To experience and appreciate a journey, you have to be a part of that journey. Assisted living facilities are such an example of that experience for elderly adults. Elderly adults may initially refuse to consider transitioning into assisted living facilities, but they become more interested when they learn about the array of services and senior socialization opportunities that may be available in assisted living communities.
As the aged adult children, we only seek the best senior care for our elderly loved ones. We highly regard senior caregivers who are compassionate and genuinely take the time to get to know our elderly parents. Well, did you know that the main objective of an assisted living facility is to meet the daily needs of your aged adult as catered particularly to their individuality? Let us begin the appreciation journey by considering the senior services that may be available at assisted living facilities.
Personal Care Services
Personal care might seem like a general term that applies to the basic routines of life. However, an elderly adult may wake up to a limitless world, but feel that their mobility limitations are the obstacle that siphons a realistic nightmare. Such activities of daily living may include getting on or off a chair and a bed, continence, use of toiletries, bathing, dressing, and eating.
Activities of daily living may be perceived as an effortless accomplishment for young individuals. However, as we age, we may often strain to make such daily milestones that we once took for granted. The essential senior care services of an elderly care facility should wrap the needs of the elderly citizen under its senior care bouquet.
The provision of the service to support elderly adults with activities of daily living often depends on the hierarchy need of the elderly loved ones. As we age and our conditions progress, we may require more support than we needed before. Senior living facilities provide 24-7 senior care services by trained senior caregivers.
When visiting such an assisted living facility, you should consider the daily needs and mental health needs of the elderly loved one in question. If the assisted living facility is able to check off the senior care services you require, the next step should be to compare the scheduled frequencies as per your preferences. For example, sometimes, a senior may need to get in and out of bed twice a day and during the night he or she may use the bathroom. A senior may enjoy taking a full bath or shower twice or three times a day, especially during the colder winter days or hot summer days. Senior living caregivers believe that it is essential to prioritize personal hygiene awareness in order to support the elderly adults with their mental health upkeep. You should be the final decision maker of such a decision as you are the one who better understands the needs of your senior citizens.
Health Monitoring Services
When visiting the assisted living facility, you should also seek to learn more about the general health of the senior residents. Does the assisted living facility frequently assess the mental health and well-being of the elderly loved ones? Do the caregivers continue to provide the utmost quality services during the night?
When visiting such an assisted living facility, your first instinct should be to question the nature of their emergency protocols and how effectively the assisted living team responds to emergencies. An ideal senior care facility will have a certified professional nurse on both day and night duty as trouble presents unpredictability.
The admitted seniors may be prone to a deteriorating physical condition or other health difficulties, and a nurse in hand can be the needed guardian angel. The health monitoring services in assisted living do not draw their line here, as they extend to the coordination between the senior care facility and the assigned primary care physician to an admitted senior resident. Such an initiative creates a communication channel between the healthcare facilities and the senior living facilities that will be most impactful for delivering the best quality care for the resident. It is also crucial that the assisted living facility provides transportation services to medical appointments so that your elderly adult may continue to have their biopsychosocial health needs continuously examined. Elderly adults are at a particular risk of developing an array of mental and physical health conditions, so the senior caregivers must always be alert to ensure that the proper mechanisms are in store to prevent the onset of an illness, to control the situation, and to prevent the condition from developing into a much more severe disease that could have been adverted. You would not want your loved one stranded in case of an emergency.
Dispensing Medication Services
You, as a family member, might trust the capability of the assisted living facility’s caregivers to ensure that your elderly loved one keeps track of his or her medication intake. However, it is no myth that old age comes with memory loss, and you would not want a single medication skipped due to an older adult losing track of time. The assisted living facility’s senior caregivers must continuously ensure that the senior residents are taking the right dosage at the right time for the proper duration, as directed by their healthcare provider. Elderly adults are at a higher risk of developing multiple chronic conditions, and as a result, they may take an average of about 6.2 medications daily. Furthermore, 80% of such seniors may not be able to manage their medicines independently, so it is paramount for the senior caregivers to support with medication management.
The questions to ask pertaining to services offered when visiting such senior living facilities should relate to the received training of the elderly care staff. You may consider asking the following question during your tour of the assisted living facility: How effective are the seniors in their duties of dispensing the needed medications? An assisted living facility that has a greater bed size and accommodates a large number of seniors may have specific staff members assigned to particular wings to monitoring medications and chronic conditions. It is vital that you and your elderly adult feel comfortable trusting these caregivers. It is also essential to ask how often the caregivers change shifts or change units as your elderly loved one may feel uncomfortable if their caregivers continuously change. The consistency of the senior caregivers will help your elderly adults feel more comfortable as they transition into their assisted living facility where they will age in place.
Nutritional Monitoring Services
An assisted living facility will alleviate any worries related to the dietary intake of an elderly loved one. Assisted living facility caregivers understand the importance of nutrition, and the dietary staff caters the creation and delivery of the meals to satisfy the preferences and needs of the senior residents.
The seniors' nutritional needs and status are critical for their well-being. An assisted living facility with a dignified dietary service will cater to the seniors’ health issues and concerns. The caregivers will ensure that the residents are not vitamin deficient. Assisted living facility caregivers understand the importance of essential vitamins. For example, they know that vitamin B deficiency may result in cases of cognitive decline. Another example would be vitamin D inadequacies. The assisted living facility will sponsor residential, recreational activities, and excursions to ensure that the residents are receiving an adequate amount of sun exposure. Thus, you also need to formulate such questions when you visit the senior living facilities.
Flexible Rules & Policy
When an elderly loved one is convinced that transitioning into an assisted living facility may be best, they need to remember that they will still be able to enjoy their freedom and independence.
The senior caregivers at assisted living facilities understand that seniors still need to breathe and feel the colors of life, and not just the constraints of their surrounding walls. Thus, the strictness of an assisted lived facility will continue to ensure that the elderly loved ones continue to eat correctly, receive scheduled night checks, and take proper care of their physical and mental health. The accomplishment of such tasks and routines in the senior living facilities is only possible through the set-up of strict schedules that the staff and elderly seniors of the facilities must respect. You must be well aware of the behavioral adaptation of an elderly loved one before admission into an assisted living facility. The behavioral adaptation will help you find the appropriate facility suitable for the senior after you query about the assisted living facility’s strictness in obliging to their policies and procedures. However, it is also crucial that the assisted living facilities believe in the importance of flexibility, options, individual preferences, and continued dignity. As we age and become more dependent on others, we may feel less gravitas and more inadequate self-esteem. However, it is the responsibility of assisted living facility caregivers to help us continue to feel our best mentally and psychologically. Our physical limitations cannot impede our mental health and wellness.
Meals Preparation and Delivery
Most individuals will prioritize the health needs of their elderly loved ones before processing their admission to an elderly care facility. Senior care facilities objectify the presence of a nutritious meal plan that caters to the health needs of the elderly seniors. The kitchen and dining facilities have a common goal of promoting health in both the meal aspect and the social aspect of the elderly seniors’ stay. Also, the elderly seniors should be free to shop and cook, if they so desire. It is essential also to understand the costs of the meal plans.
You should be aware of the number of meals, beverages, and snacks the assisted living facilities offer daily. Such factors will help you choose the best assisted living facility that fits the diet needs of your elderly senior in question. Does the assisted living facility provide full meals, hot meals, or fresh meals? Consider the food quantity and quality that the seniors will be offered and depict for yourself if it is appropriate for their health. Also, ask the assisted living facility if you can dine to sample their food. A meal in the dining room will allow you to appreciate the real feel of how the food tastes, the variety of options available, and to learn more about the social atmosphere of the assisted living place. Your tongue would not lie to you; if your tongue agrees with the diet plan, then you may have found the best assisted living facility option for you.
The hygienic conditions of the assisted living facilities should be at the same caliber as the demands of the dietary plan. The laundry and housekeeping services are standard in assisted living facilities. The inclusion of such services, however, require a breakdown of its entities. It is also crucial to understand the disease prevention methods that the assisted living facilities use in order to promote infection prevention and control.
You need to find out about the laundering frequency of the seniors’ bedding and bath linens and the products used. How will they cater to the personal laundry of an elderly senior? Will there be an extra charge to dry clean private laundry? Moreover, be familiar with the frequency of the routine inspection and cleaning of the senior citizen rooms. The rooms are where the elderly loved one will be sleeping and spending a significant amount of time, so it is paramount that proper methods are applied to ensure the continuous cleaning and disinfection of the room, particularly during times of illness or disease.
Social Activities and Exercises
A social environment within an elderly care facility can allow the elderly adult to avoid depression, senior isolation, and loneliness. Does the assisted living facility have a gaming room, a cafe, a media room, or a library facility? Where does the senior care facility take residents on excursions so they may enjoy fresh air and time away from the facility?
The objective of your questions should focus on the structure used to schedule such activities so that residential, recreational activities are daily and ongoing to engage the residents. It is also vital to ensure that your elderly loved one would enjoy living with the other senior residents and would find the recreational activities interesting.
There needs to be a program in place to maintain the consistency of the occurrences of the activities and excursions to boost the mental health of the involved elderly seniors. Thus, the social activities should extend to movie viewing and reviewing, book discussion groups, gardening clubs, yoga and exercise classes, and an array of other recreational activities. You should also ask about the availability of fitness centers available at the assisted living facilities. The elderly seniors may enjoy walking together, biking together, swimming together, stretching together, or trying other types of exercises. A healthy body is essential to help us maintain a powerful mind, a quality healthcare state, and wellness.
Services for Elderly Adults with Physical and Psychological Disabilities
Not every elderly senior adult that resides in an assisted living facility will be active on their feet. Some seniors may have disabilities that require additional daily assistance with hygiene and activities of daily living.
It is also vital the senior caregivers understand how taking an elderly in a wheelchair to a situation where the other seniors are comfortable running around on their feet can have severe mental health impacts on the elderly individual in question. The elderly adult may become upset and wish that they, too, could join in the activities. Thus, it is essential to ensure that the assisted living facility hosts an array of recreational activities for seniors of all levels with various preferences and needs. Thus, it is essential to ask about the unique needs of the other seniors so that an admitted senior does not feel isolated from the rest of their peers.
Assisted living facility caregivers are well trained about how to help elderly adults balance the mental, physical, and social aspects of their lives. It is more challenging to woo elderly seniors with extreme psychological and physical challenges than other seniors. They may not be fans of group activities, but individual events might work better for them. However, it is also important to encourage even shy and reserved seniors to bond with others to prevent senior loneliness and isolation.
It all depends on the facility and the quality or style of serviced promoted. For some seniors, it is not surprising that they may enjoy exercise classes and even attend some guest lectures. The competitiveness of such seniors is also commendable, and it will be a good idea to encourage them to participate in a friendly competitive tussle of some sort. A supportive face to face chat will help the seniors understand their role in the assisted living community and in the greater society, so they continue to maintain their motivation and create new bonds. Thus, the only question here is the level of depth the assisted living facilities will go to encourage the social aspects of the elderly citizens with disabilities.
The best way is to get a glimpse of the individual and group activities in play at the elderly care facilities. Such facilities never miss an opportunity for an activity, and upon request, you can access any of their weekly routines. However, seeing is believing, and it is not enough to know a plan but to live it. Attempt to be a witness to the famed social activities and measure the social hype and enjoyment with your senses. Also, make an individual effort to assess the nature of the personal attention evident to the unique needs of senior residents of the assisted living facility. Also, observing the interaction between the older residents and the facility staff will help convey a notion about the friendliness of the assisted living facility staff in regards to taking care of its residents.
Safety and Security Services
When considering an assisted living facility, it might be easy to overlook some critical aspects regarding the safety and security of the admitted elderly citizens. You need to be sure of the 24-hour support. As some seniors age, they may develop Alzheimer’s disease, and they wander around.
The assisted living facilities should be able to reach the families or caretakers of the elderly citizens immediately in the case of emergencies. An unforeseen injury or illness might arise, and the assisted living facility must prioritize the importance of immediately informing the family member caregivers before their admission or transportation to an external health care facility. Some assisted living facilities have gadgets for ease in tracking and monitoring the health of the admitted senior citizens. Thus, trending technological innovations should be a part of your questions concerning the security management aspect of the seniors under the care of the assisted living facilities. Moreover, it will help you assess how the assisted living facility staff anticipate and respond to the needs of the elderly senior.
The care and responsibility for elderly adults are dire in the current society, and everyone needs their loved ones to be in the best hands. Thus, the assisted living facility you select must offer the services you require according to your unique needs and preferences. The assisted living facility should readily provide the required information and guidance you seek to ensure that your loved ones receive the best senior care and amenities they signed up for and deserve.