What Makes A Good Assisted Living Facility?

What Makes A Good Assisted Living Facility?

When considering senior housing for yourself or your loved one, you shouldn’t be precipitous with your decision. Take your time to research and look around to be sure you are making the right choice.

What makes a good assisted living facility? Well, there are several things you should look out for. They include:

Location

Where is the assisted living facility located? This is important, as it significantly affects your decision. As a rule of thumb, the facility should be located closer to your home or place of work so that you can frequently visit your loved one.

If the facility is in the boondocks, it will take you hours to drive there, which can significantly limit the frequency at which you make the visits.

If looking for a facility for yourself, you need to ensure that its location is convenient for most of your closest ones; otherwise, no one will visit you, and you don’t want this, do you?

Besides the facility’s location affecting your visiting frequency, it also affects the activities that the seniors can engage in. For example, if the facility is in a highly remote area, there might be little that the seniors can engage in. 

Without restaurants, parks, movie theaters, grocery stores, and other amenities, there isn’t much for the seniors to do other than sitting or sleeping, and this can be incredibly boring for the active and independent residents. You don’t want the life of your loved one to amount to this, do you?

The location can also affect the quality, and type of care offered in the facility. If your loved one is healthy and independent, this might not be an issue, but if they have an underlying problem and need constant care, they might not receive it in a remote area.

To avoid surprises, take your time to research and determine whether your loved ones will receive the care they need in the facility before committing.

On-site health resources

Even the healthiest seniors require medical care at a certain point in their life. After all, their immune system is dwindling every passing day.

To be sure that your loved one will be attended to should they need medical attention, ensure that the facility has an onsite health resource.

The facility should have qualified and registered medical staff. It also should provide a variety of medical services, such as lab services, dental care, and pharmacy.

Since the elderly can develop medical complications at any time, the facility should provide 24-hour medical services.

Does your loved one have a special medical condition? Ask whether they can manage it at the facility. If they can’t, look at other facilities such as https://vivanteliving.com/vivante-newport-center/ and find out whether they offer the services you are looking for. 

State certification

You don’t want to take your loved one to an unrecognized institution. Besides the uncertified institutions failing to provide the necessary care, their facilities don’t meet the state standards. You also don’t have anywhere to report should you run into problems with the facility.

As a rule of thumb, ensure that the facility you are looking to take your loved one to is certified by the relevant state. Luckily, it’s easy to tell whether the facility is certified as most senior living communities take pride in their credentials, always showing them off. 

Carefully inspect the certificate and even confirm with the relevant authorities that it’s genuine.

Different states have different certification requirements, so take time to find out the minimum requirements in your state of interest. You should also know how well the facility stacks up against the other facilities in the area.

An ideal facility should offer more than just the bare minimum.

Scheduled activities

What will the seniors be doing while in the facility? This is important as it goes a long way towards determining the seniors’ morale and life perception.

While your loved one is old and will have someone helping them with their daily needs, it doesn’t mean they will spend all of their time sleeping or watching TV.

For them to enjoy their time, you need to take them to a facility with fun activities. Besides the usual card games, Bingo, and birthday celebrations, a great senior living facility should offer off-site excursions, such as out-of-town shopping experiences, live theaters, movies, and other activities that get them out of their usual surroundings. 

The facility should also provide yoga, singing groups, art classes, woodworking, and other activities that enrich the lives of the residents.

A forward facing facility should move with time, so it doesn’t hurt a facility having computer-generated games and other technology-related activities.

Community culture

A facility might have the best amenities and activities, but if its culture is off, there is no way you or your loved one will enjoy living there.

Living in an assisted living facility is synonymous with living in a dorm, and if you don’t have a pleasant environment and mates, you won’t enjoy your stay.

An ideal assisted living facility should have a positive vibe and residents. The activities should also be positive and engaging.

The best way to gauge the community culture is to spend some time there before deciding. While there, speak with the staff, have meals with the residents, inspect the rooms, talk to the seniors and ask them about their experience, walk around, and if possible, spend a few nights there.

This will give you a full experience of the facility and gauge whether you want your loved one to spend their life there.

So, what makes a good assisted living facility?

The facility’s location, activities, healthcare services, and culture are just a few of the things you should look out for when finding a senior community for yourself or your loved one.

Besides the above factors, also consider the safety features of the facility. Are there manned gates, CCTV cameras, well-lit corridors, and rooms? A good facility should have these. The last thing you want is for the facility to call you and report they can’t locate your loved one.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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