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Anyone with an older parent living at home will at some point weigh the decision to keep their mom or dad in their home or to transition them to a senior living community. While most prefer the idea of having family members remain in the comfort of their own home, safety issues and an individual’s well-being typically lead families to evaluate other options. What they often find is that senior living communities offer so much more than a place to call home.
Well-being is top of mind for the children of aging parents. One of your worst fears could be something happening to your loved one and you not being able to provide or get help in enough time.
By moving a parent to senior living, you can ease your mind knowing that a team of caring individuals are supporting your loved one each and every day. Compassionate resident assistants ensure that your parent receives assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and cleaning; a culinary team makes sure your loved one receives delicious and nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day; and an in-house medical team makes certain your family member takes the right medication on time and as needed. A medical team member will keep track of a resident’s medication schedule, dosage, and the refilling process. It’s not unusual to find senior living communities partnering with a local pharmacy.
Senior living communities are equipped with a team to care for your loved one’s medical needs. The medical team members consist of various positions ranging from licensed practical nurses to directors of nursing and physicians. The type of medical care provided for residents is determined by the individual community. If a senior living community doesn’t have an in-house physician, they typically partner with a consulting physician for care (seniors may still use their own primary care doctor). The medical care team is responsible for creating and overseeing all health-based plans for residents of the community.
When living on their own, seniors may inadvertently create hazards in their homes. Something as simple as a carpet runner from the bedroom to the living room can cause a senior to trip or fall, or a senior may accidentally leave dinner on the stove for too long and cause a small fire.
Senior living communities provide a safe and comfortable environment for elders. Apartments are ideally suited to one or two residents and are purposefully designed to be free of potential hazards, such as narrow walkways and steps. Apartments have strategically placed pull chords in the event of an emergency, easy-to-access showers with grip bars, and fire safety systems. Some communities even offer state-of-the-art fall prevention technology that identifies a person’s risk for injuring themselves before a fall ever occurs.
Security is one of the top concerns for children with aging parents. The good news is that senior living communities are closely monitored to ensure a safe and secure living environment for its residents.
Those visiting a senior living community are typically asked to sign-in at a concierge desk and to provide identification before ever being allowed to enter. A similar process goes for any vendors and third-party partners, such as consulting physicians and rehabilitation therapists.
Safety within the building is of utmost importance as well, particularly if your loved one has memory loss and resides in a memory care neighborhood. Doors within memory care areas are locked and require staff ID to ensure only approved caregivers are allowed access to the area. Trained, caring staff members interact frequently with residents to make sure residents are engaged in safe and enriching activities. Many senior living communities also have secure outdoor courtyards and walking paths for assisted living and memory care residents to enjoy.
The key is to find a senior living community that meets the specific, unique needs of your family. As always, if you have any questions about the senior living journey, we encourage you to contact one of our care consultants today.
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