The purpose of an assisted living facility is to provide seniors with a residential community that offers appropriate assistance in the activities of everyday life. The process of transitioning a loved one into an assisted living facility can be difficult for everyone; however, caregivers should be confident that they are providing a safer, more manageable living environment for their loved one. When you and your loved one are searching for an assisted living community, there are few things that you should look for to ensure that you have found the best option.
Safety is one of the major concerns of individuals who are seeking a transition into an assisted living facility. One of the first things you and your loved one should be sure of is that the assisted living facility you are looking into is in compliance with your local regulatory agency’s standards. The Better Business Bureau is also a valuable resource to see if any complaints have been submitted about the facility.
It is crucial that any assisted living facility you and your loved one are considering provides a strong basis of fire and supportive device safety. The facility should have fully operative smoke detectors and sprinklers and clearly marked exits. Emergency plans and procedures should be posted in visible areas and fire drills should be conducted regularly. It is also important to ask how residents contact staff if they have an emergency in their living space.
Fall prevention is one of the main advantages that an assisted living facility should present over a personal residence. Several steps should be taken in a quality assisted living facility to ensure the space is easily navigable for its residents. The floor plan of the facility should be easy to follow and the space itself should accommodate the use of wheelchairs and walkers. The flooring should consist of a non-skid material and carpeting should allow for easy movement of walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. Handrails should be available not only in individual living spaces, but also in communal spaces for ease of walking.
Stairways can be a particularly dangerous place for seniors who are more susceptible to severe falls. The bottom of every staircase should have recessed lighting or a colored strip of tape to differentiate the last step and make it easily visible. Elevators should also be readily available for those who are unable to use stairways. Lighting is also very important in preventing falls in any area of the facility. An effective assisted living facility will have good natural and artificial lighting throughout. Bright lighting will make the area more easily navigable for seniors who experience vision loss, wear trifocals, or have cataracts.
When choosing an assisted living facility, there are several factors that must be considered to ensure you find the right fit for your loved one; however, no facility should be a contender if it does not present measures to keep your loved one safe and comfortable.