Whether you’re the one searching for a senior community to help you with your daily living or are a concerned loved one, one thing’s for sure: you’ve got to take the time to weigh your options. You or your loved one deserve no less than top-quality care but the first-rate quality of life as well. What’s good is that there’s no shortage of senior care facilities that guarantee and can deliver just that. You only have to know how to look.
Fortunately, we’ve prepared this guide, especially for that purpose. This is to spare you from all the hassle of looking for the best tips.
By and large, most people who have had generally satisfactory, if not completely excellent, experiences with senior living facilities look no further than these 5 guidelines. Keep them in mind so you’ll be assured that you’re always going in the right direction when deciding.
Services and Amenities:
A large portion of your decision should be dictated by just what exactly can a specific senior care service offer to you. Would you be able to customize the level of care that you want? If not, are the ones included in individual service packages worth the price? Do they offer respite care or have their own pharmacy to ensure uninterrupted caregiving? What forms of entertainment and sources of leisure are allowed?
All the better if you opt for a facility that specializes in handling your specific needs. For instance, certain senior care facilities tailor their programs to people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Such specializations only allow their services to stand out and would only actively benefit people seeking an improvement in their quality of life.
Some facilities even offer truly unique care programs that stimulate not only the memory but creativity and imagination as well, to the point that residents enjoy a stronger, more profound joie de vivre after their experiences. That may sound like hyperbole but the feedback, more often than not, only backs it.
Don’t forget to go over the feedback each one has gotten. Facilities are more than willing to exhibit these reviews to prospective residents. Opt for feedback that isn’t generic but dives deep into what factors they ultimately love (or not like) about living there. Ultimately, this takes knowing the exact level of care you need.
Will it be close to your loved ones? Is the facility always within driving distance? Proximity ensures your connection to your family won’t be lost and only mitigates the possible feeling of loneliness or anxiety felt newly moved-in residents. This is also so that in case of an emergency, you would be able to promptly get to them.
The location is also crucial in that it could dictate the state regulations followed by a given assisted living community. Take note that some states are more amenable when it comes to the number of medical assistance residents can receive, while others are the opposite. The same can be said for the amenities allowed.
This is important because it could mean the difference between having a terrible or memorable experience in any given facility. Are they more hands-on and strict with the way they render care to patients? Or is the facility more lenient and relaxed but no less responsive and alert in case a resident requires prompt assistance? Are the other residents and staff friendly or individuals you’re quite certain you can get along with? This, of course, depends on your subjective tastes.
The best senior care facilities have a distinct culture that stems from their unique concepts and philosophies. The culture dictates the kind of daily living you can expect from the facility, with the environment, community, and services considered. It could mean the difference between making friends with other residents and caregivers or not. This is why we’re going to say upfront that this is a factor not to be missed or ignored.
Size and Resident-to-Caregiver Ratio:
Does the facility look like it would be able to maintain its quality of care despite being larger than most? How many beds are available in the facility? It’s important to pay attention the how large a community is because it impacts the atmosphere that the entire venue presents. It could give off the impression of a small town or a bustling city.
If you prefer a quieter atmosphere and where you can be sure staff won’t be overworked and pressured because of the number of residents, then it’s probably safer to opt for smaller facilities. However, this should still be determined by other factors such as the size of the staff, their experience and way of rendering their services, available amenities, etc.
It goes without saying that your chosen facility should fall within your intended budget. And it should give you the impression that you would be able to get high value for money once you decide to avail of their services.
Know the types of payment options available. There are a number of facilities that allow people covered by Medicaid but if this is your only choice, then your options might be limited. Better if you have other ways to pay such as insurance or personal savings for many assisted living facilities definitely support those payment options.
On the whole, it really won’t hurt to take the time to crunch the numbers. Will staying in the facility incur as many daily expenses as you had when you are staying at home? Of course, it’s always a good thing to be able to save as a result of moving into an assisted living community. However, it won’t do to sacrifice your standard of living as a result.
There’s a good reason why some senior care facilities enjoy higher occupancy rates than others. On the whole, it’s largely because they are able to tick most if not all of the 5 checkboxes we laid out here. At least, the first-hand experience and feedback of hundreds and thousands of residents and their families would prove as much.