Choosing an assisted living facility for a parent can be a challenging task. Finding a high-quality location that can meet your elderly parent's needs should always be your top priority, but which factors matter the most and how can you make a fair and accurate decision between similar options? In many cases, the staff's quality, skills, and experience will be among the most important factors to consider.
However, carefully evaluating a facility's staff isn't always easy. This guide will provide three criteria to look at when judging the staff at any facility you might be considering to care for your parent.
1. Staff-to-Resident Ratio
The staff-to-resident ratio is one of the most commonly cited considerations for any long-term healthcare facility, and for a good reason. This ratio describes the total number of care staff versus the total number of residents. A higher staff-to-resident ratio means more staff are on-site at any given time relative to the number of residents living at the facility.
This seemingly technical term matters because it provides an at-a-glance way to determine the level of close, personal care your parent will receive. With more staff on-site, residents can receive more individualized attention and have to spend less time waiting for services. While there isn't a golden rule for "good" staff-to-resident ratios, you can use this value to compare two facilities on equal terms.
2. On-Site Medical Personnel
The number of on-site medical personnel is another factor to consider. However, remember that assisted living facilities generally focus on providing residents with a safe and independent life. In other words, these facilities do not need as many nurses or other trained medical professionals as nursing homes or facilities that deal primarily with dependent or severely ill residents.
Still, many facilities will have certified nursing assistants (CNAs) on staff, and some will have registered nurses (RNs) on staff or on-call. If you believe your parent may require frequent medical care or attention, you may want to consider an assisted living facility with these professionals on staff. If not, the CNAs at most facilities can provide your parent with the help they need for routine daily activities.
3. Transportation Availability
A common reason for elderly individuals to enter assisted living is that they can no longer easily leave their homes by using their own vehicles or public transportation. Assisted living facilities often help residents regain some of this independence by providing shuttle services or other transportation options.
If you're considering a facility with transportation options for your parent, ask about their transportation staff. How many drivers do they have available? What training do they receive? How often do they run shuttles, and to what destinations? These questions can be crucial in determining whether a facility can meet your parent's basic needs while still allowing them to live an independent and fulfilling life.Share
10 April 2023
My husband and I recently moved his mother to an assisted living facility. My name is Audrey Martin, and I am going to share our experience with you. My mother-in-law is eighty-two years old. She has been living on her own for twelve years since her husband passed away. My husband, David, is her only child. That left us in charge of making this decision for her since she has declined to the point of not being able to make sound decisions on her own. I’m not going to tell you that it’s been easy, but I will say that it can be done. I hope that what I’m about to share proves to be helpful to you should the time come that you are the one moving a loved one to an assisted living facility. Thanks for stopping by!