Assisted living can be difficult for many people to discuss with their families and loved ones.
As you age you may find yourself needing more assistance while still craving your freedom. For most seniors, assisted living communities can provide the support and freedom needed to allow them to continue on with their lives.
The seniors you love deserve the best quality of life and care possible, so here’s what you need to know about assisted living.
Assisted Living is NOT...
After that, you are going to want to examine many other aspects of the assisted living property itself in order to get a sense of the quality of care, quality of support, and quality of life for residents who live there.
Last but not least, the cost is always going to be a decision-making factor. While we all want the best possible experience, care, and properties, not everyone has the means to afford them. So, aligning cost with wants and needs is important to making sure your loved one is taken care of without going bankrupt.
Like any other product or service, online reviews, word-of-mouth reputation, and similar feedback can help prospective residents decide if an assisted living property lives up to its presentation. Unvarnished feedback from actual residents and their families can provide insight into what life is like there, and whether or not it’s a quality property. Additionally, it’s important to ensure properties are certified and licensed based upon the criteria in your particular state or local area.
Of course, location is a big consideration as well. You’ll want a property that’s close enough to family and loved ones, but also near things like entertainment, shopping, and hospital care. A lot will depend on the exact geographic area, of course, but finding a property that’s nearby all of these things can be an important consideration. Even in more rural areas, the relative proximity to medical services should, at a minimum, be part of the decision-making process.
The activities and social aspect of elder care centers is also very important. Are residents mostly isolated in their rooms, or are there many common areas for them to interact? Are there regularly scheduled activities and social opportunities? Do they organize outings to cultural sites, movie theaters, etc.? Is there transportation available? What kind of social life is there at the center?
An important part of choosing an assisted living property is what kind of meal service options are available. Are residents able to cook their own food in a kitchen? Or is there a cafeteria-style food service? Or maybe something in between? Is the food any good? Can you eat at any hour, or is there a set schedule? Food is an important part of living – not just being alive – so the meal availability and related information are usually fairly important to consider when choosing an assisted living property.
The vast majority of elder care properties in the US today were built after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. Even those that were built before the law came into effect have often been upgraded and retrofitted to comply. This means that almost all properties that you may look at should be fully accessible, with things like wheelchair ramps, and doors and hallways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
Likewise, specific living arrangements can play a big role in finding the right assisted living property for your loved one’s needs. Do residents get their own rooms? Do they have private bathrooms? Are there group/communal areas? Are residents and visitors free to come and go as they please? Is it a big hospital-like property, or a more apartment-like one?
The service offerings of assisted living properties are often critical deciding factors for many residents. What kinds of amenities are offered? What does the staff help with? How much freedom do residents have to do things on their own vs. relying on the staff for a more structured environment? What kind of flexibility is there for those with different needs? These are all important questions to ask when looking for assisted living.
The staff-to-resident ratio is a good indication of how much personal attention a resident is likely to receive, with lower numbers being more desirable. After all, the fewer people a single staff member has to look after, the more time they have to focus on your loved one.
One of the most important factors for many people is what kind of medical care and support is offered. This can range from medication management to physical therapy, nursing care, on-staff doctors, dental, vision, and other care, and much more.
With over 22,000 assisted living properties in the US, and over 16,000 skilled nursing facilities, there are a lot of options to choose from. Everyone’s criteria for choosing an assisted living property, skilled nursing facility, live-in health aid, or other elder care options is going to be a bit different. This is largely a matter of personal preference.
However, there are concrete, objective criteria that we can look at as a means to gauge the quality of a property. These criteria can help narrow down a sometimes overwhelming list of options into a few key candidates, which can then serve as the basis for site visits and learning more.
Creekstone Senior Living is a different kind of assisted living property. It checks off all of the boxes on the criteria listed above, in ways that are generally appealing to a large majority of seniors. It’s a relatively small property, which allows us to focus on individualized care and support.
We invite you to come to see the difference for yourself! Come tour our property, talk to our residents, and learn more from our staff. We think you’ll agree that Creekstone Senior Living is truly a place for your loved one to call home.