It’s never easy to realise that your loved one is no longer capable of living on their own. Even when we know it’s time for a change, we might still feel anxious or guilty about it. When it comes to finding the right assisted living facility, it can be tough to know where to begin. Unfortunately, we don’t always have a lot of time to think about our options. This is often because our elderly parent(s) might be at risk of injury or illness in their current situation. Therefore, it’s better to be prepared in advance. So, is assisted living right for your elderly parent(s)? And what do you need to know when deciding which place is best?
What does Assisted Living Mean?
Firstly, let’s discuss what assisted living (or ‘extra care housing’) actually means. Most assisted living facilities are consist of self-contained flats for older people. Generally, their residents need some support or assistance in their day-to-day lives. However, assisted living is not the same as sheltered housing. Staff at assisted living facilities usually provide help with tasks like dressing, washing, going to the toilet, and even domestic jobs like shopping and laundry.
Most residents are able to retain some independence in assisted living. This can make it less distressing than moving into a care home, for example. Staff are on hand up to 24 hours a day to provide personal care and support to the residents. There is also usually a warden who is in charge of the home and residents are able to participate in group activities if they wish. Assisted living houses are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The CQC inspects facilities and provides ratings, helping you to find the best one.
It is really important to speak with your elderly parent or loved one and determine what they are looking for in their new home. You should involve them in the process if possible and ensure they are happy with where they are going.
Services and Amenities in Assisted Living
Make sure you take a tour of any assisted living home you look at. This way you can be sure it is suitable for your relative. Ask about the services and amenities which are included with the cost. Think about basic household needs such as catering, WiFi, cleaning services etc. It should be exactly like when you are purchasing a new home. You need to know as many details as possible about what the home has and what your loved one may need to bring with them.
Staff Qualifications and Responsibilities
Don’t be afraid to ask about the qualifications and level of training the staff undergo. Remember, you need to be certain they can provide the level of care your relative requires. When visiting, you should try and get to know as many staff as you can. This may give you an idea as to whether the environment that they are creating is a positive atmosphere for the residents.
What Food Do They Offer?
Some assisted living homes offer catering services included in the fee. Therefore, it is important to ensure that staff are trained in food handling safety and they can safely deal with dietary requirements or allergies.
If the home offers communal dining, ask about whether residents are allowed to have visitors join them. For example, on your loved one’s birthday, can relatives bring cake and share this with everyone?
Do the Residents Have Access to a Health Professional?
We understand that no one likes to think of their loved ones in need of emergency medical attention. However, be sure to ask if there is trained first-aider on site. This way you know that, in an emergency, they will be able to take care of your loved one.
Careline Alarm – The Gift of Independence
Choosing to go into assisted living is a drastic change – both for you and your loved one. The process of finding the right facility can feel daunting enough by itself. Therefore, you should always consider whether a Careline alarm can help your loved one live safely and independently in their own home without needing to move.
Our simple pendant button provides 24-hour connection to our expert Care Team. Alarm users can choose to wear their pendant around the neck or on the wrist. When they need assistance, they simply need to press their button. The Careline alarm is both affordable and easy to use. What’s more, you can move the alarm to a new location at a later date, should your loved one need to take the further step of assisted living.