Choosing to move to an assisted living facility can be a difficult decision for some individuals and their families. It is a move away from the independence that one has known and an admittance that the individual needs more help as he grows older. In addition, it may be difficult for him to part with his home and with some of his belongings. However, it is possible to enjoy assisted living by choosing a facility where one feels comfortable and where his physical and emotional needs are met.
Choose a Comfortable Facility
“This facility is going to be where the individual spends most of his time. It needs to feel as similar to his home as possible”, says Steve Miller a frequent contributor for Assisted Living Today in NJ a website dedicated to helping families find senior care. Of course, this may mean different things to different people. Some people may prefer a large, country-style home with bright furnishings. Others may prefer a more modern and minimalistic approach.
Recently, there has been an influx of quality assisted living facilities giving elderly individuals more choices. Many facilities have been placed in renovated schools or old apartment complexes. However, almost every facility has some differences from the others. For example, some closely resemble private apartments with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Others consist of simply one room. A few offer non-private rooms. Individuals will most enjoy a facility that closely meets their needs and keeps them as independent as possible.
Another consideration regarding the facility is the grounds. Some seniors especially enjoy being outside, doing gardening or sitting on a swing in the shade reading a book. If this is important to the individual, the grounds should be closely examined. Some facilities offer extensive grounds with intricate gardens and paths for walking.
Become Involved in Group Activities
Many people thrive on social activities. Individuals living in an assisted living home will want to become involved in at least some of the activities. Many facilities have activity coordinators who will create calendars of events. One should pick a facility that caters to his desires and needs. For example, some will want to have weekly religious services in the chapel. Others will want to go on outings outside of the facility. Some other ideas of activities include crafts, games, evenings of singing and shopping trips. Reaching out to others is a positive way of making new, enjoyable relationships.
Find a Facility That Is Close to Family
No matter how wonderful the social activities at the assisted living home are, individuals will still want to be close to family. With so many choices in assisted living today, individuals are usually able to find a facility that is near family or near the neighborhood where they previously lived. In fact, these facilities are beginning to appear in smaller communities throughout rural America. It is ideal to be near family for social events and holidays as well as for transportation and shopping needs.
Choose a Facility with Great Resources
Each facility offers slightly different care based on its amenities and its staff. Once again, the elderly individual and his family will need to choose what is most important to them.
- Staff – It is vital to determine if staff is warm, friendly and helpful. The individual will need to feel utterly comfortable with both medical and ancillary staff. Medical staff should provide the security of being only a call away at all hours of the day.
- Healthcare – The individual should find out what type of medical staff the facility employs as well as how far he will be from the nearest hospital, clinic or emergency care facility. He should also discover what help he will have with mobility and normal activities of daily living.
- Nutrition -Most facilities provide three meals a day for each resident. The individual should enjoy the food and be content with the number of choices available for meals and snacks.
- Housekeeping -The facility should provide the type of housekeeping that the individual will need. Some options are laundering and housecleaning.
Assisted living facilities offer the care that many elderly people need. They are perfect for those who cannot live completely independently but who do not yet need a nursing home. Choosing the right facility and becoming involved are the best ways to enjoy assisted living.