What should you look for when selecting a long-term senior care community for yourself or your elderly loved one?
Deciding on long-term care is never easy, and it’s essential to scrutinize each senior care community with the utmost attention to detail. You can make the process easier by listing down what to look for in a long-term care community and matching that list with your needs.
Once you know that long-term care or an assisted living space is the best option for you or your loved one, you’ll have to do your homework to choose the right senior care community. This article will guide you in selecting a suitable eldercare facility to suit your needs.
The following are a few tips to go by when making such a critical decision.
What Should I Look for in a Long-Term Care Community?
Knowing what to look for will empower you to make a reliable choice to rest assured that you – your loved one – will be safe and in the best care.
The following criteria – in no particular order – will help you make the best senior care decision possible.
Safety and Cleanliness in the Senior Care Facility
Safety and cleanliness in a senior care community are two essential things you should consider.
Here are a few things to check:
- Follow your nose. Are there any offensive odors?
- Are the hallways or doorways clear and spacious?
- Are the community spaces and corridors well-lit?
- Are the floors made of non-slip materials?
- What about ramps and safety rails – are they plentiful?
- What is the protocol for infection control amidst the uncertainties involved in COVID-19?
Determine Your Long Term Care Needs
Knowing your needs is crucial to deciding what kind of care is best. Various levels of care apply to different settings and range from skilled nursing care to memory care or assisted living, which can allow for a certain amount of independence.
Every senior care facility should have licensed nurses and staff available during the designated hours every day. The team must be friendly, caring, and supportive while providing the required medical care or help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising, or any other personal care.
Choices and Independence for Seniors
Freedom to make choices is something that everyone wants, and you should consider this point while deciding. The ability to choose their activities independently can boost the mental and physical health of the senior resident significantly.
Visitation Rules in the Care Community
The facility should welcome families and friends at any given time. Visitation may seem basic, but it could be a red flag if a facility has strict visiting hours. It’s best to study the policy beforehand. If they have visiting-hour restrictions, ask why and question whether or not the reasons make sense to you.
Comfortable Surroundings in the Eldercare Facility
When your loved one leaves the comfort of their home, you can make the transition easier for them by looking for a home-like environment.
- The rooms and apartments should feel more like a home than a medical facility, if possible
- For memory care facilities, the layout should be simple
- There should be some nature around the facility, such as fish tanks and caged birds – a garden can be a tremendous source of pleasure
- Little design elements like seating areas, warm interior colors, and artwork can make the environment more pleasant
Location and Size of the Care Community
- You always want your loved ones to be as close to you as possible, so deciding the location is a significant factor to consider to visit them frequently and easily
- Spaces should be easily accessible and safe
- There should be enough community rooms that offer quiet areas and activity spaces so that you or your loved ones feel comfortable
Senior Care Community Services
- Healthcare services should be available for patients who need it; for example, Alzheimer’s or dementia patients may need special memory care
- Depending on your beliefs, religious services can be crucial
- Regular visits to doctors should be available to the residents
- There should be barbers and beauty salons for the residents
- Nowadays, readily available Internet access is also a requirement
- Services include help with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating, bathing, laundry, taking medicine, and transportation
Food Services and Quality
- Monitoring the nutritional intake of residents is necessary – be sure to ask about policies surrounding poor eating habits or eating difficulties
- The facility should have the availability of well-balanced and prepared meals to accommodate residents’ diet, preferences, and health requirements
Activities and Recreation Seniors
- The presence of community groups encourages the residents to interact with each other
- There should be plenty of social, physical, and creative activities available for the residents
- It is ideal for residents to have plenty of options for things to do, places to go, and things to enjoy around the facility
- Playing music for residents helps them engage and connect with others
Respect for the Community Residents
Respect can make the seniors feel like a part of the community.
- The staff should call the residents by their first names – unless otherwise instructed – and address them like adults
- The staff should respect the privacy of the residents
- The facility should allow the residents to be involved when making minor changes and decisions to the community’s living spaces or policies
Money plays a significant role in deciding which senior living community to choose.There are many options for paying for long term care, including selling the family home, long term care insurance, social security benefits, pensions, and retirement savings.
You’ll need to check to see if the facility can meet your medical care needs. Some examples include licensed staff who can help with medication, IVs, and other treatments. When choosing a long term care community for those with medical concerns, compromise isn’t an option. It is essential to be clear about your requirements and make sure the faculty and facility can meet those needs adequately.
Trust Your Gut
This simple step may seem obvious, but it can make an enormous difference. What does your gut tell you about the place? Visit the facility a few times before making a decision and consider your intuition about the vibes you get from the facility, its environment, and its staff.
Finding the Right Senior Care Community Is Easier When You Know What to Look for
By understanding your needs and following the list above you can easily find the right long-term senior care community for yourself or your loved one. There are dozens of resources available to help you figure out which community will best suit your needs, how to pay for it, and how to make the transition as easy and painless as possible.
Transitioning to long-term care is never easy for seniors since it usually means leaving a lifetime of memories behind with a home that’s been occupied for decades. Still, choosing the right senior care community can make it less stressful and perhaps introduce a better and safer quality of life, thereby offering peace of mind for all those involved.