For millions of senior citizens, there comes a time when fully independent living can no longer be achieved in their own homes. There can be a variety of reasons for this. It is common in later life for the elderly to suffer from chronic illnesses and a general decline in mobility. Chronic illnesses can lead to a person no longer being able to live safely in their own home. For example, dementia can get to a stage where the elderly person may forget to turn off the oven after preparing a meal or forget where they are when outside the home.
In these circumstances, it is highly beneficial to relocate to a senior living facility that has specialist staff on site who can minimize the effects of this condition and allow a high quality of life to continue. Mobility problems can lead to a senior citizen suffering serious injuries (such as bone fractures) after slips, trips, or falls. If they begin to occur regularly, it is important to consider moving to accommodation that has staff on-site that can assist with mobility problems and create suitable care plans to minimize the risks of injury.
If you or your loved one is at a stage of life where senior living facilities are the best option, it is vital to choose an establishment that is suitable and professionally managed. In this article, some of the top tips for choosing the best senior living facilities will be explored in detail.
Location Is Key
One of the most important factors in choosing a senior living facility is its location. Put simply, the premises must be within a short enough distance to allow regular visits from family members and close friends to take place. Ideally, the establishment should be no more than an hour’s drive from the home addresses of friends and family members.
Longer distances will mean that visits need to be planned in more depth and personal commitments may result in fewer visits being made. When looking for senior living facilities, the average duration of a car journey to reach the destination should be estimated. By using Google Maps or a speed, distance and time calculator, you can accurately estimate the average journey time for all friends and relatives who wish to visit the elderly person. Regular visits will help the elderly person to feel connected to the outside world when they relocate, and this will be extremely important in the first few months of “settling in” to the establishment before they have formed friendships with the other residents.
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Schedule a Tour of the Premises
All professionally run senior living establishments will take pride in the level of service they provide to their residents. They will be happy to allow tours of the facility to take place, as it will allow them to demonstrate the high-quality services that they have created and how the environment promotes independent living for the elderly.
If you live in the south-eastern part of America, look for senior living in Memphis, TN and contact the management team to book a tour. Be wary of any establishment that does not allow tours of the premises to take place. This may indicate that the owners are not proud of the services that they offer to residents or that they recognize that the quality of care provided is less than satisfactory.
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Whilst most senior living facilities are well run, there will always be a small minority of establishments that provide sub-standard care, and these must be avoided. When on a tour of the premises, ask to see all the facilities that are available for residents. Consider the site from the point of view of an elderly person. Is there enough to do in terms of recreational activities and nearby amenities to enjoy a high quality of life? Does the establishment provide a range of high-quality meals that are suitable for the elderly? You can learn more about what constitutes an ideal diet for elderly people by clicking here.
Speak to Residents
It is of paramount importance that you take the time to listen to the views and opinions of the elderly and what they think about their senior living accommodation. One of the key points to ascertain is if the residents feel that they are treated with dignity by staff. Research indicates that dignity is extremely important for the elderly, as all residents will want their views, opinions, and personal values to be taken into consideration when individual care plans are created. In addition to the residents’ views on personal dignity and how the staff uphold it, it is also important to get their views on what works well and where improvements could be made. Any establishment that provides poor quality, low-cost food for its residents is aiming to work for profit as a priority, rather than to provide a high standard of living for residents. Be wary of any establishment that has residents who complain about the food or any other issue that is related to cost. Ideally, take a list of questions to ask residents to ensure that you get a comprehensive perspective on their daily life in the establishment.
Make a Shortlist
Once you have found a selection of senior living facilities that are a short distance away, visited the premises, and spoken to the residents, it is time to start to create a shortlist. Ideally, you will be faced with a list of premises that all have significant benefits that are offered to residents. Some premises may have large expanses of green space where residents can relax or undertake outdoor group activities such as gardening.
Other locations may offer fitness equipment, exercise classes, or even a dedicated gym for residents to keep fit and healthy. If you have visited each establishment, you should also have a clear idea of the quality and variety of meals that are available for residents.
In the shortlist, be sure to summarise any key positive and negative points so that you can easily compare each location. If the elderly person is a relative, make sure that they have an active part in the shortlisting process and agree with all the comments that are summarized.