Sam knew his mother needed care and daily assistance; his family’s holiday visit had revealed just how dangerous it might be for her to remain at home by herself any longer.
But the idea of finding a senior living community offering the type of care his mother needed seemed daunting and Sam was not certain he was comfortable with this sudden role-reversal.
However, as parents age, children often find their roles shifting from earlier ones receiving care and support to now ensuring care and support for their parent.
In fact, the decision may fall to you to make the decision on where a parent moves or who comes into the home to provide care.
Fortunately, many people have already made this journey, and experienced professionals in senior living can be a valuable resource.
Typically, it helps to focus on the priority of finding care—giving a parent the best quality of life possible.
Sadly, not every senior care community stands up against the scrutiny of family members seeking compassionate, dignified care for their loved ones.
So, as you evaluate options, keep in mind the following considerations that can help to give your parent the warm-hearted care he or she deserves:
● Visit first – Be sure to visit a community before you make any decisions about moving your parent. This may be difficult if you live far away from your parent, but visiting in person may be the only way to get the best perspective. Websites will always show you the best sides of a community, and although the person you speak to on the phone may sound nice, he or she may not have anything to do with resident care. Visiting will allow you to gain firsthand knowledge of the community and its environment.
● Talk to caregivers – When you visit, set up a meeting with one of the caregivers on staff. This step will help you see the type of people the community hires. Ask questions such as if they honor residents’ daily routines or what their protocol is for a resident emergency such as a fall.
● Speak with current residents – If you know people who already live in the community, ask them for their opinion on the quality of care. Better yet, ask family members. Family members and residents are the likeliest source for unbiased information about the community, both good and bad.
● Arrive unannounced – Some visits to a community should be planned to meet those people you wish to talk to. However, an unannounced visit is a good way to see how a community functions on a day-to-day basis. Popping in without calling first can offer a truer glimpse of how community life.
● Meet with the executive director – Having a conversation with the executive director or another member of the leadership team can provide answers to some of your questions about the community. Seek information about the hiring process for care staff, the qualifications caregivers must have and how continuing training is provided. You also should ask about how involved you can be in your parent’s care and how the community typically communicates with resident’s families.
Remember that every community is different and some may not suit your parent’s needs or personality. If you can, look at several options before choosing a community and always feel free to reach out to Diakon Senior Living Communities for more information or any other way we can assist you.
Regional Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development
Diakon Senior Living Services