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Choosing a senior care facility for a loved one is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. This is likely where their remaining time will be spent, and the quality of care will determine the quality of life. When you visit a possible candidate, use your senses to assess the facility's worth.
What Do You Hear?
Pay close attention to the interactions between staff and residents. Do they speak with respect and in a clear, concise manner? Are the seniors allowed to express themselves, and are they listened to with patience? Be alert for residents being spoken to as though they were children or commanded to comply.
What is the general noise level in the senior care home? Is it relatively peaceful and serene, or is it loud and boisterous? Is music or the television playing throughout, or is there a separate space for such activities? Is there a quiet area for reading or an outdoor courtyard for tranquil reflection?
What Do You See?
How clean does the facility seem? Are the floors and walls clean? Does the common room furniture look to be comfortable and in good repair? Check to be sure there is ample seating for the residents, and that there isn't an abundance of seniors just slumped in wheelchairs. Make a trip to the bathroom to check for overall cleanliness.
How happy do the others look? Do residents seem in good spirits, with their hair brushed and properly dressed? Does the staff look pleasant, with a willingness to smile and be of service? If the staff appears surly, this will affect and infect the mood of the seniors.
What Do You Taste?
Be certain to visit during a meal period. Oftentimes, older people are particular in the foods they are accustomed to. They may also have special dietary needs from medical conditions or dental issues. Does the food taste and look appetizing? Is it fresh, well-seasoned, and well-balanced? Are the portions appropriate? If the food appears institutionalized rather than like home-style meals prepared with love and care, that isn't a good sign.
What Do You Feel?
What is the general vibe you get? Is this a happy home? Does the staff provide a personal touch, willing to give a needed hug or a reassuring pat? Do the residents seem vibrant and alive, happy to be there, socially alert and active?
This transition in life isn't an easy one, for parent or child. Trust your gut, and if this place doesn't feel just right, keep looking until you find one that does. It will mean the difference between just waiting out the rest of their life and being a full participant. Remember, also, that in-home care from services like In Your Home Care is another option to consider if you're having a hard time finding the right private care facility.Share