Moving your mom or dad into a senior living facility is a tough decision for any of us to make. However, to protect them from accidents, provide the care they need, and maintain a high quality of life, sometimes moving them to a senior living facility, like Great Lakes Senior Living, is necessary.
However, you need to be careful about choosing the right facility. There are things to look for when you’re touring senior living facilities for your parents, including red flags that might signal danger. Always remember: the decision is ultimately yours and your parents’, so weigh the choices carefully and don’t rush into committing your parents to any one place before fully exploring your options.
Proper sanitation is crucial to protecting the health of your elderly parents. When you visit a long-term care facility, assess the cleanliness throughout your visit. Don’t just look at the obvious signs like the floors in the hallway or the front desk area. Instead, pay attention to the hard-to-reach, out-of-the way corners of the facility like the baseboards, laundry sheets, and rarely used rooms.
Get explicit details about when and how housekeeping is performed. If the answers you get are vague or non-committal, you should take that as a potential sign to look elsewhere.
Once you move your parents into their new home, you entrust their well-being to total strangers. Theoretically, these individuals are highly-trained professionals who understand and can accommodate the many needs of their aging residents. In practice, though, as we have often seen in lawsuits against nursing homes, these facilities and their staff members may fail to live up to their responsibilities. While on your tour, ask questions about various procedures.
Also observe the staff’s interactions with the current residents at the facility. Do they convey sincere concern for their well-being? Do they exhibit warm feelings and strong interpersonal connections via eye contact and smiles? Though daily routines can easily become tedious and mundane, you don’t want your parents to feel unsupported in their new home. As they will be interacting with the staff frequently, you want to ensure that they will be both respected and supported.
Test the Food Out
Properly prepared, nutritious food is a cornerstone of a person’s health, including your parents’ once they become the newest residents in a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, many seniors experience malnutrition, which might be due to a lack of appetite or a lack of access to nutritious meals. If the facility only offers bland, unappetizing food, your parents may suffer as a result. Try a meal out at the property yourself to get a taste of what kind of food your parents will be eating on a regular basis.
Seek Feedback From the Families of Other Residents
The best predictor of future performance of a long-term facility is its past. In addition to questioning anyone you meet in person during the tour, the web is full of resources you can use to find feedback from residents and their families who have lived at these places. These individuals often have the best insight into the quality of life at the senior living facility you are considering.
Although ensuring with 100% certainty that your parents will have an enjoyable, safe, rewarding experience at a long-term facility is not possible, by following these guidelines you can make the best selection based on the available evidence.