An assisted living facility is no different than any other type of nursing home. The issue lies not so much in the fact that residents are there but in how the staff interacts with the residents. Top-notch staff needs to have a genuine concern for their residents and show them that they truly do care about them and want to help them maintain quality, independent life. Here are a few ways to evaluate staff in an assisted living facility:
The facility must have a very open and welcoming atmosphere. You should be able to feel comfortable asking questions or placing personal calls. Also, the staff should be available to answer your concerns. Ask about the activities the senior center offers and be sure to find out about the qualifications of the staff members. When dealing with elderly individuals, it’s vital to make sure that senior center staff members are qualified and experienced enough to provide excellent care.
The level of care given to residents is an important factor. Be sure to find out how residents are being treated and whether or not they are getting the level of care they deserve. Also, look for signs of neglect. Look for signs of physical abuse, excessive medication, and broken rules. If you are concerned, don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions until you feel confident that the facilities standards have been met.
It’s often a good idea to check on the background of any staff members with who you may come in contact. Ask the manager or facility director for references and then follow up with these references to see if they match up with your own feelings about assisted living facilities. If you don’t feel completely comfortable with someone, don’t hire them. For your own safety, and the safety of the residents, don’t allow unsavory characters to work around you.
A good assisted living facility will have a policy in place for complaints and accidents. Make sure that you know exactly what to do if you encounter a problem. For example, if you are playing a game of tennis and accidentally bump into a wall while playing, you should know and be able to file a claim against the assisted living facility.
You may also want to check into the services provided by the assisted living facility. Does the staff treat the residents with respect? Are the residents allowed to create their own little worlds within the facility? Can the residents get enough alone time?
Also, it is important to research the facility’s background. Is the facility a licensed nursing home? Are residents able to leave the facility at the end of the day without worrying about being picked up by a caregiver? These are all important considerations that you will have to make on your own.
After you have carefully reviewed each assisted living facility, interview the available staff members. This should include the front desk personnel, the physician, and other support staff members. Remember that these people are going to be the face of your assisted living facility. They must be completely personable and easy to get along with. If they are not friendly, no one will want to stay in their facility.
Ask the physicians what types of medications they prescribe to their residents. Some facilities provide a list of medications they consider to be safe for seniors to take. Other care providers are more personalized in what they prescribe.
It is also important to meet with your residents regularly. This will help them to know when they can come in for extra help, or when they need to go. If the resident does not get along with other residents, this will create issues within the facility. The residents may start to feel like they do not matter. They may start to feel as if everyone is taking advantage of them. Getting to know your residents will help you understand their needs, and will help to provide an environment where they feel comfortable, safe, and successful.
As you have read, there are several different areas that you can check out to ensure that you are providing the most compassionate and quality care for your residents. The assisted living facility you choose should comply with whatever state licensing board you are working with. If you are going through the process of opening an assisted living facility, you will want to make sure to get the experience of opening a facility off in your mind. Get the help of a reputable real estate agent who has experience with assisted living facilities. They will know that Assisted Living is the best and can help you get started.