Resident happiness and safety at a senior living community depends on the dedication and quality of the staff. These hardworking professionals are the gears that keep the clock ticking. If an assisted living community does not put a high priority on keeping high quality staff, a potentially vibrant community can quickly lose its shine.
Mom and Dad have agreed that it's finally time to make the move to a senior living community. As you're checking out what options are available, you quickly realize that quality of care varies widely from one facility to the next. You want to make sure that Mom and Dad are in good hands, but what should you be looking for?
During your next tour at an assisted living community, pay attention to these five indicators of quality senior living staff:
Patient and Pleasant Staff
You should get a good sense of the facility staff right from your very first impression. The staff should never make you feel rushed when you take a tour of the facility, and they should always patiently answer all of your questions.
Choosing an assisted living facility for one of the most important people in your life is a very big decision. You should always feel like the staff cares about you and your loved ones.
This includes how staff act around residents. Are employees patient with residents, even when there are other things to do, or do they quickly brush someone off and move on?
Community Builder Mentality
The best caregivers at an assisted living community will have a compassionate and caring attitude. Community should be the key word here when you're thinking about finding the right facility, and a strong sense of community doesn't just happen by accident. Staff should be working hard to create a high quality place to live, where daily activities keep residents active and happy.
How often does the staff try to involve residents with the greater community? Do they schedule outside groups/performers on the activity calendar? Does the staff encourage residents to participate in outings away from the building?
The staff of an assisted living community are your eyes and ears when you can't be there. You are counting on them to keep you updated about how your loved one is doing. That's why you want to make sure the staff has a plan for good communication with you, especially when you're dealing with issues like dementia care.
During your visit, make sure to ask the staff about overall communication strategy. Find out if the community has a preferred method of communication with families (phone, email, etc.), and decide if you are comfortable with it. Does this community send regular updates specifically about your loved one, or do you check in when you can?
Another good idea is to find out if there are any regular updates about the community that families can have access to. Is there a website, or is the community active on social media? Often, assisted living communities send out regular newsletters about recent and upcoming events.
Residents are Always a Priority
Great staff members will interact warmly with the residents and know them by name. Your loved one isn't just a number and shouldn't be treated like one!
Staff should feel comfortable giving examples of residents' day-to-day life. If you get a sense that the staff is trying to hide something, ask follow up questions. You and your loved one deserve a facility where staff is open and upfront.
If a resident is comfortable talking to you during a visit, feel free to ask how he or she feels about the community. Not only can you get a firsthand testimonial, but you can also help brighten the day of a senior through your interaction!
Prepared for Emergencies and Calm Under Pressure
Unexpected medical care needs are an occasional reality in assisted living communities. The staff should be able to clearly explain how they react to any given emergency situation. There is no possible compromise when it comes to the ability to meet medical care needs.
When asking about emergency procedures, ask staff to explain by using a couple of different hypothetical scenarios. Pay attention to how detailed the scenarios are and how comfortable the employees are during the explanation.
Are You Looking for Quality Senior Living?
A good assisted living community offers all the comforts of home. It is important to find a warm, welcoming facility with competent, professional, and caring staff. Check out our communities in Tennessee and Georgia and contact us today to learn more. We look forward to helping you find the best senior living community for your loved one.