Choosing a senior living community for your parent is a daunting task. There are many factors to consider when making that decision including location, price and most importantly – quality of care. It is not a choice you should take lightly, regardless if your parent needs a little or much help. However, how do you know that the facility you visit will provide your parent quality care? Let’s look at some telltale signs of a wonderful senior living community.
Compassionate & Friendly Staff
When you visit a potential community, look for the way the staff treats the residents. It is imperative that caregivers and other staff members treat residents with compassion, care, and general concern during interactions. Pay attention to the way they make conversation. If they go above and beyond just communicating necessary instructions, it is an excellent start.
Properly Trained Staff
Also on your visit, talk to all of the staff – from the Community Liaison and Executive Director to Caregivers and the Dining Director. Great questions to ask are about their schooling, their training, and how they enjoy working in the community. You want to look for people who are knowledgeable in how to properly do their job and ideally who have additional training to help them excel. If a community goes the extra mile in training staff, they will create a healthy, safe environment for residents.
Another good thing to do is speak to residents directly. Ask how they spend their days and if they enjoy it. These will soon be your parent’s peers, so it is important to get to know them. If residents are drawn, unhappy, or unresponsive it is possible the community may not be caring for all areas of their wellness, focusing only on the physical. If you know your parent enjoys social interactions with others, look for a community with friendly residents who are engaged in activities regularly. If your parent is more reserved and enjoys quiet time, you may want to focus more on apartment accommodations.
While many communities boast about their activities and amenities, it is important to look for a community that puts equal emphasis on their resident safety standards. From making sure staff is CPR certified to providing community and in-suite safety features, there are many areas for a community to commit to resident safety. Technology partners, like Silversphere, offer emergency call systems and pendants that allow caregivers to monitor resident wellness from anywhere, call for help, and prevent wandering in memory care facilities. As your parent continues needing further care, it is vital that the community can accommodate increasing needs.
Above all, remember that you are making a decision that could last a lifetime. Moving is stressful for seniors, and you want to make the best choice for them the first time around. If your parent has diminished cognitive abilities, it will be up to you to make an informed decision without their input. Be sure to ask the right questions and make the best choice for everyone involved.