What to Look for in Senior Living?

By Johny Kershaws

There are several things to consider when choosing senior living for disabled people. The most important thing is to find a welcoming and inclusive community of all residents, regardless of ability level. Here are some other factors to consider:

Get to know caregivers and staff

Visiting the facility is one of the best ways to get a feel for the community and see if it's the right fit for you or your loved one. Schedule a tour to see the common areas, residents' rooms and other areas important to you. This is also an excellent opportunity to meet with caregivers and staff and get a sense of their training and experience.

On your tour, you'll get a firsthand look at how they interact with residents. Do they seem compassionate and caring? Do they have the necessary training and experience to care for disabled residents?

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Pay attention to cleanliness, curb appeal and accessible design details

The physical appearance of a senior living community can tell you a lot about its level of care. Pay attention to cleanliness, curb appeal and design details. Are the common areas and residents' rooms well-maintained? Is the property attractive and inviting? Does the layout seem designed with seniors' needs in mind? Are all area's accessible to people with disabilities?

The assisted living facility you choose will be your new home or the new home of a senior loved one. Subtleties uncover how this home will be kept up with and how it might advance your or your parent's physical and mental prosperity.

When you are in the process of selecting a senior living facility for a person with a disabilities, focus on the subtleties in the following areas:

  • Safety features
  • Accessibility features
  • Decor details
  • Social areas
  • Cleanliness

Are there accommodations to provide equal access to activities?

Lift devices were an important consideration when choosing assisted living for seniors with disabilities. Many communities have lifts or other assistive devices to help residents with limited mobility get around. If a community does not have lift devices, find out if they are willing to install them.

A significant consideration for any senior living community is whether or not it can accommodate the activities of everyday living for disabled occupants. Can residents get around the facility quickly, using lifts or other devices as needed? Are there accessible features like grab bars in bathrooms and showers? Are common areas wheelchair-friendly? Is the facility pet-friendly?

Check the level of care in assisted living vs nursing homes

Nurses play an essential role in the care of residents in assisted living. They are typically responsible for initial assessment and admission, developing a care plan, management of medications and coordination with the primary health provider and family. However, nursing in assisted living is different from what is offered in a nursing home.

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In assisted living, older adults are generally active, but may receive support with some activities of daily living. The staff oversees the wellbeing of all residents, but do not offer a more involved level of care like the full-time monitoring that one receives at a nursing home. Honestly assess the level of need your disability requires in making your selection of a care facility.

Get the costs up front and protect yourself

When meeting with a senior living community, come prepared with crucial cost questions. Find out what is included in the base rate and what services are additional. Ask about any discounts that may be available. And finally, be sure to ask about payment options and whether financial assistance is available.

You can contact your state's long-term care ombudsman if you have a complaint about a senior living community. The ombudsman is a neutral party who advocates for residents' rights in long-term care facilities. They will investigate your complaint and work with the facility to resolve the issue.

Deciding to move into a senior living community is a big one. There are a lot of factors to consider and it's essential to do your research to find the perfect community for yourself or your loved one.

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