes
An ideal assisted living facility is staffed with professionally trained and qualified personal care professionals who are equipped to deal with most of the challenges that seniors are likely to face. All of our CareAgape staff can provide incontinence and toiletry assistance, transfer assistance; bathing, dressing and grooming assistance; and basic emergency response, if needed. The homes are also equipped to handle seniors with mild-to-moderate memory loss as well as those at risk of falling. A staff member is onsite 24 hours a day to ensure the health and wellbeing of residents.
4. Cleanliness is Key when Choosing a Senior Living Home
Never has cleanliness been so important in our health and quality of life. We take great pride in the cleanliness of our homes. We provide daily housekeeping and personal laundry service, and we regularly sanitize objects that our residents and staff have handled. All of our staff are trained in CDC-approved personal hygiene protocol and residential cleaning standards. This dedicated staff is also trained to quickly recognize communicable disease threats and identify any potentially unsanitary areas. Our homes are owned by the caregivers themselves, and the cleanliness of a home is a reflection on them.
5. The Cost Factor
Cost is obviously an important factor to consider when choosing a senior living facility. Our homes are designed to provide quality care at a very reasonable cost. Most of our residents pay through a combination of insurance, personal finances, and other sources. Costs may vary depending on location, but each of our homes’ managers can provide detailed costs and payment options for potential residents and their families.
6. Quality of Life and Culture
A feeling of both warmth and familiarity is important when choosing a senior living community. The adjustment of moving out of one’s own home into an assisted living home is difficult enough. Our homes are designed to feel like a home, and a resident’s own belongings decorate their individual living spaces. We also understand that aging does not mean giving up hobbies and interests. We encourage all of our residents to maintain most (if not all) of the hobbies that they had before transitioning to senior care. Many of our homes also have garden spaces, and residents who have hobbies such as gardening are encouraged to keep those interests flourishing.
While it is important that an assisted living facility be able to accommodate a resident’s needs in a manner that is both logistically and financially feasible for the senior and their family, perhaps the most important factor to take into account in choosing a senior living home is the intangible feeling that the facility is just “a good fit” for the senior. A recent U.S. News and World Report investigative piece on senior living facilities emphasizes that a senior home is where you or a loved one are going to live for the foreseeable future. Experts therefore encourage you to visit the facility, talk to the caregivers and residents, and get a sense of the environment to make sure it feels like the right place — and that, above all, it feels like a loving family home.