Photo by Vlad Sargu
In the United States, there are over 811,000 American seniors who currently live in residential care communities. So if your loved ones are getting older and may need senior assisted living soon, then they’ll definitely have some company.
To ensure they get the best care possible, you’re probably doing some research. But where do you even start? What makes a good facility great?
If you’re looking at assisted living facilities for your elderly parents or relatives, then here are 7 key things to look for.
1. The Location
If you’re planning on visiting your loved ones a lot, or you have other relatives who plan to as well, you need to make sure the assisted living facility you choose will be convenient for visitors.
For instance, if you choose a facility that’s out in the boondocks, it may take hours for you to drive out and visit, then get home. It can limit how often you visit your loved ones.
If an assisted living facility is remote, there may not be much to do out there either. Some seniors are very active and independent; without nearby grocery stores, movie theaters, and restaurants, they may get bored very quickly.
Do note that the location may affect the type of care offered. Due to state laws, some facilities can’t offer certain medical services. If your loved ones are very independent and healthy, then this may not matter much.
You’ll also need to take into consideration the visiting hours. Are they convenient and do they suit you and your family members? If everyone’s always busy with activities, school, and jobs, then it may be a bit harder.
2. The Type of Care Offered
Every senior will have their own limitations of what they can or can’t do. While many don’t require complete care, they still might need assistance with certain things, like chores or medical care.
Check out if the facility has not just the right equipment, but properly trained staff as well. Even if they’re currently in good health, you want your loved ones to have quality care at all times. Should anything happen, you can have peace of mind knowing they’re in good hands.
3. The Activities and Amenities Available
While the retired life can be good, it can quickly become boring if there’s nothing interesting to do. A good assisted living facility will have plenty for their residents to do.
Take a look at the activities and amenities available. There should be a good mix of physical, spiritual, and social activities so they stay both mentally and physically healthy.
For example, an excellent facility may offer things like gardening, hiking, games, yoga, church, and parties. The activities will vary from place to place, so make sure you find out which facilities accommodate your loved ones’ favorite activities.
4. How Friendly the Staff Are
In addition to being properly trained and experienced, the staff should also be friendly and courteous. Their attitude can make all the difference in the care facility’s environment, after all.
Make sure you check the staff-to-resident ratio. If that number is high, then there’s more of a chance they’re more overworked and stressed. This can affect how they behave towards the residents, whether it’s conscious or not.
Ideally, you should choose a facility with a low ratio. Not only does this ensure your relatives get more attention, but also better care, as the staff members won’t be as stressed out.
5. What the Community Culture Is Like
Moving into an assisted living facility is very similar to living in a dorm and getting new roommates. Everyone has their own personalities, and sometimes, they might clash.
The best way to get a feel for what the community culture is like is to spend a few hours or a whole day at the care facility. Speak with the staff, have a meal with the residents, take a walk around the buildings, see the amenities, and talk to the seniors there to see how they like it.
By doing so, you can get a feel for how the atmosphere is there and if your loved ones would fit in there.
6. How Clean the Facilities Are
A reputable assisted living facility should care highly about how they present themselves. While touring, you should take note of how clean things are.
Is there a layer of dust everywhere? Are there unpleasant smells? These can indicate subpar management of the facility.
Think about it: if they can’t be bothered to fix up what’s most noticeable to residents and visitors, then what else is going on behind the scenes?
While a pristine facility doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great one, a dirty and run-down one is certainly a red flag.
7. What Security Measures They Have
As we get older, we are more prone to injuries. This is why it’s important that the facility you choose has security measures in place, such as accessible handrails and non-slip flooring.
Additionally, the facility itself should be secured from the outside world. Not only does this prevent unsavory characters from getting in, but it can also prevent those with dementia or Alzheimer’s from accidentally getting out.
This can cause a stressful situation for everyone involved, but especially for the senior, as they may get confused and lost.
Find a Great Assisted Living Facility for Your Loved Ones
Now you know all the key things to look for when you’re considering assisted living facilities for your parents or other relatives.
The next step is to do your research, call around, and book some tours. If possible, bring your loved ones with you; they’re the ones who will live there, after all. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always trust your gut if something feels off.
If you’re looking for an assisted living facility in or around Kentucky, then search for one near you now. We have multiple locations with different levels of care for your convenience.