As loved ones get older, they often struggle with their independence and certain daily tasks. It is understandable that adult children do not always have the time in their busy lives to care for their loved ones at all times of the day, and, at times, this is not the wish of the elderly loved one. With this being said, assisted living can provide the necessary care as well as a great way to socialize and feel at home without worrying about a thing.
Tips for Finding the Best Senior Living Care
Finding a safe and secure place for your elderly loved ones to call home does not have to be a difficult process. In fact, it can easily be broken down into a small list of simple steps. Searching for assisted living In Culver City, CA has never been simpler.
The first step to finding the best senior living care for your loved one is to decide exactly what is needed. Each senior has different individualized needs, so it is important to create a list of exactly what your expectations are for the community. Certain needs include assistance dressing and undressing, bathing assistance, bathroom assistance, dietary restrictions, physical therapy, etc.
Once a list of expectations and needs has been created, begin to think about the cost. Determine what can be afforded every month, and take into consideration all necessary expenses that will come into play. For example, different communities have different rates for their services, and some have additional fees that will need to be accounted for. In addition to this, it is not unlikely for certain items to be provided by the resident’s family or a personal shopper including personal hygiene items, clothing, and any additional desired decor or items for the apartment or suite.
With an idea of what is expected from the community, it will be much easier to determine exactly what amenities and services are being sought. Some amenities to keep in mind as you form another list include fitness centers or gyms, spas or salons, physical therapy centers, dining services, bars, gaming areas, and lounges. It is vital that the resident(s) feel at home and enjoy the environment that they are in, so keep an eye out for things that they will enjoy.
Next, prepare a list of important key questions. It is important to have a full understanding of what takes place within the community and how certain situations are handled. Topics to consider are medical emergencies, health conditions, additional fees, policies and rules, visitation hours, holidays, leave of absence, and pet policy (in the event that your loved one has a pet). You should also consider asking questions regarding the staff’s duties, what will and will not be done for the resident, and safety precautions that are set in place. While it may not be the most important topic, it is also a good idea to ask about activities and engagement among the community to have a better idea of how the residents will be treated.
More Tips for Finding the Best Senior Living Care
Once this has been completed, it is a good time to reach out to a few potential communities that interest you and your loved one. Bring up these questions via email, phone, or face-to-face interview and go over any questions, concerns, or interests to find out as much information as you can from management.
It is always a smart idea to check the validity of the information received from a community, so do some research of your own. Most communities have online portals or websites that are filled with information regarding their community, amenities, accommodations, dining, staff, plans of care, and specialized programs. Some offer a memory care community for demented residents to receive specialized care and assistance for their condition. Looking into these things will help when making the decision of whether you have found the right place for your elderly loved one.
Checking social media pages is another way to determine exactly how the residents are being treated and what they are participating in. Often, social media pages for assisted living communities provide photos of in-house activities, out-on-the-town trips or activities, and their programs. It is always great to see the smiling faces of other residents.
Another way to check the validity of the information you received from the community is to ask around. More than likely, someone you know has endured this same process. Consider asking colleagues, clergy members, neighbors, friends, and extended family members to learn more information and gather advice or tips.
Now that you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, it is time to schedule visits and tours. It is best to see the community beforehand so that you have ample opportunity to analyze its condition. Pay attention to the landscaping and maintenance, the cleanliness of the interior, the kindness and promptness of the staff and management, and the overall mood of the environment. It is great to see how the residents are interacting with the staff and what is taking place during a tour, so be sure to ask if there are any activities currently taking place.
While touring, also ensure that you are checking for accessibility, accommodations, and safety precautions. It is vital that assisted living communities provide precautions such as handrails, wheelchair ramps, stair-lifts, elevators, grab bars, security systems, and medical emergency systems or call buttons.
Another great way to get the final “feel” of the community is to visit for a final time during “off hours.” Take a chance to visit or tour the community when senior management and staff are off-site so that you can see how the other staff members are engaging and interacting with the residents. The best times to do this are the evenings and weekends.
At this point, you have likely narrowed your choices down or potentially chosen the place that you feel is perfect for your loved one. If this is the case, it is time to think about legal documents and contracts. As contracts are often lengthy and sometimes very complicated, it is best to consult with a legal professional or a credible attorney to go over the policies and procedures explained in the contract before committing to anything.
What is Memory Care and How is It Different from Assisted Living?
If your loved one suffers from dementia, it is best to look into memory care. Many do not know that there are many differences when comparing assisted living vs memory care. However, both are very important parts of senior living.
Assisted living is exactly what it sounds like: living with assistance. Most residents in assisted living communities have lost their independence, do not want to do things alone, are in need of socialization, or are retired. More often than not, residents in these communities are mostly capable of doing things on their own, but they might need assistance with daily activities such as getting ready for the day, cleaning their space, remembering to take medication, following dietary plans (especially those set in place by a physician), and getting around comfortably. Most tasks can be completed without help, though.
Memory care differs in that it provides specialized programs and care for residents suffering from dementia. In many cases, demented residents do not know where they are and are often confused. Communities like these are often secured with much more security and staff to ensure that each resident is safe. Residents with dementia forget daily tasks often such as eating meals, using the restroom, changing clothes, bathing, etc. The staff in a memory care environment are equipped to handle the mindsets and actions of residents with dementia, and they assist them in nearly all of their everyday activities and ensure that they are taken care of, clean, safe, fed, and taking their medication(s).
Prepared to Search
With all of this information in mind, the process likely seems much less daunting. Finding the perfect senior living community for your loved one does not have to be challenging, and it can actually be quite fun to determine exactly what your loved one is wanting in a new home. After going through the checklist and asking important questions, determining cost, and analyzing safety precautions, services, and amenities, it is likely that you will make the perfect choice for your elder.
At Terraza Court in Culver City, we are grateful that older adults are recognizing the many benefits of assisted living communities and joining ours. We offer a comfortable environment with numerous services, relaxing amenities, and daily support to help each resident maintain their desired level of independence. We believe that assisted living means you should be able to continue enjoying what you want when you want while also receiving the support you need, and we cannot wait for you to join our community and add your own personal touch to create a relaxing and familiar place to call home.