Moving an elderly loved one into an assisted living community is not something families take lightly. Many are concerned about the level of care and safety provided for an aging parent or grandparent. In some cases, medical conditions can make it difficult for a senior to do things on their own, which means they will rely heavily on the facility that they live in.
A lot of consideration should be given before moving a loved one into an assisted living community. Many great locations are out there and offer different accommodations and services. Families should look for somewhere that will give their loved ones the best quality of life with maximum safety.
The good news is that assisted living communities like Vista Living Senior Care are among the safest places your loved one can reside. They are designed with the needs of seniors in mind, which allows them to create an environment that feels like home but with a lower risk of injury.
A national survey found that 91% of adult children with a parent living in a retirement community were pleased with the safety and physical security provided by the facility. The survey also found that 60% of seniors who live alone felt unprepared for an emergency while 93% of retirement community residents felt that there was a safety plan in place to protect them.
Those with a loved one who is experiencing cognitive decline can look for facilities that also provide memory care. Even if a resident isn’t at the point of needing support now, it will be available when or if that day comes.
What is it about assisted living communities that make them safe for seniors?
Staff Members Are Available 24 Hours a Day
As a loved one’s care needs increase, it can become difficult for family members to juggle the responsibility and keep up with their own commitments. Assisted living communities lift that burden and allow seniors and their loved ones to live without the stress of an increasing workload.
When choosing a location, you should ask about staff availability. Someone should be on-site 24 hours a day. That means if your loved one has an accident or needs assistance in the middle of the night, help will be there.
Even if your loved one lives with other family members, it’s difficult for someone to be awake all night long. Assisted living communities typically schedule staff so that someone is available and awake all the time. This allows for a quicker response time and ensures that the person responding is alert and ready to provide support.
Rooms Include Railings, Handles, and No-Slip Surfaces
Assisted living rooms and communal spaces are designed and built around the needs of the seniors who will live there. That means they will have fewer tripping hazards and more safety measures.
These usually include things like sturdy railings on all stairways, handles in bathrooms, and non-slip surfaces on steps, hard floors, and bathtubs. They may also have additional features like a button to call for assistance.
Halls and doorways are sized to ensure that there’s plenty of room for walkers and wheelchairs.
Support for Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living refer to the things a person has to do to take care of themselves each day. The list includes things like bathing, eating, dressing, moving, and using the bathroom. These are things that most people take for granted. When a person ages or develops a health condition, it can affect their ability to do one or more of these on their own.
An assisted living community like Vista Living Senior Care provides additional support for activities of daily living. The care provided is customized to the needs of the resident so that they can live as independently as possible but remain clean, properly fed, and healthy.
It may not be immediately apparent that a senior is having a problem with activities of daily living at home until the situation becomes more severe. They may begin to miss meals or stop bathing. In an assisted living community, support is available along with staff who can monitor for changes that need to be addressed before they become a health problem.
Continued Monitoring of Health, Hygiene, and Wellness
Age comes with its challenges. Physical changes or medical conditions can make it difficult to live independently. Depression and other mental health conditions also become a bigger risk.
Moving into an assisted living community will help give families peace of mind. Staff continuously monitor seniors to watch for changes in their physical and mental health. They can alert a medical professional and family if an evaluation or further care is required.
Many conditions are much easier to handle and treat when they are caught early. Experienced staff will also understand how to look for the early signs of common age-related conditions and will know where to direct the resident or their family members to get assistance.
Extra Security Measures to Prevent Wandering
Security is essential to the wellbeing of seniors. Remembering to do things like lock the doors and windows at night can become difficult. A senior may look like a vulnerable target to a criminal. Keeping strangers out of your loved one’s home is important.
There’s also another side to the safety equation when it comes to senior living. Dementia can cause seniors to change their behavior suddenly and unexpectedly. They can begin to do high-risk things like wander off at random times, even in inclement weather. This is extremely dangerous and can have heartbreaking consequences.
Assisted living communities have locking doors to keep unauthorized people out and prevent residents from leaving the safety of the facility. This is especially true if the community includes a memory care unit.
Cameras are also usually installed in key areas. Staff monitor residents so they know where everyone is at all times. It is a level of security that is difficult to achieve at home without making significant changes and having someone present 24 hours a day.
Encourages Better Physical and Mental Health
Good physical and mental health contribute to safety. When a senior is physically well, they are less likely to experience a fall injury or become ill. Being active won’t eliminate the risk, but it can help lower it.
Assisted living communities host groups and activities that can boost physical and mental health. Senior fitness classes give residents a fun way to build strength and flexibility. Having opportunities to socialize is great for their mental health, which helps the brain stay sharp.
Groups and activities are available outside of these facilities but having them conveniently located on-site makes it much easier for seniors to attend.
Housekeeping is Included in Care
Cleaning, yard work, laundry, and home maintenance are a normal part of living on your own. Even if you rent an apartment without a yard, you still have to clean it. These are tasks that become more difficult as we age.
A senior carrying a basket of laundry up and down stairs every week could be putting themselves at risk of falling or could suffer a back or knee injury. If an elderly loved one cannot keep up with the housework, their home may become dirty and unhygienic, which increases the risk of illness.
Vista Living Senior Care handles all the housekeeping so that residents remain safe and comfortable in a clean, tidy environment.
If you have questions about safety in assisted living, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care now to learn more or to see our Phoenix assisted living community.