As children, our entire foundation of stability comes from our parents. Our moms and dads check for monsters under the bed and in the closet. They give us the confidence to stand on the stage during school plays and spelling bees. They knew how you prefer your meatloaf, and always prepared it just to your liking. After spending a lifetime depending on your mom and dad, sometimes it’s difficult to accept that your parents don’t have the independence that they once had.
Making the brave step to looking at assisted living facilities for your parents to live in can be overwhelming. You want to know that your parents’ care is in good hands while reviewing assisted living facilities; sometimes it’s difficult to choose the best environment for them based only on the tour that a sales representative offers you. In order to find the right assisted care facility for care when your mom and dad are not as independent as they once were, check out our checklist of things to look at while reviewing assisted living facilities, below.
Four Things to Look for While Shopping for Assisted Living Facilities
- Social Events and Activities
Studies show that social activities for assisted living facilities are in important factor that support the mental stimulation in elderly people, help them build relationships with other senior citizens, and improves their outlook on life. While reviewing assisted care facilities, consider the interests of your parents and find one that caters to that. It is even better if the local assisted living facilities that you find offer activities that improve their physical health, such as dancing or sports.
- Room to Grow
It is difficult to think about now, but eventually your parents will need more care than you are looking for currently. This isn’t only the case with your mom and dad; every resident that an assisted care facility has will eventually “graduate” from it. A great assisted living apartment will help with the transition when it is time to move into nursing home care, so there is as little disruption to your mom or dad as possible.
Some assisted living facilities assign social workers to check in on the residents and advocate for them when they need more care. Others are partnered with nursing homes, or have a nursing care facility on site. There are several successful strategies for this; the important factor is to ask how the assisted care community you are looking at supports their residents when more care is needed. You need to feel comfortable with taking that step, when it is time.
It is not unusual for elderly parents to live across the country from their adult children. If you are not in the same area as your parents, you might not be able to witness their condition on a daily basis. A great assisted living community will make long-distance care takers feel included and empowered in the care of their relatives. If you ever have a question about your parents well-being, it is important that you have a direct name and number to someone who oversees their care and knows your loved-one directly.
Even if you are local, having an open line of communication between yourself and the staff at your parents’ assisted living facility is important. You should feel like a partner in the process and care of your loved one.
Your parents’ health and well-being is directly tied to their mental outlook. If they end up in a facility where they feel uncomfortable and unhappy, you will likely see their mental clarity decline, and their physical health follow. It is critical that you find an atmosphere that supports your mom or dad’s emotional well-being, so that they are comfortable and healthy for as long as possible.
While touring assisted living facilities, pay attention to the ambiance of the environment. Does it leave you feeling uplifted and cheerful? What countenance do the other residence have? If the people who live in the assisted living community are interacting and active, it’s a good indication of a positive atmosphere.
Do you know of any other important factors while shopping for an assisted living facility for a loved one? Please share them in the comment section below.