There are a number of things to consider when you are looking at potential care homes. You want to be sure that you are setting your loved ones up in an environment that is beneficial, homely, and entertaining to them. There are several factors you’ll want to be aware of before you make the final decision to move your loved ones into a care facility. This article aims to act as a guide in the process of investigating care homes in order to ensure that they are fully equipped to operate as an area of comfort, care and rest for your loved one.
Quality of Life
One of the main benefits that many care homes boast is the quality of their establishment and how their myriad of activities will ensure a high quality of life for their residents. While it is without a doubt true that care homes often provide a higher quantity and quality of potential activities for their residents to engage in, it is also important for you to check that the activities offered by the care home are as extensive and involved as they are presented to be.
Likely the best way to investigate the quality of a care home you are considering for your loved one is simply visiting the facilities yourself and asking if you can have a look around. In all honesty, you should never send your loved one to a facility you have not seen yourself, regardless of what they offer for their residents.
A strong benefit of many care facilities and one you should ensure is included in any you consider is a consistent exercise regime. Exercise is incredibly important to individual health and longevity and has been observed to positively impact cognitive aging, which itself is a concern as your loved ones enter the later years of their lives.
Feeling at Home
One of the most important things for you to help maintain your loved one’s sense of agency over themselves and that they don’t feel like they are just being “tucked away”. A good way to make sure they still have this sense of agency is to ensure they are part of a facility that gives them a good measure of independence. In all likelihood, although your loved one needs assistance in some things, they are still more or less able to look after themselves, and allowing them to do so where possible will improve their experience with their care home dramatically. In fact, a sense of autonomy within their lives in a care home has been cited as a major part of residents “feeling at home” in a care home environment.
While this might seem simple conceptually, many things you might not consider as important will lend to your loved one’s impression of their care home and will affect how at home they feel. For example, residents noted that certain tasks being done, such as washing the dishes without their input, removed a sense of autonomy and control of their surroundings. Even though some appreciate the convenience of having such menial tasks dealt with for them, they still would have preferred the choice to be their own. This kind of thing is not necessarily something you might have even thought about when considering care homes, but all in all, residents like to be able to treat a care home as much like their own home as is possible. As a result, they find the enforcement of seemingly unnecessary rules, which restrict their ability to behave naturally, removes their sense of autonomy, and makes them feel restricted rather than at home.
Your Ability to Visit
This is likely something you have considered already, but your ability to regularly visit your loved one in their new home is of vital importance to their transition. It is incredibly important that your loved one not feel abandoned in their new care home, and the single best way for you to avoid this feeling is to ensure you are able to regularly visit them in their new home.
In fact, it has been reported that regular visits from family members and friends, as well as having pictures and mementos, is one of the most effective ways to make your loved one feel at home in their new care facility. It is important to note that what is helpful about this is the feeling of being visited by family, not being assisted by them. Residents wish to feel self-reliant. This means that family members attempting to take care of odds and ends during their visit can undermine both the experience of the visit and the resident’s feeling of autonomy itself.
It is common for people who are in an advanced enough stage of life to need assistance in their day-to-day living to suffer from a number of potential illnesses and conditions. In particular, if your loved one is suffering from a cognitive impairment condition, such as dementia, then you should consider placing them in the care of those professionally trained to deal with such conditions. Fortunately, there are care facilities established specifically for that purpose. Memory Care facilities, such as paramount senior living in California, provide specific communities to best care for people with cognitive impairment conditions.
Being specifically designed to help care for those individuals means that Memory Care communities are far better equipped to assist with any of the potential ill effects of cognitive impairment. This includes being designed so as to produce minimal stress in residents with cognitive impairments. Repeated stress has been cited as a potential cause of cognitive impairment and is likely one of the factors that worsen its development. However, because of the way cognitive impairment affects an individual’s ability to make and remember decisions, often conventional care facilities can cause them a great deal of stress and result in the worsening of their conditions. Memory Care communities avoid this issue as they are specifically designed to avoid practices that might cause their guests stress and are rather designed to bring a relaxing experience to their residents.
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