Looking for a senior home is one of the things you’ll likely do at some point in your life, whether it’s for the elder members of your family or you’re preparing for the future. For one, enrolling in such a facility can be an option when age catches up with you or your loved one, given how challenging it becomes to manage daily needs.
When choosing a senior home, you have two options: assisted living and nursing homes. The first offers assistance in daily activities like preparing meals and housekeeping, while the latter provides short-term care by skilled professionals. Whichever the case, it’d help to scrutinize their service excellence before enrolling. On this account, here are some things to look for when choosing a senior home:
1. Amenities And Features
The dynamic growth in the population of seniors has led to an influx of homes for the aged. As of now, seniors account for 15.9% of the population in Orange County, according to the U.S. Census, representing close to 500,000 adults aged 65 and above.
And one downside of such growth is the possible crowding of available facilities and sprouting of senior homes with subpar standards. Thus, assessing the amenities present in a facility is essential to assure the quality of stay and treatment you or your senior loved one is likely to receive.
For instance, if your senior loved one has mobility issues, you’d want a home with modern wheelchairs, mobility scooters, standing frames, quilt holders, and the like. Besides, you’d also want them to be able to communicate with family and friends, and an internet connection for video calls and chats comes in handy. In addition, it may also be ideal if the senior home offers wellness, fitness, and entertainment amenities. For example, perhaps there’s a garden or outdoor space where you and your senior loved one could walk around or exercise in.
As you do your research, it could help to prepare a list of amenities or features you’re looking for in a senior home. This way, you can narrow down your options and assess which one suits your needs and preferences.
One factor you shouldn’t ignore is the accreditation of the senior home facility you’re looking to enroll in. Laws and federal regulations govern how such facilities should run and the services they should offer.
It’d be good to note that you risk getting subpar services if you choose a home without a license. This means you may have quacks instead of professionals handling your care needs, which can be detrimental to you or your senior loved one’s health and well-being. For this reason, you should look for the facility’s permit to operate before settling for it.
Older adults are more susceptible to infections, making it paramount to live in clean environments. Therefore, inspect the cleanliness standards on your pre-visit to the shortlisted senior homes. A quick visual inspection could be enough to make a meaningful conclusion. For instance, dilapidated interiors and cockroaches roaming around freely are red flags that a particular home is not well-maintained.
You can also check and ask if there’s a team tasked with cleaning the rooms and how frequently and thoroughly they do it.
4. Cost Of Services
No doubt, senior living can be expensive. However, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to afford such services. Typically, the cost of every home varies depending on the services and amenities in the facility; the more luxurious they are, the deeper you may have to dig into your pockets.
As you conduct your research, take the time to know more about the inclusions in the service, so you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re spending your resources on and avoid unnecessary hidden charges. Moreover, it’s always recommended to talk to more than one senior living facility. This way, you can compare their rates and their services, allowing you to make a more informed decision.
5. Level Of Care
Another factor that should come into play as you choose a senior home is standard care. The best facilities should have customized care since everyone has different needs. This can help determine whether you’ll get high-quality care from a specific home.
Most senior people generally require special medical attention. And depending on the health status, you’d also want to consider a home that offers both worlds; assisted living and independent care—it kind of boils down to the number of staff and their qualifications. Ideally, opt for a lower staff-to-residents ratio, which helps guarantee specialized attention and care.
6. Safety And Security
An ideal senior facility should cater to safety and security. You wouldn’t want to enroll in a home with a significant risk of burglary or fire outbreaks. Some safety aspects you should consider include:
- Smoke detectors
- 24/7 surveillance
- Hallways equipped with handrails for support
- Emergency push buttons
- Entrance and exit doors in case of emergencies
7. Friendliness Of Staff
The staff assisting your senior loved one in the facility can influence their overall experience. Ideally, you’d want friendly and kind-hearted caregivers with a genuine concern for seniors, not ones who simply do the job for the money. If the facility is near your home, you can tour and observe how the staff interacts with the seniors and how they carry out their duties and responsibilities. Great care can ensure you or your senior loved one won’t feel dehumanized or underestimated. Instead, you’ll feel respected and an essential part of society.
Choosing a home for senior living can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re looking for a senior home for a loved one or as preparation for the future, hopefully, the insights above can guide you as you find a reliable facility. Moreover, you could always ask friends and colleagues for recommendations.
But ultimately, with careful research, you’re sure to find a comfortable and affordable senior home that can accommodate your needs.