Updated: Mar 10
Seniorhood is essentially a new chapter of life. While some enjoy this phase, others become ailing and sick. The truth is, caring for an elderly with a complex health condition can be tricky. That’s why looking for an assisted living facility is a major life decision. One of the challenges in this search for a new environment is when the elderly have a disability.
So, how can you make your search easier? Here are the different things you need to consider when searching for a living facility for an elderly with a disability:
It is vital to determine if the facility can provide the nutritional needs of older adults. Checking the food they prepare and how compatible it is with the needs of the senior is one thing to consider. It should be part of the priorities of an assisted living facility to prepare healthy foods.
Does the facility take into account special dietary restrictions that an individual might have? For example, some residents might be vegetables and others may be vegan. Some like gluten-free foods due to allergies. It’s good to tour the facility and look at the menu. It’s good to have access to a variety of foods to keep the taste buds satisfied but also ensure nourishment for your seniors.
One of the expectations is that the older adult with a disability will not be able to do the chores on his own. This is why housekeeping should be part of the services that are being offered in the assisted living facility. For it to be perfect for a disabled adult there must be enough assistance provided in this kind of activity.
Housekeeping can involve taking care of and folding laundry. Cleaning the house, organizing things, and overall upkeep of the place. Look into what all activities of daily living residents receive help with. Does it come as part of the package or would you have to pay extra for these?
Assisted living for people with disabilities must offer physical therapy. This should be one of the readily available services. The need for physical therapy is something that can help alleviate the pain or whatever discomfort is being experienced by the older adult. This is also why this must be a regular thing that must be offered in the facility.
Personal Care and Assistance with Hygiene
A complete and perfect assisted living for disabled adults assists with personal care and hygiene. One of the expectations is that older adults cannot do most personal care and hygiene activities. Having someone to help them with these things can be very helpful. It is something that can help them improve the condition of their health.
People with memory issues often feel out of their zone. It’s not uncommon for them to forget to shower, change clothes, brush their teeth or wash their hair. For such residents, help with hygiene is an indispensable part of living with dignity. Be sure to look into whether or not your parents can expect physical hygiene while at the facility.
Health Care Services
As we get older, we may find ourselves discovering that we have developed some conditions. This is why it is important for older adults who are in an assisted living facility to have regular access to health care services.
This is one of the things that you must be asking before signing up. Assisted living facilities have their own contacts in terms of health care services. One of the questions you should ask is if they can easily get the service any time the need for it arises.
Social Activities and Outings
Everyone needs to be engaged in some social activities. This is important for older adults to not feel isolated. The changes in their lives may make them feel like life is no longer fun. To make sure that this feeling will not arise, outings and other activities must be done once in a while. A good assisted living facility must be able to organize some meaningful activities for the older adults under their care. They must be able to go on outings and see new things.
Social activities can involve dance classes, excursion tours, trips to nearby hotspots, etc. there could even be fitness classes like yoga, pilates, and singing lessons. These activities help maintain a healthy lifestyle during later years of life.
Laundry is probably one of the most taxing activities that seniors must not be doing themselves. Asking the assisted living facility if they offer laundry service is normal. This is to ensure that the older adults are free from the stress of doing heavy tasks on their own.
Depending on the disability, some older adults experience a hard time getting dressed. This is one of the things that must be done with the assistance of someone who lives with them. For family members to be at peace, they also want to know that their older adult members can do this without having so much difficulty.
There must be safe and available transportation for the disabled older adults who are living in a facility. This is to ensure that they will not be experiencing any accidents while going to some places.
Considering the different items above will help you determine if the care facility is perfect for the needs of your disabled older adult family member. You can use the list to compare the facilities near you.
If you don’t plan on living nearby, how can you expect to reach your parents? It’s good to be clear on channels of communication for families living far away. Would it be easy for you to reach your parents without going through multiple channels? Also, what’s the policy on family visits? How often can you visit the facility?
Safe and Accessible Spaces
Many things can cause elderly people to fall down. The priority of living facilities must be the safety of their clients. Making sure that there are accessible safe spaces is something that can enhance the living conditions of the elderly. This is why it is one of the requirements that must be met.
Is there an emergency system to call for help should your parents suddenly need help. For example, many facilities today have emergency buttons that the residents can press to notify the staff about the emergency.
Feel of the Community
It’s a vibe that you pick when you’re at a place. It’s not something that you can physically quantify. Rather, it’s a feeling. And if you don’t feel good when touring a facility, then go with your gut. You will know the right facility when you visit it. The energy of the place would be uplifting and energizing. You can generally tell the spirit of the place by the way residents interact with each other and go about their life. If they seem friendly and active, it’s a healthy sign.
Cost of care
For a large number of people, cost happens to be the single biggest factor in deciding where they can afford to send their elderly. Assisted living can range from offering basic amenities to more elaborate and luxurious creature comforts.
In the end, look realistically at your financial situation. Do you have Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance to cover for several years to come? Are there other financing options available that the facility accepts?
Picking an assisted living for your elderly is one of the most crucial decisions you will ever have to make. So, it’s always good to start early rather than scrambling at the last minute due to a medical emergency.